Updated: Sep 4, 2019
I was taught to fear everything. I was taught that everything was a potential disaster - that wearing a certain outfit would make me susceptible to unwanted attention, that my wallet or purse could be stolen at any time so I needed to keep money in my bra, that a rock in the road could blow out my tire and result in a fatal car accident. I learned to fear people and the world.
I was also taught that food is a reward, a way to show love. When I was good, grandma gave me a sundae. My mom makes certain foods to show she loves us, like my favorite scalloped potatoes or tapioca. At the same time, most women constantly hate their bodies and monitor their eating habits. So eating is sort of a love myself, hate myself endeavor.
I was taught that vulnerability was dangerous. When I was in middle school, a girl acted nice and asked to write in my yearbook. Turns out, she knew I had a crush on her boyfriend and she wrote me a note calling me a "fat pig" or something like that. I hid my tears away from her and her laughing friends. I cried in secret because that felt safe. For a long time, I only ever cried in secret.
For the past three years, I've been undoing all these things I learned. I'm still flawed, still finding my way. I just find myself forgiving those flaws, cherishing them, and they have less control over me. I've cried openly on the bus, in front of my partner and family members. I've started to listen to my body and what it wants to eat and I've started to take risks. This entire blog post is hugely vulnerable for me, especially because it feels like running a business on wellness, pleasure, empowerment means that I should be fixed, I should be perfect.
I do not want to disappoint - but I'm not. Neither are those who have taught me what I know. They're phenomenal women but I see their flaws too. I can be both grateful for them and discerning on what I want to emulate.
One of the biggest struggles is how to do this all while I am in the hardest time in my life - parenting one-year-old twins. How do I stay on top of my pleasure and wellness and how do I pass these lessons on to them?
I'm still figuring that out, but I do know that I want better for them.
I want them to see the world as a beautiful place full of opportunity rather than a scary place where danger is around every corner. I want them to take risks and know that every step is beautiful, whether or not they are successful.
I want them to be mindful of what they eat, listen to what their body needs for nourishment and energy and growth. I want them to get pleasure from the way that healthy food makes their body feel.
I want them to know they can express their feelings, no matter what they are. I will never tell them not to cry, to stuff down their feelings. Even though it breaks my heart or sometimes even angers me when they are crying, I have to remind myself that it is not about my discomfort at their emotions. It is about them finding their way through it while I provide loving support however they want it.
Sometimes other people are not on board with this and that can make it hard. But the universe chose Chris and me to raise these beautiful guys and we are committed to these pillars: empowerment and health and a fully expressed life.