A picture of me at age 16. Of course, I was beautiful. No one told me at the time. No one told me ever. Found the picture, wondered who that pretty girl was.
Now I weep that I never had the joy of being beautiful. Of being comfortable in my body. Of being connected and enjoying it. In certain rare moments, I felt the enjoyment, but was never buoyed by the confidence in myself. My being, my body, my existence.
I had always been picked on for being “fat.” I wasn’t that fat. I wasn’t obese, but people picked on me anyway. I don’t understand it. Maybe someone else can explain this harsh and unnecessarily cruelty. This peer pressure, this chicken picking, where the one lowest on the pecking order gets pecked to death or social oblivion. For me it was only social oblivion. I’m far too vigorous, aggressive, and strong to be pecked to death. I’ll kill you first, for sure.
Recently, I read about scientific studies on people who get physically attacked. It has to do with the aggressors reading movement, specifically uncoordinated movement. The victims look weak and helpless in some way. I don’t look like that. I may be fat, but I’ll definitely use that weight against you if you attack me. I studied tai chi and Alexander Technique. I move like a tiger. I will get you. I have never been attacked. I see people hobbling in my neighbourhood with so many old and crippled people, a cheap working class neighbourhood. I don’t move like them. Even my ex, last year when he was a total stone-cold jerk and did not treat me with any respect managed to blurt out he is still attracted to how I move. I ain’t pretty but a cat, even if fat, moves like a cat.
But when I was young, I was disconnected from my body’s movement in the moment. No wonder I liked getting drunk, to release the body from restriction. But that’s not real connection.
I weep. And now I dance, every day. And almost worship the beautiful moves of people who weren’t crippled as I was. I’m connected to my body most of the time, and it is a source of knowledge. But it still sits in a pool of past sorrows.