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In Your Thirties

in your thirties 2

My friend Vanessa, who always has the best finds, recently shared this article, and it was pretty instantly for me LOVE. Aleya Kassam writes a poetic piece about the way women dance in their younger years, then as teenagers, then as women. It’s a beautiful article that illustrates not only how we dance, but how we live these years; how we think about our bodies, how we relate to the world around us. You may read the full article here, which I highly recommend, but below is an excerpt:

Shame is a controlling animal. It demands. Don’t be fully you. Be less.

Then you will hit 30.

With wet hair dripping onto the paper, you will marvel at how hot you were when you were younger. How vibrant. How you glowed; how the stomach that you pinched at then was flatter than it may ever be. You will feel stupid that you wasted those years, feeling unattractive, when you could have been enjoying your body. You will not allow yourself at 50 years to look back and feel regret at wasted pity.

You will look in the mirror and see fleshy lips, mischievous eyes, big ears, chicken pock-marked forehead, crooked nose, long eyelashes, and a hint of cheekbone under full cheeks. Mostly, you will see a woman who has lived.

Now, you will take pleasure in being upside down in a headstand, blood rushing to your head, seeing the world all higgledy-piggledy. You will stand on stage, in front of hundreds of people, and appreciate your knees for being solid, for not buckling under you. You will wrap your arms around people you love, and be thankful for this body that can give and receive love. You will curl up in bed at night, left leg askew, and be grateful for this body of yours that gives life to being alive.

You will take your body back from the world.

And you will dance… I mean really dance.

P.S. Related: Letting go of perfectionism and appreciating those fine lines.

{Photo via Phil Chester}

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