essays by shé

Struggling with Wait

I have been heavier. I have been lighter. It rarely has anything to do with calories. Mostly it has to do with happiness.

When I set my needs and wants aside – for work, family, friends – I suffer. Self-loathing sets in, the mind attacks the body: you’re fat. You’re over-weight. But in fact I’m over-wait: waiting for permission to exist, to write, to paint, to dance, to surf, to swim, to live how I please. I am distracted by others’ needs and wants, thinking they are somehow my business.

I’ve heard, and intellectually understand, that there is no right way to Be. But ‘monkey see, monkey do’ has a strong pull. I follow ‘rules’ for housing, working, playing, loving with no consideration to the quiet inner voice that murmurs, ocean ocean ocean or dance your ass off or write your truth or look at the stars or leave this moldy house/relationship/job.

I believed I should be available: phone on and answered; responsive to the knock at the door; ready at work. I set aside my need for solitude and happiness, and made myself sick — over and over and over again. I was over-weight and over-wait.

Nowadays the phone is only on three days a week. I cruise the internet for research, then turn off the computer. After a lifetime of waiting – for parents, bosses, lovers — the only thing I want to wait for these days is clarity. I give myself permission to be happy: to play in the ocean, speak my truth, blow bubbles, float with gardenias while remembering my mom; to paint, write, look at the stars, take up space. Be Me.

I am shedding wait.

Love Translated Too, choreographed by Shé
Love Translated Too, choreographed by Shé, circa 2010





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