โ€œThe oven looked awesome and so did Iโ€

I asked him why he took the photo, and he replied honestly,

The oven looked awesome and so did I hahaha ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

He, of course, corrected “oven” to “ocean”, but I knew what he meant.

He was not being conceited, nor was he being rude or nasty or macho or anything else negative… he was sharing truly with me, openly and honestly.

It was a gorgeous photo of a gorgeous swimsuit-donned, tanned, and tattooed man on a spectacular scene of two-toned blue ocean water and a blue sky of yet another blue, and the man was smiling with practically no eyes, so large and true was his grin.

I would have longed to have taken such a photo – I would be proud of it for him…, but I would be terrified of such a photo of myself.

To come across as sexual, even sexy, at times, has been ingrained in my mind to equate wrongness, shame, something terrible for myself and the world.

I have only recently begun to appreciate such images of others, and am working on valuing such an image of myself – in accepting it as appropriate as part of my human expression in this life.

My next step in that process, I feel, is being comfortable with a photo like the one I had discussed with this guy tonight.

As he mentioned in our conversation, the intention behind the photo was to show something beautiful – his father had declared the scene and the son as gorgeous, and so photographed what stood before him (as I gladly would have done)… he was not trying to catch anyone’s eye, or get anything out of it – he was just sharing the wonderful memory and scene with the world (for which I and everyone else I know who has seen the photo has been grateful).

So, I want to create some photos of me that are beautifully gorgeous and that I would want to share with the world for their beauty, and then I want to share them with the world.

Yes…, that is my next step. ๐Ÿ˜›

Let’s do this. ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S. Our whole conversation began out of a conversation my friend and I had, regarding our shared experiences of body image (though from different backgrounds and for different reasons), after she posted this, which included a somewhat sultry photo of her posing on the beach.

She is still Christian, and more beautiful than ever in her confidence…, and I regularly use her as inspiration in my own life, to help me to challenge my own fears and struggles in life that I have yet to transform.

Post-a-day 2019

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Beware, dearest reader

Is it empathy that connects me so strongly to the books I read?…. that has me suffer when Ender and Valentine suffer, be on edge and in a near-constant state of jumpy panic while reading about Katniss, and be giddy with delight while I read yet again Elizabeth’s interactions with Darcy?

If it is, I feel a sense of needing to take care to pay attention in life right now, as I have just begun reading Anna Karenina (in English, of course), and, based on what I saw in the film, it is not a state of mind I want to share for long, Anna’s (nor is Vronsky’s, for that matter), and I am almost concerned that I will find myself siding with her along the way, which, somehow, makes me nervous.

Although, on the other hand, perhaps it is a perspective I need to learn, not for direct use but for helpful application of knowledge and ‘experience’ for those in need of guidance… hmm…

Anyway, I’m totally loving the book so far – the mood alone is quite delightful, but so are the grammar and descriptions and comments and the story as a whole so far(!).

Post-a-day 2019

Stretchy

Yesterday, sitting on the floor, legs together straight out in front of me, I stretched forward with both arms, grabbed the bottoms of my shoes, dropped my head, and stretched a bit deeper…

… and my head touched my knees.

!!!!!

This was the first time in my adult life that I was able to touch my head to my knees.

And, you know what?

I just tested it again, just now, and it happened again(!).

Wow.

I started this ’30 Days to a Standing Split’ stretch plan a couple months back, and, though it totally failed on the standing split part, I felt the basic stretch routine was a good habit worth keeping in my daily life.

So, to this day, I stretch the same set of stretches every day, usually just before bed.

I’d been noticing general and overall improved flexibility and movability in myself already, like my arms going ‘farther back and up’ when I stretched them behind my back, hands clasped, but I hadn’t had anything clearly and distinctly different until this week.

At last, with this head to knees thing, I have a specific, measurable result from this stretching(!).

So, extra yay!

