Growing up, my body was a prison, a fleshy confine I didn’t ask for – but instead was given.
A body I didn’t ask for, didn’t want – a jail that I felt trapped in – Blemishes, cuts, snags, bumps and bruises: details that dress the body I felt unapt in.
Well lived in, never loved.
But mine all the same.
And the hardest lesson I’ve ever had to learn, is to cherish the shell that shares my name.
They say across the world, each person has six others who look the same, but No other has the stretch marks that decorate my stomach, the small cut above my eye from that time I fell off my brother’s bike.
Sure, same eye shape, hair colour, nose and the rest – but we’re not identical, and neither of us can therefore be called ‘best’. We’re all special in the things that make us, us.
So thank you to the skin I live in, the skin that bumps and lumps, the marks that swerve and curve and are like no other.
Thank you for letting me say thank you to the skin. The skin that I scrubbed and rubbed and tried to hide and the scars that I lied about. The skin that I painted and starved till I fainted. The skin that I hid. The skin that made me feel like a stranger in my own reflection.
But I needed to look in a different direction, towards myself, to combine body and mind and make the ultimate connection, and this was my final test to realise that my body was no longer my enemy, but my shield, my armour and the scars and the bumps and the lumps and the stretches and stripes, my battle scars, that would make me stronger than the rest,
not make me any less.
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