Be Kind, Rewind:
I was in Claire’s boutique last weekend watching my dear friend get her ears re-pierced, and this amazing little girl kept stealing my focus. She was no more than four years old, and dressed to the nines. She was decked out in layers of what was clearly a pink, purple and blue wardrobe creation of her own design, her long hair brushed just-so and pulled back by a pink, bejeweled head band, carrying a matching bejeweled purse. She had walked into the store, stopped, popped a hip, opened her sparkling pink purse, pulled out a shimmering pink tube of lip gloss, applied it expertly—sans mirror—smacked her lips, zipped her purse back up, and proceeded to dance, dance, dance around the store. She bobbed her head, swiveled her hips, closed her eyes, rubbed her belly, and hopped, skipped, twirled in pure blissful oblivion for the next twenty minutes.
It was magical.
I stared in wonder at her pure, unfettered enjoyment of being in her body. I closed my eyes and rewound the clock, way back to that feeling. The feeling of the world around me being so big, and everything that I saw, heard, smelled, tasted, touched, thought, said, and felt all beat to the rhythm of my heart in real-time. Pulsing, pulsing, pulsing. Everything in sync.
Time didn’t pause while I waited for my image to bounce back off of a mirror. It didn’t hang on the reflection of my friends, or strangers looking at me. It didn’t buffer while I refreshed my Insta feed. It didn’t stop for one second to seek acceptance, approval, followers, support, popularity, dares or double dares. It didn’t exist outside of the pure joyful feeling of doing it. Pure. Joyful. Feeling.
I thought about all the time, experiences, insanity and achievement that has passed since. All the training and recuperating and playing and injuring and punishing that my body has taken. All the ignoring, numbing, dismissing of it that I’ve done, and all the talking, wincing, calling out that it has returned to me. The cellular battlecries that it has made. The ever-present warrior cadence that it has kept. The nourishment—or lack thereof—that it has subsisted on. That it has thrived on, despite all odds. The beautiful balance it has continuously strived for and miraculously maintained.
The human body, my body, is spectacular.
Right there, in the middle of the tiara aisle of Claire’s, I was bowled over by the sensational synchronicity of my mind, my body, my spirit. I was awestruck by the infinitesimal brilliance of each cell. With everything that we put our bodies through, be it our daily diatribe of disappointing features and fat cells, or our sleepless nights of nonstop stress, partying, cramming or craving, our bodies have our backs. They are living, breathing, intelligent organisms and the only things that are with us during our entire journey on this planet. The only things responsible for our ability to feel; to see, smell, touch, taste, and hear. Our only vehicles for pure, joyful feeling.
I had the most overwhelming urge to treat my body, henceforth, like my dream car. To let it run, wash it, lovingly buff any scratches or dents to a high shine, feed it only organic, high-octane fuel, talk sweetly to it, and enjoy every second of its incredible machinery, its uniquely beautiful curves, its intelligent technology. My amazing vehicle for pure joy.
This little pink princess had it all figured out. Before the world got in and told her how to be, she had the simple—yet all-encompassing—key to life; follow your bliss.
Oh, and dance like nobody’s watching :)
Polo REO Tate was born in Lansing, Michigan, where her family has deep ties to the community. Her Great Great Grandfather was Ransom Eli Olds (R.E. Olds), a pioneer and prolific inventor most notably responsible for inventing the first internal combustion automobile—the Oldsmobile. Growing up, [...]