Monday, May 30, 2011

Just a quick realization

I've been having some ups and downs recently. Trying to find a healthy balance between a number of competing factions. It's been a rough road, but I'm really trying hard.

I woke up today, exhausted. I woke up exhausted. How ridiculous is that? But I was determined not to let yet another beautiful day pass me by while I wallowed in bed.

So, up I got and put my bathig suit on. I've been stressing about how I would be looking in a bikini (fat, dimply, etc). But, why? Sure, there are thin, buff bodies all over the beach. But also lots of people in various other skins. And who cares? They're enjoying the sun, the sound of the surf and al of the fun action of a day at the beach. Why was I letting crazy societal expectations dictate how much fun I could have on a -- my -- beach?

I admit I was a bit self-conscious walking around. But I soon found I was concentrating more on the surf, the shells, the sun and the sounds than on any self-consciousness. I was enjoying myself - enjoying being "in" myself.

And when I went to lie down and soak up some sun, I found that I'd planted myself next to a woman who was chattering into her cellphone obsessively. Here she was, at the beach, on a holiday, talking - insistently talking - about business. She ended the call saying: "Look, I'm wrapping up here. I'll go home, pull the proposal up on my laptop and call you right back."

I used to be that woman. I used to identify myself by my job. I checked email over breakfast. I was expected to answer calls on nights, weekends, holidays. As miserable as I was, I also knew I had a job title to identify me by. It's what people do. It's what you write in to updates for you college bulletin. It's what your parents tell friends and neighbors when they ask after you.

But it also keeps you from enjoying a sunny holiday on a beautiful beach. It keeps you from pondering how you're going to use the hours ahead to more fully realize who you are and who you want to be.

We all have our demons. I'm still battling the body-image fight. And maybe a couple of others. But at least I can recognize the old me when I hear it. And I can take steps - small and large - to continue moving forward to make me more me and less that woman.

So, yeah, I don't quite exactly know who I am or what I want or what I need to get there. But I know that I'm moving in the right direction. And that feels pretty darned good.