What inspires you? I feel like the answer to this question could be ever-changing. Right now, I am feeling so inspired by the human body. Not a female body vs. a male body, but the human body in general.
What Inspired Me Then
Growing up as a gymnast and dancer, I came to admire my body’s capabilities. I didn’t always love it. More often than not I actually criticized, judged and hated on it wishing it was different [see smaller]. That didn’t change the fact that what it could do was amazing. It was this perfect blend of mind and body that allowed me to trust in my strength and conditioning, the long hours of training, to work when I needed them to. So that I could compete. So that I could perform, flip in the air and hold my entire body on my hands without hurting myself. Not only could my mind and body do these things – IT DID and it did it well!
In high school, I literally got to go to school and have dance be a part of my education. From the history of dance to the many styles, the science of the body, how to work with injuries and prevent future ones. The science was fascinating, but something that stuck was that our bodies are our instruments. The same way an artist uses their paint brush. My body was my instrument and if I wanted it to work with me, I had to eat right, exercise and care for it. I don’t remember a specific lesson on mental health and the way it affects our bodies, however; I know now that when we care for our minds, we’re caring for our bodies as well. It’s all one.
What Inspires Me Now
I think about how inspired I was by my own body back then, how proud I was of what it could do for me beyond the dance studio, the gym and competition setting.
Now, I’m inspired by the body and it’s ability to grow a human. It’s a lot of work! It takes SO MUCH out of you physically, mentally, emotionally. I don’t know that I’ve experienced something quite as continuously exhausting. So, I’m inspired by my own body and what it’s currently doing, building a baby…and yet, I’m constantly feeling this need to defend my thoughts, my feelings, my actions. Why?
How can a body do something so magical and beautiful and amazing…and feel like it’s not a good enough reason for why they need help or want support in any capacity?
My First Trimester Struggles
In my first trimester I felt completely useless. I felt pathetic. Because I was nauseous a lot. I felt physically exhausted every minute of every day after doing nothing. But, I wasn’t puking my guts out, so instead of acknowledging that every pregnancy is different and that I actually wasn’t doing nothing (I was growing a freaking baby and it’s lifeline for the rest of it’s time in my womb), I apologized. Every day, I would sit on the couch or lie in bed, and I would apologize to my husband. He made meals, did the dishes, cleaned the house, took the dog out – because I couldn’t. I felt crippled by something I couldn’t explain and it was exhausting. Instead of just being tired and letting myself rest, I made myself feel bad about it, like I had something to be ashamed of.
My husband and I have always been partners in our relationship. I’ve never felt like I do more work than him around the house or that he doesn’t do his part. We have pretty good communication between each other, and when it slips it doesn’t last long because we’re both not the type to let it simmer. We take responsibility. But pregnancy made it very hard for me and I was lucky to have him by my side reminding me that it was okay, and that our relationship has always been a give and take. Sometimes I give more because he needs it, and other times, it’s him doing all the giving because I can’t.
So, it looks like I was right – for myself at least, that the answer to my question changes. I’m currently inspired by my younger self, my current body for creating a baby that is going to be a little piece of me, my husband and our families. I’m inspired by the ability to reflect, and I’m inspired by my husband who never fails to shows up.
The world is a very different place than it was a year ago. Inspiration will come and go. It will change with the time and the season. What’s important is, in my opinion, to continue to find inspiration, to be inspired as we move through life.