At Thought Catalog, on street harassment and living in your own body:
You learned to scratch spin at nineteen. You fell, a lot. Early mornings on the ice, with country music blasting through the speakers, you practiced it to the beat of Tim McGraw, grateful that there was no one around to see you sweat and topple. You taught your body to hang out on one leg, on the outside edge of your right skate, before stepping out onto your left foot, enjoying physics at work as you pulled your arms and free leg in and sped up. The world went blurry, and there’s no spotting allowed in skating. Then you fell out; you never mastered the graceful exit. But for a few seconds, you could spin on that sweet, slippery spot in the middle of the blade. Even now, years later, it’s in you.
For years, your body was your own. You taught it to do things, amazing things, that looked impossible to outsiders but that, eventually, settled in your muscle memory and became easy. Of course I can do the splits, you shrugged. Of course I can swing around the high bar, let go, and land squarely on my feet. Of course I can bourée in pointe shoes. My body does what I tell it to do.
You moved to a big city when you were 21. It taught you to be on alert, always. To avoid drinking too much. To avoid eye contact with men on the street. To double and triple check before you left the house that your top wasn’t too low cut. The stares, the catcalls, the theatrical up-and-down looks.
You can read the whole thing here.