reverb 10, day 12 – body and mind
More catchup! This one is from December 12th: This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present?
There are two times per year when I feel like I’m surrounded by “my people.” The Rock Boat in January, and CONvergence in July. TRB is for my musical passions, while CONvergence is dedicated to my geek pride. I haven’t always loved CONvergence this much, though. Back when I first started attending, I felt like a tiny wallflower-shaped fish out of water. I was shy and awkward, and I couldn’t even find it in me to interact with the people I was supposedly there with, friends of my then brand-new roommate. I vividly remember spending the entirety of that first Saturday night wandering around the party rooms, watching people have fun wistfully, not knowing how to join in myself.
In the last few years, however, I’ve gained more confidence – and with that, a family of fellow geeks that help make the con one of the highlights of my year. In 2009, we started coming up with a group costume theme; that year, 12 of us dressed up as zombie pirates, and it was a huge hit. (We spent all of Saturday night shambling around the party rooms, yelling “Aaaaarrrrr! Brrraaaaiiins!” and gathering as many weird drinks as possible. It was awesome. ) This year, we decided to be a steampunk circus. My circus costume, as I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, didn’t quite come off as well as I wanted it, and I had something of a breakdown over it.
… however, we dressed up the other two nights of the convention as well, to much more success (for me, anyway!). Thursday night, we deemed it Goth Night, thanks to a concert by Voltaire. I pulled out a corset, skirt, striped tights and my Doc Marten Mary Janes, and my roommate knitted me the most adorable tiny purple top hat to wear. I ditched my glasses, curled my hair, and applied enough eyeliner for three separate people. When I looked in the mirror, I felt better about my appearance than I had in a very long time.
I don’t often feel attractive these days. I look in a mirror and mostly, I see the flaws. My nose is crooked, my face breaks out, my teeth are yellowing, my waist is thick and lumpy. But, that night, I looked in a mirror and I felt beautiful. I had good hair and good makeup and fantastic cleavage. I felt good enough to smile at people who looked at me as I passed them in the hall. I went to the ballroom and danced and sang along to Voltaire. For that one night, at least, I felt like my body matched the person I wanted to be in my mind.
I think the setting and the company had – and have – a whole lot to do with my own integration of my body and mind. I don’t have the kind of self-confidence that allows me to feel that kind of wholeness in just any company. Does anyone? Some people seem to, but I wonder sometimes. I think, perhaps, that you need to feel comfortable to feel whole; you need a setting that calls to you, people who accept you just the way you are – or, in some cases, people who will accept you as the person you want to be, so that you have the courage to strive to be that person.
Maybe my sense of self is a little less solid than others’, though.
Or maybe I just need more corsets in my life.