celebrate, body image, three sillouette images separated by borders woman behind a grey screen
February Photofest 2022


Love your birthday or hate it, we all have them. Considering the alternative, it is a good thing. I have found that the more times I celebrate my birthday, the less I care about what the celebration looks like and more about who I am celebrating with. The number of times I have celebrated my birthday is a little daunting these days. The alternative, as stated before, is more daunting.

Last year, my health scare made me evaluate my perspective on a larger scale than before. I have always thought of age as just a number. My number seems quite a bit distant from most of my friends. They are in their 30’s and early 40’s. I am more than ok with that because I enjoy their company and support. The point is, the number of years I have been alive is just that, a number.

There have been times in my life when I felt the number. I felt the age. The older you get, the more your body lets you know what it has given you. You have to appreciate that on many levels.

My body isn’t perfect and never will be. I see things that I would change with the snap of a finger if I could. I write about it all the time. I have thought a lot about perspective, and I am trying to incorporate other people’s views. My body has been good to me, for the most part. Considering what I have put it through, I really shouldn’t complain.

Tap, ballet, and jazz dance classes for 12 years ended with a love for dance and ten broken toes all on the same night. Horseback riding my entire life, which includes bouncing up and down with no respect for my spine, and falls, two of which landed me in the hospital with a concussion. Karate for five years (testing for a green belt while pregnant) caused many bruises, sore muscles, and a few black eyes. Pregnancy. What the body goes through when you grow a human is remarkable. You don’t think about the miracle your body goes through. You think about the gift of growing a human and the actual birth. Filled with anticipation for your new bundle of joy, you focus on breathing through the pain, and everyone tells you that you forget about the pain after the birth. You don’t think about the fact that your core muscles are obliterated, your hips and pelvis are spread apart, not to mention what damage is done when your little bundle of joy pushes out of your uterus, through your cervix, and the tearing and ripping that happens through that process. This is real talk, this shit hurts, and it puts your body through a lot. As for forgetting the pain? Yeah, in time, but I can still tell some tales, and my baby is 26 years old.

Those are just a few things that I have put my body through. When I look at my body, I see the outside and all I want to change. I need to start looking inside a little more closely and celebrate what is inside, not only the person I am, but I need to consider what my body has done for me and given me. Also, to treat it a little better for the next 50 years.

Happy Birthday to my body! You have had a rough 57 years, and I celebrate you and thank you for all you do for me!

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