Life’s a Beach

14 June 2021

I have gone through two full pens since I started writing in this journal. There is something so satisfying about that. There’s also something so satisfying about the fact that it’s 5:30 in the evening, and I haven’t abandoned writing for the day. Usually, I’d decide it’s too late, park myself on the couch, and decide on something (likely mindless) to watch.

I determined a long time ago that I was a morning person, and while I may be a little sharper in the AM, I think I’m actually an all day sort of person. Perhaps it’s because I haven’t been working on my feet for nine hours a day, usually morning clock-ins. Saturdays were my only night shift, and I’d find myself waking up early only to take a late morning nap before work, completely exhausted by the idea that my entire weekend night would be dedicated to removing ad tags only to put them back up again.

If I could find the sort of job that allowed me to decide my own schedule, opting in and out of early mornings or full eight hour days altogether, I think I might be able to continue this all day sort of person thing. That’s the dream.

Sarah and I went up to Kenosha and laid on the beach for hours yesterday. We hoisted the cooler, towels, sunscreen, and our bikini clad bodies across several parking lots before setting up camp atop an extremely hot piece of sand. After about thirty minutes of near nakedness, I started to be okay with the idea that I’m no longer a twenty-five year old woman with disordered eating patterns, whose body moves and shakes just like all the other beautiful women on the beach. I even managed to stand up, walk the terrifying distance from our spot to the water, my dimpled ass and thighs on full view for the public.

The water was cold, and something about being out there, exposed and shocked by the temperature, felt like a goddamned baptism. As the day went on, even after eating cucumber sandwiches and chips, drinking alcohol, sweating and drying out, I felt better and better about my body. Not because I felt it was exceptionally beautiful, but because it’s attached to my brain and chose to exist anyway. It yelled at my brain so loudly, yet so gently, that all of my worries about not being a perfectly smooth, unblemished mannequin melted away as quickly as my SPF 50.

My right ass cheek and thigh are burnt despite my best efforts. I applied and reapplied sunscreen, but the sun ate me up anyway. Though it happens, and though it’s not the worse I’ve had, I can already hear the broken parts of my brain planning my funeral for the painful, impending melanoma death.

I plan on wearing a bikini on several more occasions this summer.

I’m going to embrace my body in all its stages, because I’m tired of the person I am when I don’t. The constant preoccupation with what I look like when I move my body a certain way, or say something that doesn’t come out quite the way I intended, has definitely kept me from living in the moment.

While I was on one of my tirades about not being a Victoria’s Secret model a couple months ago, the unfortunate soul present for the body bashing said something that has been at the back of my mind ever since. You see yourself like a cartoon character. Everything is overexaggerated. The accidental accuracy has been more effective than any deep dive into body neutral social media posts I’ve been on (and there have been several.)

I am not a cartoon character. I’m a real woman, with a real body, real thoughts, and a real desire to focus on the more important parts of life.

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