Okay, I think I need to go to Italy.

At this point, the only thing left would be for someone to meet me and offer me a place to stay in Italy, in order for my trip to be made certain.

(That, or someone offering me passage to Italy…, though I had kind of planned on managing that one myself, I don’t mind letting someone else handle it… again…[I just remembered that I actually did have a free trip to Italy that one time I went for a long weekend…yes… anyway…])

Italy just keeps popping up around me: in conversations unbidden, in my calendar (it is a page-a-day with Italian phrases and culture, and it genuinely was the only one on Amazon that seemed even remotely interesting… I mean seriously, Amazon?), in a whole handful of conversation partners reaching out, in comments from others, and even in the book I spontaneously started reading today (It’s the first in a series and it has “gelato” in the title, but the second book has nothing Italian about the title, and that‘s the one that got me interested in reading the series!), where the girl up and moves to Italy from the US… I mean…. wow… the world really wants Italia to be on my mind right now.

And so, I am letting it.

I am embracing all the Italia I can, and am beginning to look for more around me.

I have a friend to whom I plan to reach out (not in the middle of the night) about finding a conversation partner/tutor here in town, I have begun a challenge on Duolingo, I am reaching out to the online conversation partner offers, and I have a whole plan for how to practice my Italian.

What’s funny is that, whenever I ask the whole “Why now?” to the world, though I get no distinct answer, I suddenly start thinking of what it might be like there, and I think of all the Italian men, and I suddenly have an almost overwhelming thought of, “Well, I can probably handle the Italian men now,” and I suddenly have my answer.

I just wasn’t ready for Italian men before.

Now, I actually am ready to take them on and run my own way.

If you don’t know anything about Italian men, I don’t have the words to teach you much about them, nor can I fully speak on them, for I have not truly spent time with them in Italy.

However, everything I have been told about them from others has proven exactly true with the Italian men I’ve come to know here… even just the Italian heritage ones… oof… anyway.

So, now, I think I’m about ready to take them on, and, by the time I actually get there, I’ll have had enough mental prep (and physical prep from the gym) to take them with a grain of salt, and to smile about it. 😉

This is going to be fun and absolutely amazing – I can feel it in the humidity around me… yes…

Italia awaits… me. 😀

P.S. And I don’t mean just for a short visit – we’re talking a month plus here…. just FYI.

Post-a-day 2020

When Hairy Met Sally…?

Happy Friday, Folks!  Get ready for an odd yet beautiful adventure of learning to be comfortable with one’s body.  😀

A dear friend of mine (check out her aMazing shop!, by the way) shared with me a few years ago a unique article she had found about female empowerment.  It was on coloring underarm hair, and argued that coloring one’s underarm hair was something every woman must do at least once in her life, and the author included her own adventure of growing out and dyeing her underarm hair.  I was a bit iffy on it, but I listened to my friend and eventually read the article myself.

The idea seemed funny, and ever so slightly scary to me at first.  I knew that society and culture would not approve of such behavior, and, therefore, by participating in such behavior, I might risk my experience of belonging to and being accepted by and being loved by many of those around me in life.  Certain people would be no big deal – like my mom and my best friend – but I know a lot of people would struggle with wanting to be around me, if I were to pursue such a thing.  Even my mom would accept me, I knew, but I also knew that she would dislike it and likely would complain to me about my hair on a regular basis.  People just don’t approve of women having underarm hair, so having it would be taboo.  Leg hair has been on the rise for women – think hipster generation – but the underarm hair situation is still too closely associated with dirtiness, uncleanliness.

Now, upon reading the article, these were the automatic thoughts I had, right?

Well, I had these thoughts, plus one other: I critiqued the way the author took on the task.  Somehow, I can’t seem to view almost anything in life without automatically looking for a way of improving upon it, whatever it is.  It is not that I disapprove of the person sharing or of the task or anything – I just have this inner aim always to do things in the best way possible… don’t do anything half-a****, you know?

So, anyway, my biggest qualm was that the author only suggested to grow out the underarm hair for a couple or few weeks, which isn’t very long for an area with such little hair.  And so, her hot-pink-dyed underarm hair, rather than looking crazy and cool, ended up looking just kind of patchy and not-so-vibrant – more like a child had drawn on her underarms spottily with a washable pink marker, than that she had hot pink hair under there.

If you’re going to do it, at least do it right, I thought.

Do it for real.

