Talking to you is really difficult, okay? So starting of with an ellipsis might seem like a cop out but I want to make sure I do this right so you’ll have to bear with me while I get my words together.
The truth is, I owe you an apology. Our relationship has been really rocky over the years but out of the two of us I’ve definitely done more wrong than right by you. You were just trying to be here for me, helping me navigate this life, and in return I kind of treated you like garbage, in more ways than one.
I’m sorry for not listening when you would tell me something was wrong. I’m allergic to something but it tastes good so I eat it anyway, and then you’re all over the place wondering which way is up. I run too hard and mess up my knee but I’m scared of what will happen to my thighs since I still eat the cheese (even though you’ve made it very clear I shouldn’t) so I keep going, mile after mile. I deny that I have a sinus infection when you’re keeping me up at night clearly saying, “Girl! Get to the doctor!” I should listen to you more, and more closely. You’ve never been silent or ambiguous about what I should do to take care of you so for all of the times you’ve been clear and I’ve ignored you, I’m sorry.
I’m sorry for attempting to force various standards of beauty onto you. From all of the damaged hair from bleaching it and highlighting, from the razor burn because I couldn’t possibly go on that date without shaving even though I just had less than 24 hours prior, for all of the uncomfortable bras I wore because it promised “2 full cup sizes” and I hadn’t accepted you yet: I’m sorry.
Sometimes, the various changes weren’t done to be intentionally cruel to you – I looked sick with pink hair and there’s nothing better than pulling sweats over freshly shaved legs. But my fried hair and chapped skin knew they weren’t always necessary and for the times I overdid it in the name of being “cool”…well I’m sorry because it wasn’t.
I’m sorry for trying to hide you instead of accepting you for what you were. When I first discovered the little trail of stretch marks on my inner thighs, I refused to sit cross-legged or in any way that might expose them when I wasn’t alone. I was ashamed of you, of them. I felt like, in some way, you had failed me by growing, by expanding, and for daring to show evidence of that growth. I’m sorry for feeling like you deserved to be punished with more squats, with more cardio even after my morning run if I saw even the tiniest bit of cellulite. I treated us like we were at war with each other instead of working together to be the best either of us could be.
I’m sorry for hating you. I’m sorry for all of the times I sat in front of the mirror pinching and pulling, wondering what you would look like with just a bit less here, or a little more there. I’m sorry for sucking my stomach and wishing I could see an outline of hipbones like when I rarely ate unless I was under the influence in high school. I’m sorry for comparing you to the body of a girl that was sick and confused when I could have, when I SHOULD have been celebrating you for what you are.
You carry me miles uphill on hikes and runs, you allowed me to move an entire apartment filled with five years worth of stuff by myself. You arch and bend and pulse and sweat and are inarguably a huge part of what makes me ME. You have tiny hands and blue eyes that I love and ears that rejected all of the earrings I tried to stab into you but still can find the harmony to any Johnny Cash song.
When I was thrown off of that horse at 18 you could have shattered but you didn’t. The dislocated shoulder healed and the little click that remains reminds me that you bounce back. You may be covered in scars, metaphorical or physical, but you are a resilient, fighter of a vessel and looking back at bodies that aren’t as strong as you, that didn’t heal as quickly or as smoothly, I’m in shock and awe of you.
I know our relationship is going to ebb and flow. You’ll get mad at me for thinking I can handle that late night order of pizza and I’ll get mad at you for never quite being quite as tiny as some of my friends. But really, we’re in this together. And for the parts that I played in being damaging and “less than” to you – I’m truly sorry. I’m trying to be better to you because I know you’re all I’ve got.
And I’m really lucky you’re mine.