“Stop worrying about whether you’re fat. You’re not fat. Or rather, you’re sometimes a little bit fat, but who gives a shit? There is nothing more boring and fruitless than a woman lamenting the fact that her stomach is round. Feed yourself. Literally. The sort of people worthy of your love will love you more for this, sweet pea.” – Cheryl Strayed aka “Dear Sugar”
This was the advice Cheryl Strayed, in her 40’s, would have given to her 20-year-old self. As I turn 47, that is exactly the advice I would give my 20 year old self. I should have rocked the bikini more often. I should have had more fun instead of worrying about what I looked like. I should have gone swimming with my friends instead of worrying about wrecking the work I spent on my hair with a crimping iron and Final Net. I could have gone to a few parties instead of staying home and studying because an A+ is better than an A. I should have danced instead of sitting on the sidelines.
I look back now and realize the precious moments and memories I lost out on because I cared too much about what other people thought. That’s one of the bonuses of aging. You start to care less about what other people think. As a matter of fact, you start to realize that there are much fewer people that really, deeply matter to you. At this point, I’ve been through enough that I’ve learned who really matters to me, who’s there for me and in turn who I will always be there for.
I just hosted my Chakra Dance and Meditation class on March 1st, which is a forum for safe, fun and ecstatic dance. I’ve learned that we just want to be ourselves and not have to care about anything else in that moment. That’s what I want to foster. I joke that I’m the white, Dutch, step instructor who is certified to teach Zumba (which I call DanceFit due to copyrights). But I dance like no one is watching and my heart soars with joy. Sometimes my neck is a little sore because I’m getting old and can’t whip my hair like I used to…but I digress…
Many of you know that my only New Years’ goal for 2019 was to be my true and authentic self. So far, it has been so freeing, so much less stressful and so much more fun!!
So, if I can leave you with a piece of hard won advice – fly your freak flag!! Be your authentic self. Don’t give a shit what other people think.