Now, I believe that I had read this article before I moved to Japan.  Fast-forward to my time in Japan.  While I was living in Japan, for various reasons, my already loose desire to bother with shaving decreased to a point of being almost non-existent.  It had all started in early, early Fall, after I’d had an accident at the beach, and gotten my legs all scratched up.  I had scabs on my shins, and so couldn’t really shave them anyway.  By the time I could shave them again, it was already winter weather out, and I wasn’t even seeing my legs very often (because it was so darn cold all the time), so I wasn’t exactly going to put forth the effort to shave, when I couldn’t even see the results more than in the shower…  After that, after winter, I was just so accustomed to not shaving that it was the new norm for me.  What’s more, my leg hair was light enough in the first place that most people couldn’t see it, except under certain circumstances (e.g. sitting with my leg within a foot or two of one’s face), and it was by propriety’s requirements that none of my work clothes exposed my underarms, no matter the time of year.  So it was easy not to bother with shaving, especially considering my lack of interest in it in the first place.  And so, in essence, I gave up shaving while living in Japan.  (A good friend of mine laughed at me one day when I commented casually, “I’ve kind of given up shaving,” as though it were a bad habit I had kicked.  But it was true, because I unintentionally had given up on bothering with it.)

(**Note: In high school, I asked my boyfriend if it bothered him that I didn’t shave my legs, and if he would prefer that I shave my legs – I did shave regularly my underarms back then, just fyi – and he told me that it didn’t bother him.  I think I gave him an appraising look at the time, but I let it go.  Eventually, of course, I uncovered this untruth when he said near summertime that he would shave his legs – something he had done usually for swim team every summer with his buddies, anyway – if I shaved mine…  Not a good feeling.  And not the only time he wasn’t open about seemingly small things that actually really bothered me… hmm… Anyway, that isn’t the point here.  The point is that I would be fine shaving my legs if someone important to me wanted me to shave, but I haven’t cared to do it for myself for years now…. and almost ever, actually, since that first time or two of doing it, once at around age 12, just out of interest, and then again for a second first time near the end of high school…  Anyway, moving onward…)

Before going to Japan, I had challenged my own fear of having underarm hair – I had wanted to be comfortable with my own body, and I knew that underarm hair was a point of extreme discomfort for me.  My best friend shared with me how she would be present with her own body every morning in the mirror, just experiencing and accepting what her raw, unclothed self was.  The idea stressed me, to say the least – I could barely consider how it might be to be so vulnerable, even to my own eyes.  And so, I knew I needed to do some work on my level of comfort with my own body, with my own nudity.

Slowly, but surely, I did this work… I learned to accept and to see my body, undressed, and even to embrace what my physical composition and presence were in this world.  And, one aspect of this work was allowing my underarm hair to grow – I absolutely did not want to have long underarm hair.  But it was almost from fear that I avoided having the hair, and so I knew it wasn’t a positive situation as it stood, and it needed to change, to transform.

At first, I did a few weeks at a time, and then shaved everything off, typically to wear some outfit with short or no sleeves, and to revel in my finally-smooth-again skin.  I always felt relieved when I had shaved my underarms, but it was less and less stressful every time the hair grew out again.  I wasn’t showing the hair off in any way, but I had to be with the hair.  I had to feel the hair and to see it and to know that it was there… all the time.  And that stressed me out less and less every week that passed.

Eventually, after several months of no shaving, I shared my project with a few friends.  After warnings that they might not be able to see me the same way, I showed them my underarm hair – a seemingly silly situation, but they genuinely cared about the mental, emotional, and psychological project I was doing for myself, and so I was comfortable being open with them about it, despite my still not particularly enjoying having all the hair.  They received it easily and well, and even found the humorous side of it all with me. 😛  They were enthralled at my project and empowered by my drive to pursue such an uncomfortable situation for myself.

After that, it was even easier for me.

By the time I moved to Japan, I already was past the project of testing, and instead just went through phases of shaving versus not, simply out of laziness.  I was comfortable going most places in a tank top, even when I had some hair that would be visible if I raised my arms.  I mostly didn’t wear tank tops, though – men could wear them and show their underarm hair, and so I felt it could be the same for me, but I also didn’t want to be dancing with a guy in a tank top who keeps lifting his arms in my face…, so I didn’t do that either, when circumstances would involve lots of arms being raised.  Basically, if I knew my arms would be in the air a lot, I didn’t go the tank top route.  Otherwise, on an average day, I was mostly okay with the tank top.  Plus, in Japan, anyway, I knew I wasn’t fitting in in the first place, and I likely wasn’t going to cross most any of these people again, so it was extra no big deal. All-in-all it was an easy happening in Japan for me to give up shaving, without even thinking much about it.

(My mother hated it, of course, and never stopped complaining about it, but she clearly still loved me, so I was okay with it.  She even teased me about it and made very funny jokes from time to time.)

Thus, months later, back in the US, these casual shots of me embracing my body and its natural occurrences (read hair):

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**Note the lack of brassiere here.  It was also a huge part of my learning to embrace my body and to be comfortable with it as it is naturally.

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And so, thinking about this article from my friend post-Japan, and how the author just hadn’t done it right, I considered how I might go about doing it, if I were to do it.

Several months later, when my hair had definitely hit its longest point and had, for the most part, plateaued, I pulled out my long-since selected color, and got to work.

