1 • 4 •2017
Most of my young adult life I've struggled with self image. Who hasn't? This world is full of people telling us how to dress, how to act. What to eat, and when not to. Today, while traveling to work, I saw a woman editing a picture of herself. Now don't be mistaken, I edit just about every picture I post, but this instance specifically stood out to me. She began by erasing her wrinkles, then whitening her teeth, making her chin smaller, nose more slender. Finally she reached for a tool that erased her laugh lines. I instantly judged her. "Wow, so insecure she can't even look at her laugh lines" but just as quickly as I judged I empathized. I recognized that feeling. I have spent the past couple of years really striving to help myself and those around me feel like they are enough. Pretty enough, Strong enough, Smart enough. I am constantly fighting the voice in my head "YOU are beautiful". I think about the woman erasing her laugh lines and I can't help but wonder, is this what the media has conditioned us to do? Erase something so natural and so beautiful. Erase something that represents happiness and joy. Evidence of the best medication (laughter) is quickly being edited away from our perfectly, imperfect bodies and replaced with plastic medication. Cosmetic surgery at the tip of our fingers. The picture is edited and as she posts it, two teenagers are talking about how they "gained back all the weight they lost" and how they need to go back on their diet this week. This was evidence. This plague of self hate has no predjudice on age. It will spread and infect and mutate whomever it can find. The only cure is to understand that YOU are ENOUGH, laugh lines included.
I struggle with execution. I am full of ideas and thoughts and questions, and once I get going, it's really hard to slow me down. I've started businesses, and left them in the dust. I've composed new business plans, and left them as just a composition. I've had what seems like hundreds of jobs that I truly believed would be my career one day, and quit. I've tried school... couldn't sit still. So I look at myself as a failure, "half-assing" my way through my twenties. I'm told I have to pick a job and stick to it if I am not going to go to school. I look like a flake to those around me. Constantly throwing ideas out and months later I'm onto the next fad in the life of Cheyenne. But I've noticed my true problem isn't being flakey or failure, it's execution, and commitment. Is it that I'm scared what will happen if I actually try everything that I conjure in my head? Or is it that I'm so full of ideas, choosing just one thing is almost as hard as picking a favorite kitten. I want to commit to, and execute my goals and dreams... but which one? And will I ever know when I've made the right decision?
Today I tried yoga. Again. Yoga is something I am definitely not a master at. But it has always been an outlet. I fall back to yoga when I feel my brain running laps around itself. My thoughts and emotions forget how to breathe, most of the time. And, most of the time... I ignore it. "I just have an active imagination" I say to myself as I continue to ask my mind to hold more and more each day. This trend results in breakdowns. I can't concentrate on one thing, I have terrible headaches, I feel like I need to run away. But in all honesty, I need the exact opposite. To breathe. Relax. Stop letting my mind wander. So today, I tried yoga. Throughout, I was told to pay attention to the sensation of breathing, focus on the present. Two things I am not good at, by any means. I tried. Failed. I began listening to my heart beat, which made me think of a show I watched. There I go again, letting my mind wander. Breathe. I tried again. This time, it worked. I felt my brain slowing down, which in my case is a fabulous thing. I could feel each muscle relax towards the ground. I could feel gravity doing its job. I could feel the oxygen moving through me as if it were light. I vividly imagined my body floating and glowing. Is this what it's like? To be present?