My teeth are straightening out their kinks, my muscles are rearranging and growing, and my flexibility is improving drastically… I feel like moving around a lot of the time, and I jump up rather easily from any resting period in my day or night… getting out of bed is, somehow, no big deal – I almost bounce on the balls of my feet every morning, as though preparing to do some jumps or something similar…

My body is finally showing up how I want it to be showing up in my life, and I can see quite clearly how it is the result of my taking genuine care of my body, and having true concern for its well-being… it still is not quite like a temple, but it is darn close, and is improving every week… (still working on the whole exfoliation and skin hydration side of things) ๐Ÿ˜›

Now, if I can just get my clothes and owned items organized and handled (i.e. Marie Kondo the rest of my living space) I think I’ll be set to meet the man of my dreams – I will be being exactly the person I want to be and to whom I want him to be attracted, you know?

And, somehow, that idea is kind of terrifying… like I never actually expected to become that person, that woman… she was always just a dream, and not one even to consider trying to achieve, let alone actually achieving…. but anything is possible.

Message to self:

So, let’s stick with it, Banana, and make things happen.

It is okay to be afraid… it is not okay to settle, even if it is due to fear… stand for your best life and your best self, Banana, in all ways, always.

I love you.

Have a wonderful and blessed and beloved night, World. ๐Ÿ˜‰

P.S. I just realized that the stretching was actually Monday evening, not yesterday… anyway… ๐Ÿ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

Je te dรฉteste :P

Well, pretty much the only thing going on (of which I can makes sense, that is) in my head is the somewhat constant loop of this song the kids played in class today.

We were working on self-introductions, and, as usual, the kids were asking for additional phrases to throw into the practice conversations they were having with each added question I gave them to ask and answer.

(For example, on the first day of class, one kid asked for, “Can I have your number?”, and, as I gave him the French for it, the kids learned that they really could learn to say in French everything they want to say…, and now, they bring up the number question just about every other class meeting, as can be expected of teenage boys.)

When we brought up the question and answer for “What do you like (to do)?”, there was the natural question of, “What is I love you in French?”

And so I said and wrote Je t’aime on the board.

Then a similar phrase they requested.

And then there was, “How do you say, ‘I hate you’?”

**Do note that the kids are asking all of these things in French, with only the unknown phrase being said in English, and I only speak French with them… and this is only their third week of French ever.**

I laugh, and then write Je te dรฉteste on the board, and I help them say it properly.

Immediately, I recall a beautiful bit of music I’d been shown a few years ago (by a student), and I explain to them that there is a song called “Je te dรฉteste”, and it is sung by an artist called Vianney, and that they should look it up.

They asked if they could play the song now, and I told one of them to go ahead and pull it up on the desktop and projector, so we could all listen to it and watch the music video.

In shock for only a moment, the boy jumped into action – seemingly before I changed my mind or rescinded (is that right?) the unexpected offer.

He found the song, and played it for the final minutes of class, and I showed them how Vianney spells out dรฉteste in the song, and, frankly, they kind of jammed out.

It was adorable.

And so, now, hours later, I have the middle of the song playing on loop in my head…

Je crie de tout mon รชtre

Sur un morceau de bois

Plutรดt que dans tes oreilles

Qui n’รฉcoutent que toi

D E T E S TE te dรฉteste

D E T E S T E….

So good, but so loop-inducing ๐Ÿ˜›

Je te dรฉteste by Vianney… you’re welcome ๐Ÿ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

We Are People First

Sometimes, it is important just to remember that, as my stepfather has always said, we are people first.

Above everything else and before everything else, we are all people.

Whenever I forget this fact, I get stuck in my head, I grow nervous, and I even panic at times… I become afraid of not being wanted or loved, and define any form of rejection as a direct statement of my un-lovability (which, I know, is false, but which still manages to put in a word here and there in my mind, and will share as often as I’ll let it).

But, when I remember that we are all just people, I remember that it is okay to talk to one another, to say what I want to say… I can offer my help, I can ask questions, I can be interested in the lives of others and in being a part of them… I can do all of this, and, even when I am rejected, I can be bummed briefly, before accepting that it’s really okay – this particular situation just wasn’t meant to go the way I had hoped it would go, and, now, something even better is somewhere on the way.

