Skin patrol

Letโ€™s talk about clothes for just a minute.

In my life, I have often wondered with fascination at the girls and women who show skin other than arms and lower legs when in public (or even in private, but with others present!)… how could they do that?… how could they be comfortable with that, with people seeing so much of them, their bodies, their skin?… how could they even consider wearing such an outfit?…

And then, there was also, without fail, this tiny voice, afraid to speak, even in a whisper from the shadows, that cautiously murmured, โ€˜Could I ever do that?โ€™

After going through a whole series of this and thats regarding negative experiences with my own body image, and with men as a whole, I was eventually certain that such clothing options were only for the harlots and hoes… at least, thatโ€™s what I would be, if I wore such things….

But then, fast-forward another few or couple years to today: I have really sorted through that stuff – intense stuff – and I am in no way in the same space as I was before… I am seemingly not even the same person l (though, who I am deep down is, of course, the same).

As I mentioned, the other day, I wore an outfit that I had dreamed of wearing in the past, but could not fathom its being truly possible that I could wear it…

(And yet, I had the dress… something within me wanted it badly enough, dreamt of it strongly enough, for me to own the dress… I just never really expected to wear it, I think… it was always just a dream…)

Yesterday, when dressing, I found myself wanting to wear this shirt I have had for years – it was in the same scenario with that lovely dress from last weekend – but have never worn… Without thinking much of it or about it, I pulled on the shorts I had planned, added the appropriate bra and the shirt, and continued on in my morning activities… and I knew that I would be seen by people throughout the day… I was fully aware…. including people I know.

It wasn’t until that night that it occurred to me what had happened… including the significance of it.

Today, I had to do the grocery store.

To dress for it, I dropped my PJs, grabbed clothes that had not yet been folded and that would be warm enough for this rainy day and the grocery store, but not hot or uncomfortable…

And this is what I went out wearing:

My lower belly – the skin all the way around – was visible to varying degrees, depending on how the sweater hung… the sweater is holy by design, and, though my skin tone blends with the brown of the sweater, it was totally showing all throughout the sweater, because I had only a light gray sports bra under it, no shirt… the leggings jeans pants things show every angle of my legs and butt… and my hair was pulled up and it of the way, allowing even more skin to show all around my neck, upper back, and the v-neck cut of the sweater on my chest…

And I didn’t… even… worry about it…

Not one bit.

Sure, I pulled my pants up a couple times after squatting or whatever, and they had been pulled down somewhat… but otherwise…, I was genuinely unconcerned about how much skin was visible on my body, how much my body was noticeable.

It all just felt so normal…

When I realized this all, I couldn’t help but smile with genuine delight.

I think I am free… of whatever this mind game was that held me so tightly and for so long… Finally…, I am myself, and I can breathe…

I don’t want to dress like this every day…., but I want to dress like this when I want to dress like this… and the free is finally released from me, and I can act comfortably and confidently in my dressing… at long last, and after so much hard work, I am free…

How lovely… ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

Post-a-day 2020

Dressed for Work

Tonight, I attended with my mom a sake mini-course and tasting event.

As predicted, every Japanese man was in a dark suit with a white shirt… however, the slight touch of color was found in a tie or pocket square in the Americanized men.

Also as predicted, there was a fabulous array of Japanese foods, the presentation was brief but extremely informative, and the tasting was hilariously wonderful.

While there, I considered strongly at one point what everyone else was wearing.

Beforehand, I had asked my mom, a person who is usually quite particular about dressing to the appropriate level for things, if I needed to change into a different dress than what I had on… I showed her the dress, which was a much nicer and more business-y version of what I already was wearing, and she didn’t think the change was needed…. she pointed out that she was wearing something quite similar, albeit slightly nicer-looking (same color scheme, different pieces).

We had been at an art film showing earlier on, and I had worn my current outfit for that and felt totally comfortable in my choice, but I figured it was best to check with her regarding the Japanese event.

Sure enough, once there, she commented that we should have known everyone would be in business suits and the likes, since it was a Japanese event… I reminded her that that was precisely why I had asked about my outfit ahead of time, and she rather shrugged her shoulders unconcernedly at this with an Oh, well…, and we moved on to enjoy ourselves, anyway.

