At some point in your life, someone has told you that “your body is a temple.” Maybe it was your mother; maybe it was a friend; maybe it was an infomercial you accidentally kept watching late one night. Whatever the scenario, we’ve all heard it.
From what I can gather, it’s just a cliché way of telling us to treat our bodies right and to remember that we’re beautiful in our own way. But the temple analogy has always made me feel boxed into needing to be the perfect girl with the perfect body and the perfect smile. And that’s never been me. So instead of a temple, I tend to think of my body as a theatre, as a found space where the show may change but the choreographer stays the same.
For a girl who grew up shy, I learned to express myself with my body long before I could with words. I’ve always been a cuddler, a hugger, a high-fiver, and (on a few occasions) a chest bumper. When I laugh hard, my head falls back, and when I cry, it rolls back just enough before falling forward. I dance like no one’s watching even when plenty of people are watching and no music is playing. (There’s a picture of me from my wedding belting along with “Don’t Stop Believing” with my hands in the air like I’m concerned someone might actually stop believing.) When I’ve had a rough day and don’t quite know what to do about it, I frequently employ the fetal position. When I doubt what you’re saying, my eyes get huge and my eye brows judge you. When I don’t want to admit I’m wrong, my eyes shift to one side and my lips twist in the same direction. When I’m passionate about something, I lean into it.
I’m not a temple kind of a girl, and more and more, I’m enjoying that as a sign of my signature style. I’m a heart-on-her-sleeve, irreverent, air drumming little dynamo, and my body is how I express that.