The color I had selected was going to be bland on its own, I expected, because my underarm hair isn’t quite as light as my head hair, and so ends up looking more brown-ish than blonde, when it is so compacted together.  Seeing as how I was going for brightness by adding the color in the first place, I lightened the hair first, and then added the color, thereby allowing for a much brighter color than otherwise would have happened.  I wanted a bit of pop, not a bit of washable marker.

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And so, we have the results of a three-ish-year self-project gone silly:

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And that was already almost a year ago, now.  I did not stop working on myself and my body, and so have reached an even more beautiful point with things than I ever had imagined to be possible back then.

Where do things stand for me now?

I strongly encourage everyone to give it a go, men and women and + alike, both growing out the underarm hair past the point of comfort and then also coloring it.

I shave my underarms semi-regularly, because I end up going shirtless at the gym a lot, and, though I had toyed with the idea of laser hair removal for them for quite a while and didn’t actually expect ever to do it, when a super sale popped up a couple months ago at the laser hair removal place (bikini line and lower legs, you see), I accepted.  I don’t shave my legs, except for the night before my laser hair removal appointment every so many weeks.  It was the same with bikini line, but I’ve finished the treatments there, so I don’t even have that shaving to do anymore.

I am not afraid of my hair.  I have found, however, that I genuinely prefer the skin being smooth and soft, and wiry-hair-free… and I hold the same feeling for men.  I love admiring a man’s muscled yet shaved legs.  Same with his underarms – the underarm hair is a distraction, not a benefit.

I do not require shaving, and I am not afraid of the hair – I just prefer life without the hair.  Even on my own legs, I love running my hands on them when they are hair-free, be it for rubbing in lotion, rubbing sore muscles, or just for fun, and I love seeing the color of my skin clearly.  When I began the laser hair removal, I verified that only the darker, thicker hairs would go away – I was informed that the baby blonde hairs would stay always and forever, and that was the point that sold me on the treatments.

And so, here I stand today, covered in invisible hairs, and unafraid of the darker underarm hair that I grow out entirely out of laziness.  I am glad I won’t even have to consider it anymore, after the next year-ish, and I do not mind letting it go, now that it isn’t out of avoidance or fear, but out of preference.

I am comfortable in my body’s natural state, hair and fat and all.  Though I have preferences of how I want my body to be, I am at ease with what happens naturally in my body.  This does not mean that I don’t care for my body, because I very much do care for it and take care of it with exercise and wonderful eating.  I finally am starting to treat my body like the goddess and temple that it is.

And I am so grateful for the experiences that have led me to this point, and that remind me that I am perfect as I am, hair and all.

So, thanks for the hair, God, and thank you for the growth* that came with it directly, as well as the transformation that has sprouted out of my desire to pursue that specific area of discomfort.

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Yippee!  And Happy Growing!  ;D

*(pun and all) 😉

P.S.  Special thanks to my lovely cousins A—- and J—- for helping me with the photos, as well as my wonderful friend N—-!  Love you ladies!

Post-a-day 2019

Trust

I regularly wonder, whenever a seemingly crazy scenario arises, why such a thing must be happening.

There must be some reason I am not meant to do such-and-such.

And, oftentimes, at least when I ask the Universe and God, “Why do you need it to be this way?”, something crazy comes out of it all.

Like with crazy traffic lights that won’t let me get to practice on time, despite my leaving early enough and at the usual time… I wonder if there is some cray accident that happened right where I would have been, had I been on time…, because I tend to get situations like that, and often…

Something goes crazy out of whack and just doesn’t make sense… until it suddenly makes perfect sense, due to some crazy scenario on the other end of it.

Today, I ended up stupidly sick – it appeared out of nowhere last night, as I was going to bed around 9pm, so I could get up early to attend the 5:15am workout class – and so missed going to Galveston for the day, and missed seeing my morning workout buddies at the early morning class, as planned.

I have been kind of avoiding the afternoon classes, because I didn’t really want to be around all the gorgeous and fit people when I’m feeling so unfit and fat-filled after my trip – I wanted to get some classes in in the mornings first, and then start seeing the afternoon gorgeous folk all again.

Nonetheless, when I got horribly sick, I knew I wouldn’t make it to the morning class today.

I had said that I needed to attend class every weekday this week, so I needed to go, but this sickness had me concerned I wouldn’t be able to go at all today.

When, around 2:30pm, I felt myself in extremely high energy, compared to the rest of the day so far, I knew that I was going to the 4:30pm class… it was during sunlight hours, so I would be riding only in the sunlight and not at night, when it would be loads colder, and I wasn’t guaranteed to feel alive and able for more than just a few hours, anyway, so waiting for a later class was just plain stupid – I needed the very next class possible, so I could get the workout done and, if needed, get back to bed ASAP.

And that next class was 4:30pm.

As I considered this fact, that I would be attending the one class I had kind of purposely been avoiding the past several days, I asked the Universe and God why they were determined that I attend this class.

