I have my hair pulled back in the tiniest of pony tails. Skinny little sausage of hair, the tie turned three times but could probably use a fourth. Bobby pins & hair spray keep the entire mess contained. I feel exposed. My face too tiny for my body. Like a peanut atop a cantaloupe.
I am uncomfortable with my femininity. I have never felt curvy enough, had thick enough hair, it’s too short, my lips are too thin, I don’t walk well in heels.
I have fought for every inch I am and it is still not enough.
I have stuffed protein down my throat, lifted weights and ate more than I wanted. I gained weight. Fat & muscle. I was strong and fit and hurting.
I never struggled with losing weight. I could see the contempt on the faces of some of the women I taught fitness classes for. I felt as if I never fit in. I stayed disconnected. Taught from the front of the room, didn’t discuss my personal life & kept things simple.
I believed that if I was quiet enough, did enough, showed up full of energy & enthusiasm I would be liked. I thought I would feel happiness.
I thought if I never missed a class, if I was always on time & if I made others laugh I would feel loved.
I wished & dreamed of a strong male figure arriving in one of my classes to pick me up and take me away from it all. I hoped to feel wanted & cherished.
I followed the path of marriage, and home buying thinking it was the dream I was supposed to want and fulfill.
I kept teaching, my neck and head hurting until I visited a chiropractor and then I went numb.
I was diagnosed with MS. Went numb from dealing with the “health care system.” We decided to have a child. Then we had another. And another.
My body performed as a female should. Birthed babies, nursed them & held them close.
Through it all, I thought if my house was clean, I looked nice & my children behaved I would be seen as a good person. I kept space in my schedule, leaving it open for a friend to stop by whenever.
No one stopped by. No one called.
I was not happy, feeling loved, cherished or wanted.
Every new person I would meet and talk with and get contact information from seemed to never be able to get together. The most our connection ended up being was a few back and forth texts and never a meet up.
My husband and I drifted on separate seas of sadness and disappointment. Our faces never gazing at one another, afraid the hurt would be too much to contain.
I see the faces of my beloved Littles and my heart breaks even more.
I am disappearing more and more literally & figuratively everyday.
I read about women claiming their space. Inhabiting the bodies they are in, no matter the size of their jeans.
I don’t take up much space. I feel too much for the skin I am in. My heart is bursting my body open. It has been stretched and expanded so much, so fast, my body cannot contain the love.
I don’t know who I am , what I am doing here, why I exist.
All the love my heart has is being given to others. Tiny drops are spilled onto me but not enough to sustain me. I am an empty puddle, dried and cracked dirt.
I want to find the waters of creativity, writing & yoga once again. Dig my well deeper, down into the dark earth where the scent of possibility and nourishment dwells.
Explore the depths of my heart where my passion lives and breathes. The intensity of my desire is shocking. And needed. And necessary. I have to believe the world needs me to bring all of me to the surface. Whoever she is.
My body is my temple and exactly the size it needs to be. It’s made for movement and hugs. I will start to fill my heart by loving and trusting the skin I am in. The softness and the sharp. The pore-filled boundary it is.
I will dive into the depths of my soul and cultivate and nourish whatever I find.
I will learn to trust & love my body, heart & soul. My mind needs a bit of peace & quiet.
I will practice stillness. I will take time to listen.
And you, dear reader, what do you need?