At this point, I thought about how everyone was probably just coming straight from work, anyway, and so they were all just in work clothes… and then I realized that I, too, was coming straight from work and that I, too, was just in work clothes…

I don’t have a corporate job in an office with a cubicle on a floor in a big building… or anything like it… I’m a writer and photographer… and, today, I was editing photos, and then sent them off to a client – much work accomplished for a single afternoon, actually… and this cotton dress and summer sandals are what I wore to do that… casual and cute, but not office business…

In “Hannah’s Life, Created”, a notebook I compiled a couple years back, while living in Japan, I have a brief description of what I want my work attire to be… tonight was a beautiful acknowledgement of my having achieved that desire, and, in that instant of noticing this, I was filled with a sense of calm confidence in regards to my life – I am doin a beautiful job of pursuing my goals and dreams and of becoming and being the person I want to be.

I’m not all the way there yet… I am there with some things, though, and I am well on my way to more and more at any moment(!!!)…. and I love it.

I really do love it.

Yes, it would have made sense to wear the nicer dress tonight… no, it didn’t ultimately matter for what tonight specifically was…, yes, it was amazing to notice what I did about being in my ‘work clothes’, and so was totally worth it this time to be a bit under-dressed…, and no, I never really quite fit in at Japanese events, anyway – Gaijin Smash to the max!**

So yeah… we had an awesome time at the event, learned loads about sake. – and yes, I am fully aware of how odd it is that I take such an interest in sake, when I drink just about no alcohol in the average month – and ate wonderful foods over wonderful conversations.

And I had a lovely discovery about my current status in life, and it tickles and overjoys me even now, hours later. ๐Ÿ™‚

Yay, life!

And thank you, God, for entrusting me with this piece of the path – I love this part, and I trust you fully, as I throw myself fully into this lovely hard work!

Peace

Hannah

**Man, do I miss my store Mister Maxx in Toride, Ibaraki!… like a cross between Target, Petsmart, and a bakery!

Post-a-day 2019

Sexy, not Sex

I think that I am afraid of being sexy, due to the risk of falling under the description of “sexual”. ย I believe that there is a time and a place for sexy, and that it is an appropriate way to present oneself in the world… just notย myself. ย Or do I believe it acceptable? ย …Yes, I do. ย Sexy, not sexual, is entirely acceptable in my book, given the appropriate time and place. ย As a teacher at school, no. ย As someone at a dinner event, yes. ย Being “hot” is not off limits to me, and yet I believe there is something deep inside of me that is terrified of it. ย Of being it, I mean.

Perhaps I merely fear that it would be interpreted as a call for sexual intercourse, therefore not only labelling me as “slutty”, but also attracting unwanted advances by men toward that unintended message. ย I want to be sexy, because Iย can be sexy, not because I want sex. ย I want to have the body, because Iย can have the body, and I find the body entrancingly beautiful. ย I don’t want it for some man, but for myself and for myself alone. ย However, I do not want to have to hide it, to keep it only to myself and to avoid allowing others to notice. ย I want to be able to go into public with it, because it is part of who I am, and I need not be ashamed of it. ย Just as I have gone into public in my pajamas or with a towel in my hair, I want to be able to go out dressed in “sexy”: comfortably.

Yet where is that distinction between sexy and sexual for me? ย i would say that it is intention, but I do not feel safe in such a distinction. ย I do not want to have sex with the people around me, and I do not want them to attempt to or want to have sex with me. ย But I am still terrified that I will come across that way. ย Really, though, I must be kidding myself a bit here – I fear this regularly, not just when I dress up or want to dress up. ย I have this fear present simply in the way I walk or the clothes I wear daily. ย I envy the way some women dress, and cannot consider my actually wearing the same outfit… even though it is beautiful on them, and likely would be on me, too. ย Why? ย Because of this inner terror of coming across as sexual and desiring something specific (i.e. sex) from those around me.

What’s with me? ย Is this really all just tied to one incident of things been utterly misunderstood about me? ย I’d like to think that the one incident doesn’t have such power, if any, over me still today. ย I’m not so sure, though. ย I will consider this actively over the coming days and weeks…

Post-a-day 2017

 

As though in response to this post from last night, the world presented me with this article tonight, from a pile of my old papers through which I was sorting.

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