I guess it’s meant to be, I thought.

The moment I walked into the gym, I knew that it was.

The friends I had met last week and whom I had invited to come check out and hopefully join our gym were standing in the gym.

The husband was talking right in front of me to the super sexy guy, and the wife was across the room, talking to the owner, but facing me – I saw her immediately as I entered, and she saw me… we both smiled huge smiles.

Okay… I get it.. thank you…, though can we acknowledge that this sickness totally sucks?… But yes, I know it had to suck so badly in order to keep me home this morning and until now…::sigh…but it still totally sucks… ugh…haha

***[Gross warning: avoid this paragraph, if you are sensitive to bodily function stuff]***

I mean, I was crying and choking and gagging from all the burning throat and horrible huge masses of golden and bloody mess that kept being (purposely) drawn down my nasal cavity and into my throat to be hacked out… and then I would gag again at what lay before me in the sink half the time… it was terrible

Anyway…

So things did work out beautifully by getting sick and then going to that class today.

And it was a great time and a great workout; plus, super sexy guy was, as usual, super sexy and lovely. 😛

And my friends seemed really to like the workout – I can totally see them joining and totally loving it.

As for the sickness, it is still hurting me, but in an improved state of pain from last night’s and this morning’s states, which is good.

Here’s hoping for a super restful night that leaves me incredibly capable all day and evening tomorrow (when I have school class).

Peace

Post-a-day 2020

Nakey-Nakey

I have two things I want to discuss tonight: getting naked and, well, getting naked.

I hadn’t really realized this seemingly blatantly obvious link between the two, until just now…

***Note: These are not standard nothings tonight, but actual open thoughts and descriptions of two separate scenarios involving human nudity… so, be forewarned that it isn’t exactly PG13 material tonight… ***

Anyway, so the first getting naked…

I had my final appointment today at the laser hair removal place.

It was for laser hair removal on my bikini line.

—— Side note: The appointment was actually for tomorrow, but I somehow got it wrong in my calendar… the girl who showed up while we were sorting it at the counter turned out to be the same girl who had been behind me and had helped me after my fall on the road the other week(!)… we had a fun time of evaluating the crazy odds of our meeting like this, mere blocks from where we had first met, though under entirely different circumstances – actually for both of us, as she worded it, to ‘have our pubes lasered off’… ——-

So, anyway… laser hair removal…. bikini line…. final treatment…. As usual, the technician asked during my lasering session whether I had considered doing a full Brazilian.

First off, Ouch!(!!!).

Second off, mmm, I want to keep a semblance of natural to my body, thank you…. plus, no offense intended here, but it kind of freaks me out to see no pelvic hair on adult bodies…. it reminds me too much of children’s lack of pubic hair, and is in no way attractive to me… and makes me not even want to consider for too long, because it starts freaking me out having sexual attraction and children be in the same line of thinking, despite their being technically separated in the thoughts…. anyway…

However, I didn’t say all of this – it was just my regular thoughts that arose at the idea of having a Brazilian lasering session done to remove all of that hair.

I did tell her, though, that I had considered it, that I wouldn’t mind having the hair in the back be gone – I mean, who likes butt crack hair?… eww… – but that I wanted to keep the hair in the front.

‘We can do that,’ she tells me, ‘just the back strip.’

‘Really?’ I ask, surprised that it is an option, since I have never seen it listed among the many area options these laser hair removal places all offer.

She gives me some details, and I follow up with the girl at the counter, after we finish with the session.

It is extremely affordable to do the ‘add-on’, as they call it, and so I sign myself up for it.

(Then, they get me in on the other part of the last day of their Black Friday sale, and I go ahead and sign myself up for the final area I had been considering to have lasered for quite some time now… and the price is so good, I know it won’t happen again before I’m ready to seek out doing it later on, so I accept, and gladly so…, but that is beside the point here… moving on…)

Rather than wait for my next appointment – turns it I had one more I could do for bikini line, so we scheduled me for that, and just included the others in that future appointment – in January to start the two new areas, they gave me a razor, I went and shaved myself freshly, and the same technician and I went back into the room together, and quickly did the other two areas.

Now, I was mentally prepared for this back strip of Brazilian, because a friend and I had just been discussing her Brazilian waxing seasons of the past and laser hair removal of the present last night.

She was comfortable with someone touching her buttocks in that context, because she had been doing it for so long, and, well, that’s why she’s there – it involves being handled in private areas.

We got into talking about how context allows for lots of things in one situation that would be absurd in another.

For example, I shared about how I was on a topless beach in Barcelona with or mutual acquaintance Bryan.

“You did not go topless on a beach with Bryan,” she says, almost panicked, eyes wide, turning to face me directly.

“No, I didn’t,” I laugh, “but, once he left, I was totally fine going topless.”

