My Great Grandmother use to say “thank God, I don’t look like what I’ve been through.” Today I say “Amen” to that. I’ve battled with my body image for longer than I can remember. I’ve always been ‘curvy’ no matter how active I was. I wanted to be a dancer growing up. I loved watching myself twist about very sure and confident. Until, I started watching everyone else twist about and comparing myself to them. I went through middle and high school battling with bulimia on and off. Which turned into years of depression and self-mutilation,paired with a lot of regrets and just no sense of self worth. Ages 19-21 filled with pretty bad highs and lows for me, my family was homeless. I was diagnosed with a brain tumor and I found myself held over heels in love and deeply invested into a domestic violence filled relationship. My dreams of being a dancer were just like my esteem shot. But no matter what I was going through, I still felt something inside begging me to hold on and cut on the light inside my heart. Then one day I woke up and wanted to do away with it ALL. I wanted to be free again. I wanted to know what it felt like to dance and not care about being watched. So I dug deep, pulled out my guts and showed them to anyone who would look. And instead of being afraid of their reactions, I laughed at them. I embraced myself and I danced all over my past. I went out to parties and danced until the lights came on. I fell in love with the joy of being rather than the progress. It hasn’t been easy staying in love with this self. I understand I am always moving and growing and learning how to unlearn my demise. But it’s a journey I just love to look back and see how much I have conquered. You can’t mute light.