It’s amazing to me how a bit of time—be it a day or just a few hours—can completely change my attitude. A small adjustment in my outlook can dramatically alter how I process and perceive reality. Last week, my Friday … Continue reading
It seems almost impossible that 2020 is only a week and a few days away, but I know my calendar doesn’t lie. This year has rung true with that old cliché; my how time flies! I must have blinked and … Continue reading
If you do not enjoy being you, then you have some work to do. As I approach my fourth decade, I feel only one thing is being asked of me: that I let my true self take root and live authentically—with no qualifications or apologies. Not conceit—just love and acceptance of self and confidence.
My first decade was marked by an abundance of self-assurance. As a child I was confident (perhaps even conceited), bold, brave, and out-going. I had no antagonistic or ambivalent feelings towards my body. I had an unlimited well of faith in my abilities.
However, puberty proved to be something of a Trojan horse for me. At first (mostly thanks to Judy Blume books), I saw no reason to be any different. I would (as my pediatrician commanded) shy away from nothing just because I had my period. Menstruation would never be an excuse I used for stepping back from something I wanted to do—neither would my gender. I was fiercely feminist—proud to be a girl and looking forward to being a woman.
But then my body began to visibly change—thickening and rounding in very non-ballerina-esque ways. I ceased to see the physique I’d come to esteem and associate with beauty when I looked in the mirror. And that’s when the Trojan horse of puberty burst open—insecurities pouring out of it like an armed and hostile regiment then attacking my identity along with all the confidence I’d cultivated.
My second decade contained a cold war between me and my body. I tried to will it and then deprive it back to the lean and lanky way it had once been. I hid it under bulky clothes. I regretted the veiny appearance of my arms. I appreciated my body’s speed, agility, and strength, but I wished it looked different.
College proved to be a summit of diplomacy. I negotiated a cease fire and then true peace in the company of diverse bodies. I began to focus less on what my body looked like and more on what it could do. I stopped having any feelings of guilt connected to food. And as others made their appreciation of my form known, I began to appreciate it too.
Every decade since has been a journey forward to get back to the unabashed confidence I had as a child. There is still more internal territory to reclaim—still further to go and grow in loving and being who I truly am—both the exterior and what’s inside. But each day, as I age, I try to take a few steps past my comfort zone and to be even more comfortable in my own skin. Each day I seek to love myself more—and this body I’m in.
Dear Home, I miss you. I miss what you used to give me: shelter, warmth, and security. I miss running up and down your steps—taking the stairs two at a time and always jumping down from three up (much to … Continue reading
“The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives…The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given … Continue reading
I have always enjoyed watching the Olympics. I hope to experience them in person one day. The Olympic Games encompass everything I love about sports: excellence in athletic ability, underdogs defying odds, newcomers, veterans, national pride, international unity, and all … Continue reading
Dear My Past Self, This letter is to thank you for all that you have done on my behalf. Thank you for every difficult decision you made, the hard work you did, and all the tough things you endured without … Continue reading
I spend a lot of my life straddling a dichotomy. I am simultaneously assured of my greatness and afraid of my mediocrity. I am at once full of despair and hope for our world and our country. I am both … Continue reading
Sometimes I wake up from a dream and have to reassess reality. Some emotions follow me out of slumber like an odd aftertaste. In those cases, waking up can be somewhat disorienting. I must discern reality from reverie. Perhaps it … Continue reading
“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” ~Anna Quindlen From the Archives: No One Is Perfect