Because the context of topless beaches in Barcelona had it be totally normal for the Spaniards around me.

e.g. The family of Mom, Dad, and two boys, aged about 12 and 8, in which even Mom was topless as they sat together on their blanket.

But it is not normal in our home culture, so there was basically no chance I was going to be topless around Bryan.

Fast-forward to my second session within my laser hair removal appointment today.

In the first session, I was lying on the table in my t-shirt and underwear, when the technician, clicking at buttons on the machine, says to hang on, it’s not working.

She then tells me that I can relax, because it’ll be a minute.

And then, quite casually, ‘We’ll have to go to another room – this one’s not working.’

She asks while standing at the door, almost as an afterthought, but not quite, if I want to put my own clothes back on, or if I want her to grab me a robe.

I quickly remove the sheet covering me, as I tell her that I can just put on my shorts, and then do so.

I leave my belongings there, and go with her to a different room next door.

Without giving her a chance to leave – they always leave, even though I am keeping on my underwear, per their recommendation, but the way, and they are going to see me without the sheet anyway as soon as they start doing the treatment… – I drop my shorts on the floor, and plop on the bed.

She seems unconcerned in every way.

As she talks to me, she is so casual and blasée, and says everything like an almost afterthought, as though she had just caught herself daydreaming, and realized that she was supposed to be talking pleasantly to the client.

Her lumbering drawl, at such a slowed rate from the traditional, “Hi! I’m Kimberley!” waitress or general service industry young female, ready to serve You! way of high-energy speaking, is soothing, but also almost comical.

Compared to Kimberly!, she seems to be drugged with super-chill pills…

(But not actually drugged.)

I personally am very comfortable with silence, so I didn’t mind her lack of conversation, but I can imagine that their training tells them to talk to the clients, and so I accept her after-thought-ish comments with sense of wry humor.

– It’s funny having a conversation with someone when you both know that you definitely are okay not talking with one another, but that also the conversation is necessarily by royal decree, so to speak. –

So her comments always seem to be ever so slightly delayed, giving her a very laid-back and chill vibe, though differently so from typical laid-backedness and chillness…

Now, as mentioned, we go back in the room for our second session together, after I talk with and pay the girl at the front desk.

I am expecting, in the room, to be put on my belly or something, and to have her move my cheeks to the sides – since that was something specifically mentioned by my friend about her Brazilians, and she is the only ‘experience’ I have with them – but that, of course, does not happen.

She tells me, still in her passive and casual, slow meter, “Okay, so, for the butt, you’re just gonna pull both your knees up to your chest and hold them there with your arms.”

I have a moment to process the words and what they mean, and then another to verify with myself that I’m okay with fulfilling the suggested request, and then I do it.

And she, as with all the rest, casually, as though she’s barely even aware of what actually is in front of her, but is instead thinking about that blue and purple drink she saw in the store yesterday and what was it made of?…, lasers the back strip of a Brazilian, and I consider laughing at the whole thing, as I recall Sophie Kinsella’s I’ve Got Your Number comment of, “Mind your own Brazilian!!”*

But I was totally comfortable.

The context of the situation – a laser hair removal place where getting Brazilians is totally normal in the first place – combined with the oh-so-blasée way of the technician allowed me to be super comfortable, despite the fact that I was lying on my back on a table, wearing only a bra, hugging my knees, and showing all my lower parts to a woman I don’t even know…

I am still grateful for her.

And I am grateful for all that has transformed in me, which has allowed me to enjoy and participate in such a scenario, as opposed to long for it but be too terrified of it even to consider doing it.

Okay, nakey situation number two time!

I’ve begun reading the book To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, after falling little girl in love with the Netflix original film by the same name, which is based on the book.

So far, as usual, some is exactly the same and some it totally different, but I am enjoying the book, nonetheless.

Tonight, I read the following passage, which really had me start thinking:

I wonder, though: What would it be like? To be that close to a boy, and have him see all of you… no holding back. Would it be scary only for a second or two, or would it be scary the whole time?

There is more to the thought that the character is having, but this was the part that stuck out for me.

What would it be like to be naked with someone we love wholly and who wholly loves us?

Would there be embarrassment at all -even if we both are totally for, let’s say – or would we be shy, at least on the inside, concerned by the exposure and the prospect of… of what exactly?

Of being hurt?

Being naked doesn’t mean we’ll be hurt, but being exposed emotionally always seems to carry with it a fear of being hurt, and so does our physical nakedness and exposure somehow also carry that same fear and discomfort?

Is that why we struggle to be naked in front of people Period?

Are we so afraid of being hurt?

And I don’t mean physical hurt… purely emotional, psychological, stuff with the head.

Are we so afraid in our heads that we would be afraid to show everything openly and comfortably to the one we love most?

How often do couples just be naked together, without it being sex?

Do they take the time to explore the physical beauty of one another’s bodies without haste and without avoidance or hiding anything?

