NYE half day at my volunteer job. Blue & black tiger print jeans. White shirt with gold buttons. Black compression stockings, black flats, black fleece, and an orange bag. #OOTD #GPOY #bathroom #urbanprofessional #hashtag
Someone once described self-portraiture as writing love letters to yourself and it always resonated with me. I’m purging all of the photos off my phone and in the process I came across this one I took of myself last summer in New York. As vain and narcissistic as this snapshot may seem to the outside observer, I didn’t take this for the outside observer, I wrote this love letter to myself. It’s been a whirlwind year in so many ways and as much as I’m trying to keep my head down and my eyes on the prize, I find, all too often, I am easily swept up in a twister of emotions. I don’t regret my swirling emotions, in fact, I’ve been working on embracing and loving them for all of the reasons that they exist, but what I’m tired of, today especially, is the heavy, doughy feeling that comes with the negative ones. Maybe it’s the foggy-brained feeling from my head-cold, but for the past few days I haven’t been able to shake the slow weighed-down feeling of frustration, and it’s sucking the energy, and motivation, right out of me. That being said, those of you who know me know that when I’m down, even way way down, I’m never one to stay down, and so, today I am cutting loose the weights pulling me down; letting the ropes I’ve wrapped myself in fall into harmless, lifeless, powerless piles at my feet. Even though I’m sick, and my body needs rest, more than working out, to be strong right now, finding this photo was a good reminder to myself that I don’t have to be, or feel, doughy; I can be fit and strong in mind, body, & soul; it is within me. As I sit here, sniffly and sluggish and soft, I am so happy that I wrote this love letter to myself. In it I can remember the struggles I waded through and battles I fought leading up to this moment and I can feel my strength and endurance through these pixels, and right now, in this moment, it means the world to me.
I’m a week late.
I meant to do it sooner, but I was doing things.
I spent a good amount of time naked and a good amount of time reading, but mostly not at the same time.
I went to some hot springs in the middle of the northern California oak forests. We did that thing where you lay back and the other person holds you up and you just feel weightless and you let the warm water just wash everything away. I drank ginger peach oolong tea and read the Little Prince. I was wearing clothes then. I watched a soccer game and went to the farmer’s market. I read several books of the Ivy & Bean series to an excited 7 year old. (If any of you have kiddos around that age, I highly recommend it.) I went up to Nevada City and ate pulled pork and played with puppies and a baby with the biggest squishiest cheeks you ever did see. I went down to papa’s beach on the Yuba river and swam naked in the cool rushing waters. I listened to music and built cities in the sand. I roasted hot dogs and foil packets of veggies in a campfire under the stars. I ate raspberries by the handful. I saw four shooting stars and wished on every one. I went swimming in a pool in Petaluma and we tried to see how many underwater summersaults we could do in one breath. We got to five before it was time to go. I spent an entire day with just me and three kids ages 4, 6, and almost 8. I ate south Indian food with a friend I haven’t seen in too long. I played an excellent game of chess, which I lost, but I put up a good fight.
And now, now it’s back to the grind of studying for my next exam, but first I wanted to post my nude reading contribution.
I thought of fixing my hair, or the lighting, but the truth is, this is what the lighting in my room is like and my hair is messy more often than it’s not. I’ve been reading The Sandman by Neil Gaiman, but for the photo instead I picked Going Somewhere Soon by Brian Andreas because of this piece titled Open Heart:
He told me that once he forgot himself & his heart opened up like a door with a loose latch & everything fell out & he tried for days to put it all back in the proper order, but finally he gave up & left it there in a pile & loved everything equally.