Saturday, July 25, 2009
I Heart My Knock Knees
....but this is not a post about them. At least, not exactly. I spent some time thinking about my knock knees today in yoga class. I've been doing yoga now pretty regularly for about 5 years and I've gotten pretty good. What has been humbling though are there are certain simple poses I just cannot do, regardless of how long I practice. For this, I blame my knock knees.
I used to position myself in classes to ensure I could never see myself in the mirror because the image I saw was different than what I felt I must look like. My anger with myself and the dissonance between how good I felt and how different I looked would ruin my mood and invariably break my concentration. I went for meditation and got hyped up on self-hatred instead.
But then things began to shift in all kinds of ways. I can't attribute the shift to a fixed moment in time or even anything conscious on my part. I just fucking mellowed out. About nearly everything; the way I looked, how other people perceived me, the course my life was taking.It didn't exactly happen when I turned 30, but damn if it wasn't close.
For a while after my mom's diagnosis with Alzheimer's, I went to counseling. It felt good to articulate my anger and voice my worries. My counselor was great and invariably pretty adept at seeing through my bullshit and calling me on it, but I do remember arguing with her somewhat over her insistence that I'm hard on myself. Having a counselor tell a woman she's hard on herself is kind of like a psychic telling you you'll have some decisions to make. Duh. Just generic enough to make you feel like someone understands you. But the thing is, I still think I'm not too hard on myself. In fact, I kind of pride myself on my resilience and my ability to laugh and say 'Man, I really fucked that up. I'll try harder next time.' And I do. And this works for me.
But it wasn't always that way. I wasted many, many years hating who I was and getting sidelined by self-consciousness. I missed out on a lot, but thankfully those times seem to be passing. I've got another birthday coming and I'm grateful that I feel the self-consciousness slipping away. A little vanity is good, but it goes a long way. I'd just rather be happy.