As Sophie Kinsella’s same book says, “including the dodgy bits.”

But, even then, she only mentions that her man has seen them, not that he has embraced them, nor that she has.

Does the comfort of being seen fully and embraced naked by another stem first from our being able to see ourselves naked and to embrace all parts of our naked selves?

I think so.

And I think it would be a wonderful and powerful experience for couples to take the time just to see fully on another’s bodies, and to learn to embrace them just as they are.

Like how we can take the time just to sit and to gaze into one another’s eyes and be with one another fully – what if we did that with our whole bodies?

I think it would be not only beautiful but beneficial – for the individuals, for the couple, and for the world as a whole.

Expanding our love in such a way could only be a good thing for the world around us…

So, yeah… those are my two things about getting naked tonight… I think I went a little off the trail here and there, and I might have used some poor wording – I definitely did – but I hope the points made it across, anyway. 🙂

Sweet dreams, World.

*Look it up… it’s a great book and an awesome scenario around the comment. ;D

Not a kiss whore

“I’m not a kiss whore…”

Laughter…, “Whatever – it seems like every time you go, you kiss someone(!).”

“Yeah: all two times, I kissed one person each time.”

Both laugh, totally tickled.

(Recall last week’s adventure.)

……….

This was near the end of my conversation tonight with my mom.

I had been telling her about my day at the Texas Renaissance Festival (RenFest) with a semi-friend today (we worked together briefly, and have always gotten along and talked forever whenever our paths have crossed), and had just shared with her the most delightful part of the day for me.

You see, a long while back, perhaps two years ago – long being relative, obviously – I met someone who really attracted me while at RenFest.

It wasn’t so much sexual attraction – I want to date you attraction – as it was simply attraction – I want to be around you attraction.

He had mentioned specifically about a possibility of our becoming friends, if I would like, and I agreed, and we met up to pursue this… so I thought, anyway.

And, when he received multiple calls in a row, and I encouraged him to take the call, and he answered with, “What’s up? I’m on a date,” I chuckled at his obvious use of the term in order to get the person to hurry up and leave him alone.

At the end, when he asked if it were okay to kiss me, therefore, I was thrown – and I mean really thrown… I denied the request, and then felt really uncomfortable and mean and a bit weird… and for a while… I felt justified in giving my honest answer that I did not feel comfortable kissing him or letting him kiss me, but I still felt weird and, somehow, bad for the following year or so, give or take, off and on.

(See my comment about the meeting here, embedded within a conversation with someone else.)

He came to mind somewhat often, though we only swapped messages a handful of times again.

I thought of him whenever I was going to or at RenFest, but somehow missed him – whether by accidental forgetfulness or intentional avoidance (my own, I mean), I am not entirely sure.

But I didn’t see him again.

That is, I didn’t see him again until today.

Remember how I have had this whole beautiful transformation happening within and without me this past year+.

Well, that gave me a whole new experience of the idea of this guy when I considered him today.

Suddenly, it was clear to me that I wanted specifically to go talk to him, to clarify with him what had happened for me back on that date I hadn’t known to be a date, to find out how and a little bit of what he was doing now – still the art, and, of so, what? – and to request and to receive a kiss from him.

Perhaps the kiss last week ha some revved up, but I truly believe that it at least made things clear for me in a way they had never been before: a kiss was a kiss, and it is okay to want to kiss someone.

And it is okay to want not to kiss someone.

(And, of course, not to want to kiss someone is okay, too!)

Who I am now wanted to kiss him.

Who I was two years ago couldn’t and didn’t want to kiss him then.

I wasn’t certain about the kiss today until I started talking with him, but I was at about 90% certainty before I even saw him.

I just couldn’t seem to stop smiling while talking with him – I almost felt like my cheeks were growing red with the constant huge smiling I was doing.

(Fortunately, my teeth look amazing now, thanks to my invisible aligners from Smile Direct Club, and I smile almost all the time now, anyway.)

I wanted to complete that circle of events from our afternoon spent together… and I also wanted to kiss this man for the sake of kissing him.

And so, as we were nearing the end of our conversation, and I was letting him know that I’d bring him omiyage from my upcoming Japan trip, and we could meet up in January, I had a final analysis of the question and determined wholeheartedly that I wanted it: “Could I have a kiss?” I asked.

I had already told him all about our unknown date and my thoughts at the end, and he had assured me that he was not offended and that all was well, and so, ‘Of course,’ was his reply to my single additional comment regarding ‘making up for before’.

And he stepped and leaned forward toward me, and we kissed(!).

Hard and whole, and 100% consensual on both sides.

And I almost felt like giggling with laughter in delight at both the fun of and the absurdity of the situation, as well as the fact that I JUST KISSED A BOY!!!! AND I LIKED IT!!!

(Thanks, Katy Perry.)

I smiled gargantuously* (yet again), reiterated my plans to reach out and on omiyage, and wished him farewell, and then he wished me the same.

