Front Row Seats
Credit:Philip Rostron / Masterfile
Copyright:© Philip Rostron / Masterfile
I have a friend that anytime she invites me to do something I’m immediately interested. One of those “ can you get here in 30 mins” I ask no questions, just check my footwear, punch in my GPS, and make my way there. She is such a versatile chick that really strives to grow, and learn. Basically my kind of babe. So on one such occasion she invited me to go to a Twerk Out. I heard, opportunity to shake my assets to great music with good company, and I was 100% on board.
Upon arriving to the event I learned that it was a fitness class, to live music spun by a live DJ and part of the Sneaker Week here in Portland. Trill Fit was bringing the heat through high energy workouts and rosegoldcopdx was showing up and showing out at the event as well. ( Check both of them out on Instagram, totally worth a look). I was instantly loving the hip hop beats and uplifting energy in the room. This booty was ready to shake!
My friend and I are both taller women, I am 5’11 and I am pretty sure she is around that as well. When we all lined up to get ready to start the work out, I instinctively started to move my way to the back. Tall people’s row. My friend looked at me and without even missing a beat she said “ Lets go front and center, then we can see!” Whoa there girl, something inside me was saying “ This is not your place. You will be in the way, other people can’t see” I hesitated and said “But aren’t us tall girls supposed to head to the back?” Her reply resounded in my body like a gong “ If they want to see they can move to a place they can see. No one is stopping them from making their way to the front.”
Shit…. It had never occurred to me that it was not my job to make everything smooth for people around me, especially people that never asked for my involvement in the first place. I was regularly taking myself out of prime viewing and experiencing space. Not today!
Woohoo that workout was something else. Calories burned, smile muscles exercised and my heart so fully alive in my own skin. I gave myself permission to be present in the room, to listen to my own personal growth and plant my happy ass 5’11 self in the front row, and damn did it feel good!
Takeaways from that night:
*I will not continue to treat myself as an afterthought, I am worthy of choosing the front row sometimes
*My height is not a problem. I have been subtly and more overtly reminded, often, that it is not customary for a woman to be my height. I have learned through interactions that it can be inconvenient for others if they need to see around me, or are trying to partner dance with me, the list continues. It started to be an apology I would preemptively utter, “sorry I am in the way, sorry I am tall, sorry______________ fill in the blank.” What I learned this day is that I had begun to embody the narratives that others around me were saying, without listening to myself. I am a woman that is 5’11, people notice me in rooms that I walk in, that does not make me a problem, nor should I shrink myself to make it comfortable for someone around me that is not willing to move to get the view they need. Other people can be incharge of their own experiences in life, I’m clocking out on that job description.
*It is best to go through life with those that help you feel safe but uncomfortable, that is when growth happens. That is where the magic lives. My friend is such a rare gem that just by her doing her around me, I am consistently growing. She’s right there to make sure that I have space to process the things that come across my emotional world- in real time, in my time, she makes the time. My mental, emotional, psychological, and physical muscles got a work out that day. And it sure felt good.