Working in a gym has taught me quite a bit about individual confidence. You would think after all this time I’d have come to some personal consensus on the maintenance of my physical health, but, no, clearly, I’m still as bi-polar as an instant read thermometer. Like my moods, my belief systems have fluctuated extensively from season to season, year to year, and I find myself detesting books, foods, and dogmas that six months earlier I swore by.
Is this just another symptom of our information overloaded generation, or am I genetically predisposed to crazy juice? I think it’s both, but as I am trying to do what’s best for me, I’m going to go ahead and say that it’s a personal flaw. Universe: 1, Melanie: 0. You got me again, God.
Of course, I want to believe that I am wonderful. Don’t we all want to feel good about ourselves? Surely. But for me, feeling good about myself most commonly comes in the form of viewing myself through the skin of another, instead of seeing what is truly there: I am in a room that’s pitch black and all I can do is convince myself the hand in front of my face does not exist. But logically, and truthfully, I know that it does, whether I will it or no. That hand is there.
So it is with every appendage, every flaw, every mental state that exists in my person. It is there, whether I will it or no. It is there. Yet we are surprisingly different from the rocks in that, a rock is a rock is a rock. It cannot change. But a person is a person, and yet within that person is the remarkable capacity to stretch, flex, bend, and twist. We are pliable. We are clay, are we not? Water may freeze, become steam, and melt again, yet its very essence is still its own self. We have an incredible capacity for growth and extension.
“People grow, they don’t change” said Elisabeth Bard. I firmly believe that. Yet growth has all the potential in the world. And like the dirt, for us to grow, we require cultivation, nurturing, air, breath, and sunlight. Definitely not a cage or a box. We are not so different from the dirt. What grows from us can never be identical to another, because our very essences are individual, singular. Therefore, the next time I pass a runner, perspiring, determined, athletic, I will think “Good for you. I hope you get there.” And then I will probably gnaw at my gut and clench my teeth in momentary rage, but then immediately after that I will remember that I would much rather skip home and dance like a fool, because that is simply what I love to do. I think we would all be much better off if we never apologized for being the unique fools that we are. Of course, it takes practice, time, patience, and much skill to get to such a point.
Now, let’s stretch!
By the way, the pictures are of settlement after a storm. See? Everything works out.