It was lovely.

And I couldn’t seem to stop smoking for quite a while afterward.

He had offered to me to try out being friends again, and also offered a date again, if I were interested.

I told him that I’d think about the date part, but that the friend go was a definite.

And I felt amazingly self-expressed and confident in myself on more levels than I could count and identify.

Yes, it was lovely.

I have come so far.

It is amazing.

I am amazing.

But I am still not a kiss whore, just FYI.

Post-a-day 2019

Why so blissful…?

Last night, I even slept quite blissfully – I didn’t wake up until well after seven this morning… not even to use the bathroom.

That’s kind of a big deal.

Anyway, so why was I so blissful and confident last night, going to bed?

Well, because of our lovely time at RenFest yesterday.

I told my mom a few months back that I wanted finally to take advantage of my age, and to wear an outfit for RenFest that showed a little (meaning a lot) more skin than I had always been accustomed to showing.

In essence, I wanted to share the beauty of my body with the world, I told her.

And so we strategized a bit, and planned out an outfit for me.

And then, due to her lack of making time for it, our plan changed entirely, I ended up buying some leather skins from a leather place – she did help me find them and pick them out – and then I made the outfit myself.

However, I very clearly told her that she needed to handle the cloak part, and so, very begrudgingly at first, she did.

And the outfit turned out great.

I even messed up entirely by using the top piece for the skirt, and so had to recreate the top out of a totally different piece of leather than originally intended (and planned out).

But, when I saw myself at RenFest, in one of their glorious massive bathroom mirrors, I discovered that I actually looked really cool.

I wanted people to see me and to think, “…Wow…”

As for myself, anyway, that’s exactly how I felt, seeing myself in the mirror in my outfit.

And so I smiled a lot, and was proud of myself for being comfortable in such an outfit, and delighted by my confidence.

Also, I took pictures with people and was in photos for people…, and was happy about it.

I overheard one girl saying quietly but fervently to her boyfriend, “I want that outfit,” indicating subtly me.

At one point, one of the workers thought I was a worker/actor, my outfit was so well done and worn… and that is cool (to me, anyway).

So, that was one part of the day.

Outfit shown here:

The second of the three main parts of my blissful confidence is connected to my outfit, though a different approach to the outfit: It is my gratitude for and acknowledgement of how far I have improved and developed mentally, emotionally, and even psychologically regarding my body in the past year.

When I had that conversation with my best friend just over a year ago, the one in which I let go (finally) the rest of what had been holding me back regarding some rough and tough and rather terrible past events in my life, I knew that, at long last, things were going to transform for me in terms of my relationship with my body, and my body’s relationship with the world.

Yesterday, I saw – actually, it was mostly last night, when I was reflecting on the day that I noticed the whole of it, including the part where I had been so comfortable during the day, I had hardly noticed that this was a new and formerly-terrifying-and-impossible scenario for me – how huge this was, how these two relationships had truly transformed over this past year.

And it brings me practically to tears every time I become present to that fact again… I finally am getting to be the woman I have wanted to be, body, confidence, love, and all.

(Okay, so I don’t have the partner yet, but I am being the person I want to be, even without him, and that’s a darn good start!) 😉

Now, the third thing is something that branches off of the first two: because of my transformation and because of my awesome outfit, I was ready and able to admit my goal and to embrace it when it presented itself to me.

I have always wanted a kiss card, ever since I first learned of them at RenFest.

It is a simple paper business-card-like card that reads, “One free kids from any willing man, woman, or beast”.

I have remembered that ever since I first read one of the cards.

Yesterday, near the morning, I admitted to myself, “I really would like to get one of those cards today,” meaning the kiss card, of course.

And I left it in the air around me, and offered the World to present an opportunity to me, if it saw fit to do so.

I then forgot about the kiss card for the majority of the day.

That is until, just after sunset, my mom and I were heading up one row on the far side of the property, aiming to check out that set of shops before heading home.

Just as my mom is beginning to turn her gait to a shop we were already passing but that had suddenly caught her eye, I heard up ahead, someone coming towards us, announcing rather loudly, “Free kiss to any willing man, woman, or beast!”

With almost no hesitation whatsoever, I told my mom that I’d be right back, and I headed toward the voice of this yet to be seen individual.

As he came finally into view – remember that it is dark, since the sun has set, and so only a few feet ahead are visible at any time, thanks to the lights coming from the insides of shops – I asked, “Are you offering or asking?”

(Meaning, is he offering a card for someone simply to take, or is he wanting to cash in his card and receive a kiss?)

We both came to a halt, facing one another.

“Either,” he says, after a few moments of consideration.

I consider.

A man across the way announces to the guy and me that he thinks they have a taker (of the kiss offer, that is).

We turn back to one another.

“Either way, I accept,” I say, nervous with excitement, but calm and at ease as a whole, smiling calmly.

