I am from laundry dried on the clothesline, Tropicana orange juice, and Johnson & Johnson’s baby oil. I am from Vicks in the winter and school supplies bought at Woolworth before September. I am from a three-story, green, attached house … Continue reading
Yesterday, as I was walking across the Brooklyn Bridge with a friend, our attempts to social distance, and a bit of distraction, led us into the bike path. As one “gentleman” sped by on his bicycle, we heard him address … Continue reading
When I found out who Fred Noonan was—that Amelia Earhart didn’t disappear alone—it made me feel less secure of my grip on reality. I was a child who never believed in Santa Claus, and so I never experienced having that … Continue reading
I want to be your favorite shirt. Not the shirt you wear like a mask to all those starched stiff occasions in life where you feel like a person playing the part of yourself as an adult. I want to … Continue reading
In this digital age, what is reality? We regularly conflate facts with feelings and opinions—whether out of laziness, deceitfulness, or ignorance. Social media is teeming with people self-righteously clinging to their beliefs and bludgeoning others with them. Because, as we … Continue reading
The blank page— Sometimes it beckons like a friend. Other times it mocks me like a fiend. It can be a weightless delight. Or a Sisyphean burden that brings me to my knees. – Sometimes I find my groove And … Continue reading
Once upon a time, there was a young prince who wanted to be a great and beloved king. He was dutiful in all of his studies. He was kind. And he gave generously. He sought the advice of his parents, … Continue reading
Once upon a time, there was a vain and greedy queen. Every day she would walk her estate to bask in the wealth of all she owned. She prided herself on having a luxurious castle and an impressive garden. She … Continue reading
The world is rich with pleasures. That first day winter breaks and lets the fullness of the sun’s warmth wrap you up like a hug from someone you love, but have missed for months. A clear night far away from … 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.