shake the feathers.

This was the year that I ate pizza again. And cheese.  Small things, small things—but somehow it matters. For years and years I have scrutinized everything I have eaten and held fast to the lie that “it’s just me”—you can’t shake who you are. But this is the year the feathers started to shed.

Maybe you’re caught in the trap of your own mind—I sure have been there for years—and it’s not that you can’t live caught up. You can.

I want to feel like a poem. I want to feel fluid. And yet thoughts and fears and anxieties are jagged.  They leave me rough around the edges, with this whole lie that I can’t flatten them out as I fall—that the edges are permanent.

I fully believe in living a healthy life. But you are living your own story of what healthy looks like. Maybe a detox of kale juice is what you need—but maybe you need to eat a slice of pizza and feel free for the first time in years because for once—you’re not panicking about the calories. You’re alive.

And being alive, really truly alive, is healthy. The time I’ve spent trapped and refusing to go to events and dinners because I needed to maintain the same façade have tired me out—and I’m not 16 anymore. Almost ten years later and the peacock feathers of a constructed personality are floating away in the wind that comes with simply growing up.

There are still days when I look in the mirror and wish I looked like anybody else. And it’s easy to tell younger girls to love themselves—it always has been. But to face yourself and really behold yourself as beautiful- well, maybe you’ve been doing it for years.

But not everyone has. I sure haven’t. So let people live their stories and take first steps and be their own version of healthy. I’m not drinking this kale juice because I’m hateful—I just like it. But don’t worry—because this year, I wasn’t afraid to eat the pizza. And to me, that means a world of possibility is out there—more feathers to shake and facades to crack and life to live.