My body is not a challenge. It is a thing to be loved, honored and valued. When we view our bodies from this perspective, it becomes a thing we want to maintain or improve. It’s saying: I am not a thing that needs to be fixed.
Even as I continue remembering who I am, I cannot forget the looks on their faces each time I set myself free. The sting of their stares, the thickness of the air, and the false positivity in their good wishes are braided into my psyche. They exist in the crevices of my brain, not because I invite them to, but because I am a woman of color who has uncovered her voice and now enforces her self-care.
This is wellness; the active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. I can’t say it gets easier, you just get stronger — mentally and emotionally. The tools I have acquired have become muscle memory in exercising as I navigate life. I wouldn’t be here, able to share my testimony, if it wasn’t for the black women I ha(ve)d holding me up.
Sister circle. Girl tribe. Squad goals. These aren't just phrases or cute lil’ sayings. They stretch far beyond an IG caption, a hashtag or a Twitter update, they hold weight in the way that we as women carry one another. It is our love language. An ancestral bond that speaks to the way we love and support one another.
I have carried that weight in the soles of my feet and as these days continue to stretch, I’ve recognized the need to unravel the webs created by the idea that as a woman, I must reside in a world of emotional strain. I’ve recognized the need to find harmony within my journey, the need to slow down and take in every intricate detail.