I am approaching my twenty-sixth birthday and a new calendar year, and there is a general stock-taking of wants and needs in a way that has become a sort of ritual. Twenty-six feels like something. It feels a little serious perhaps. Like I need to choose some direction with great intention. It may or may not look like that to others; that’s just how it feels from in here.
One thing that keeps racking up the tickmarks on my ‘needs’ list is the body I live in. I have become, over the past few years, particularly sensitive to what my body is experiencing and a lot more fussy about the things I expose it to and the experiences I put it through. It’s at a place now where it’s becoming a part of my identity and where ‘healthy’ is a barometer for me when I’m making decisions or analysing the happenings in my life. I struggle to make that less than isolating because I haven’t really built much community around that part of my self. I don’t always feel supported in my desire to live that way. I also find it hard to relate to lifestyles that don’t consider it.
But I can’t deny that my body has gravity, and that it connects to the space around me at certain points and that I feel (or want to feel, depending on the moment) each of those points. The sensitivity with which I perceive them intensifies exponentially. Sometimes I want to reverse that because that sensitivity seems to complicate things. Then again, I’ve never really shied away from anything just because it was complicated. I love having layers of stuff to roll around in and get between. I like having things to dissect. And I have the sense that when it’s really an instinctual way of living, it will actually feel quite simple, uncomplicated. The deliberation of ‘when to listen to the body’ no longer takes place.
And so it speaks louder all the time, louder every year, and when I reach the end of each one I promise that I will do more for it the next. That seems to happen, and I appreciate the processes I’ve gone through to be at the level of awareness I am now. I allow my body to hold a greater stake in my reality.