My poetry professor read us a poem she wrote a few weeks back that started something like:
If there’s pee on the seat, it’s my pee. If there’s poo on floor, it’s my poo.
I can’t remember the rest of the poem, but we’ve spent every class since talking about “owning your poo.” Last night when I sat down to write some new poems for my collection, I had a small epiphany: all of this, everything I’ve been thinking about, writing about, etc. is about ownership, or as my professor has put it, “owning your poo.”
What happened this year wasn’t that my body changed, or even that my perception of my body changed that much. What happened was that I decided to OWN my body. Before, it was always something not mine. I wanted to lose weight because I wanted other people to think I was pretty. I was, in this market society, trying to sell an image of myself for the sake of other people. My body wasn’t my own, it was for other people’s enjoyment. It was a matter of other people’s concern.
But I realized today that I now own my body. It is MY body. What matters isn’t how I look to you. What matters is that this body is mine, and only mine. I don’t expect you to like my body. I don’t even expect you to care. Gosh, I don’t even expect MYSELF to care. This is my body. It doesn’t need excuses for your narrow-mindedness. This is MY body. Not yours. It’s not for you to criticize.
I realize now that my poetry professor had this epiphany long before I did. She is also a woman who “walks this world larger than life” (her words, not mine), and for her, it’s in how she carries herself. She has commented to me on numerous occasions, “Chrissy, your attitude about your body has changed. I don’t know about weight, nor do I care, but how you hold yourself, how you view yourself is different. And it’s beautiful.”
She gets it. I’m owning it. My body. MY body.
So, lets all own our poo. I think it’s some of the best advice I’ve every gotten.