lessons in loving myself into adulthood








I am 22


I am queer


I am 5’6”


I am a woman


I am learning to love myself


these are happenings in my life

these are the steps I follow

these are acts of self-preservation




1. the feeling through of body movements


a.   I am overcome with a moment gratefulness for the beautiful lines inked into my skin - I feel compelled to kiss one of my favorites, a shell on my inner arm - I do kiss it, I kiss it again, quick pecks - I then allow myself to linger, to feel my own lips against my soft cool skin, I take a breath of myself - I repeat this often

b.   I learn to dance around the room overcome with total absolute feeling - I am alone in the room, I have my favorite songs turned high, the songs that beat rhythmically within me, which I can sing half a second ahead of time - I am sometimes naked – the dancing is sometimes more of a jump or more of a sway - I swing my hips, I bow my head, I spin, I move any which way I need to, I feel in the moment - it is pure reaction to sonic joy

c.   I walk almost every day to swim to the river - I feel how the path shifts and changes, I feel the draw of my body to the water, I push against the stream


d.   I just stretch, in any way, for any amount of time, in any place - in class, at the dinner table, at the concert, in my bed, on the kitchen floor - I massage my lower back, my shoulders - I melt - I am learning how to be a present body, how to feel my movements and my limits


e.   I remember to drink water


2. dating myself

a.   eating out dinner for one - I shouldn’t need company to enjoy a meal on the town, it doesn’t matter what people think

b.   singing myself love songs, mostly in the kitchen, or deep in the woods

c.   sharing a day of decadence with myself, of fresh fruit and breakfast in bed, of lusciously buttered bread - it doesn’t matter if the crumbs get in my sheets, it’s my bed - I spend the morning drenching in the sunlight with myself, of soaking up the pleasure of being with myself - I lay naked, I cradle my own breast, I trace my own hand up and down my thigh, I squeeze, I push into my sheets - I stand up and examine myself in the mirror, turning around - this is as good as I have ever felt in my own skin

d.   I glare in the mirror at my own eyes, for a moment, for five minutes, for an hour - what can I see in my own eyes?

e.   I give myself gifts, in the form of fine cheese, strawberries, eucalyptus from the summertime market, a new linen dress, the disposable cameras I intentionally forget about for years just for the pleasure of coming upon unknown memories and being taken back in time


3. dancing with my own mind

a.   lo I am a human bean! what does that feel like? what am I afraid of? why am I afraid? asking myself questions, not always seeking answers

b.   staring at the wall, for five minutes, or an hour, I mean really staring at a wall, and stirring in my thoughts, or really stirring in no thoughts, in total emptiness, until I am as good as a couch, as just being, perhaps being the most present, or the most presentless

c.   making a sound, whatever sound it needs to be. feel the sound


d.   being totally lost and being ok with that