“Okay…, So?” he says in response, and raises his eyebrows and lifts his hands to the side, asking clearly which one I would like to select – he is allowing me to choose if I simply want the card, or if I want to accept the request of a kiss, and we both know this.

“The kiss, then,” I say, after full consideration and acknowledgment of the fact that this is what I genuinely want – to kiss this stranger.

He smiles, “On the cheek or on the lips,” he half says half questions.

Momentary pause… I shrug to my left shoulder, “Lips is good… on the lips,” I declare.

“Okay,” and he steps toward me, as I step toward him.

He is taller than I.

He also is younger than I.

But neither is a concern – just something I have noticed.

He leans down slightly and places his right hand behind my head – an unexpected gesture of intimacy – and we kiss.

As I felt the pressure of his lips and teeth against my own, I felt the same sort of feeling of positivity running through my body as I feel with hugs – I wondered in that moment if the brain reacted similarly to this lip pressure as it does to our chest pressure from hugs… happy hormones releasing and spreading in the body, taking care of the body in their own unique way.

As we comfortably step away again from one another, he hands me the card in ‘payment’, I thank him, and we both smile, before heading on our ways.

I Got my card – and I Earned it!

I find my mom in the shop that had grabbed her attention – an amazing shop with handmade instruments of many sorts, and feel my delight increasing…

That kiss was exactly what I had wanted… this was yet another of my life dreams-turned-goals come true.

It was only a dream at first – I longed to be a woman who would kiss a stranger like this, in a friendly and fun way…, but I didn’t really expect I ever could be that kind of person.

Yet, as I have developed over this past year, I have grown to be so comfortable with my body and my womanhood that I not only could accept such an offer, but that I was willing and able to seek it out.

Sure, he was offering the kiss, but I was the one who went out of my way to go ask him about it and accept it and embrace it.

And I could have just taken the card for myself, with no kiss – he allowed the option for me.

And I could have accepted giving a kiss on the cheek, if I’d wanted to be fair for the card, while still keeping myself safe (I think that’s what the concern had been in the past: safety in preservation and avoidance).

But I looked at it fully, honestly, and openly, and I saw very clearly that I wanted to kiss this stranger, and that I wanted to have the card for having earned it, not for having played one of the games and been given the card as my consolation prize (which is how people typically obtain them in the first place).

I wanted both parts of that, and the former much more than the latter.

So, with mutual agreement and desire determined clearly, I kissed him.

And I am incredibly grateful to myself for having not only been able to do it, but also for having done it.

Go, you, banana!

It was great.

🙂

And many people probably would have had no issue with such a situation, but it was big for me, because I was never one for such things – I don’t kiss people who aren’t family almost ever… I have only had one boyfriend, and only a small handful of non-family people I’ve kissed… it just hasn’t been a thing in my life.

I love physical contact, I love holding hands (even with friends and little kids, not necessarily with a boyfriend), and I love hugs…, but always and only from people I love and trust.

Otherwise, it has kind of turned out that I need to be not touched at all by the rest of the world (a fact of which I was not entirely conscious until my aunt commented on it a few years back, “As long as nobody touches you, you’re fine,” at which point I began to give much consideration to the matter.).

So, for someone to be allowed to touch me is kind of a big deal.

And for me to be willing to allow someone to kiss me is even bigger.

Even if it is just a single kiss on the lips.

🙂

Going to bed last night, this third point was what mostly was on my mind.

However, it was in gratitude and in celebration that I considered it, knowing how my development this past year was what allowed me to grab such an opportunity, as well as for me to be open to and even desiring such an opportunity.

Thank you… I am so proud of you… you are beautiful and amazing…

🙂

Post-a-day 2019

The return of the cold

Today was really cold… And it was raining… And I only have my bike (Vespa) now…. so that kind of sucked.

But I bought – at long last, though out of immediate necessity today – a rain suit, so that helped tremendously…, but it was still cold out there, riding.

Burr…

Fun fact: My body is getting closer and closer to working normally again… though I was spider-crawling up the stairs, and sliding down them this morning, I was able to do almost the whole workout today at the gym, and my knees feel almost normal now, as I am getting ready for bed.

I mean, I won’t be able to run in the morning, and I probably still won’t be able to squat all the way or rest on my knees for another several days, but I at least will be able to walk without hobbling or being in pain.

So, that’s really cool.

It’ll leave my only main issue as going to the bathroom: every time I have to pull down it up my pants/underwear, it’s like a hammer to my bruised right leg… burr…

Also, another fun fact: I got a hug from a new person today… and it was lovely to have. 🙂

I love hugs, and I’ve kind of been wanting, possibly needing, hugs this week…, so this was perfectly timed and somewhat out of the blue, making it all the better and more loving.

Makes me wonder how I can be more loving to those around me on the regular… hmm… I’ll think on that one tonight while I do some henna… yes…

Post-a-day 2019