How do I tell you that taking my clothes off is the thing that gave me life? To retire from twenty four years of service leaving behind the friends that became family, to put the dreams of others before my own by putting my dreams on hold, put a weight on my heart that made it hard to breathe and smile.
I took my first solo vacation because my BFF had lost a loved one had to cancel. I was juggling going back to school, caring for my mom playing social worker to her friends and working part time. After cranking out a research paper and tying up loose ends I made a beeline to Fort Lauderdale on three hours of sleep to MISS MY FLIGHT. It was just one of those day where every decision made was wrong and I asked myself should I give up or go forward?
I went forward.
I gave myself an order to do whatever I wanted. Sleep late, skip breakfast, have drink or three, not wear underwear. That was me me rebel without her drawers! After dinner a show and three rum drinks I found myself on the beach feeling happy on the inside from a satisfying day after a stressful couple weeks. I put my feet in the water and looked up at the sky. I sat and let the waves wash over me. I needed more. I needed to be held. I ached inside.
Without a second thought I waded out into the water and began to swim. The rasta vending cannabis from a kayak (for medicinal purposes) drifted alongside and we talked. I was overwhelmed and felt it coming.
The beauty of the night sky, the warmth of the water that enveloped me, the ache of loneliness and the fear of failure were transformed into tears. So what do you do? I took my clothes off. I put them in the kayak. I swam away. I put my trust in the universe, and in the man in the kayak with my clothes. I felt comforted by the ocean. I spoke to God, Confucius, Buddha, Allah, Yahweh, Jehovah, and Edward R. Morrow. I didn’t need to hear a voice to know that I was loved. That I was good enough. From my head, past my flabby bits to my toes.
I felt inner strength the moment I shed my clothes. I found clarity and peace. I wanted to walk out of the water wearing nothing but my aura, but it wasn’t that kind of a place. So I swam some more and thanked the world, thanked God, thanked my parents and everyone who touched my life. I promised myself everyday to work hard at loving myself. To find a balance between my duty and my joy, to be kind to my fellow human beings.
Taking off my clothes gave me LIFE