๐Ÿ™‚

This weekend, I was rejected.

And it was okay.

Today, however, I was not rejected, but rather accepted.

I believe letting go of my fear and just talking allowed for me to be at ease and for things to flow comfortably.

Yeah…, it went well. ๐Ÿ™‚

And, through it all – this weekend and today – I remained true to myself, which, next to being open with one another, is the most important part of it all.

Yeah ๐Ÿ™‚

So, yay, me!

Haha ๐Ÿ˜›

P.S. The potential drama referenced yesterday is still not handled – though, God did give me a bit of a funny, ironic moment in the middle of it all, which, somehow, helped immensely… I’m still very unsure about things with it, but I’m trusting God to help me do what is best for us all.

Post-a-day 2019

Booty Work

*** Warning: Bathroom-related material following******

When did you learn to wipe your bottom?

At my sister’s today, I was asked by my niece’s little girlfriend if I could come help my niece.

I went to see what help was needed, to find my niece sitting on the toilet at a silly angle, looking happily but pleadingly at me.

“Can you help me wipe?” she asks in her high-pitched little girl voice of immanent innocence.

I consider, and then reply, “You can do it yourself.”

I stood in that very bathroom with her months beforehand, while she used the potty and wiped herself confidently, post-urination…. (and she even had an adorable discussion with me about how her mommy gets mad at her for using so much toilet paper.)

“Noo-oh,” she counters.

“Yes, I think you can… you know how to do it yourself – you can do it,” I say comfortably, wondering if this is just something she does or if she actually does not wipe her own butt yet, doubting the likelihood of the latter while hoping for the former to be true.

After an ever-so-slight pause, she replies, “Okay,” and begins to pull off some toilet paper.

I tell her that she doesn’t need so much toilet paper – she pulled off a lot right at first – and remind her to flush the toilet.

Then I walk away, as she starts to reach back comfortably, toilet paper in hand.

I rejoin the adults in the back, and ask skeptically, “A—- knows how to wipe her own butt, right?” and I quickly explain the scene that just went down, just in case she doesn’t.

My sister confirms my niece’s initial statement, and heads immediately inside to go help.

(Actually, first, she told me to go do it, that it was my job, and I replied easily and jokingly, “No, I don’t have sex, so I don’t have kids – that’s all on you, girl,” and everyone cracked up and offered immediate commentary on how no wonder they all have kids, etc.)

The discussion then goes on among the women about the various poop schedules of their children, their husbands, and themselves, as well as how the youngest children still cannot wipe their own butts, and so actually hold it all day, and rush to go poo when they get home in the afternoon.

……

On my way home tonight, I called my mom, explained the situation, and re-asked when I learned to wipe my own butt, wanting in earnest to know.

(When I got to the part about my niece asking me to wipe her, my mom asked if I gagged – I have extreme sensitivities in certain areas – and I told her how it hadn’t bothered me at all, actually, because I never once considered actually wiping her butt for her… we both got a bit of a kick out of that.) ๐Ÿ˜›

She definitely didn’t remember, but she knew for sure that I could do it by the time I went off to kindergarten – when exactly in pre-school I started doing it, she wasn’t sure, but she knew it happened in there somewhere.

She was sure that it wasn’t something she liked doing, so she would have taught me as soon as possible to do it myself… unsurprisingly. ๐Ÿ˜›

Therefore, considering the respective ages of the kids today, I remained rather surprised that they do not yet wipe their own butts.

Perhaps their moms just don’t mind it…, but I knew I wasn’t going to do it for her.

Babies are one thing… a child sitting on a toilet, talking to me is another altogether.

Post-a-day 2019

Tattoos

I’ve said plenty of times that I feel as thought our gym is the tasteful tattoo gym… not everybody has tattoos, but a lot do, and a lot have a lot of tattoos… and all of them are quite tasteful.

Today, I had the, albeit brief, pleasure of having one of the guys tell me a little about his various tattoos.

I was enthralled by in the use of lines and textures and shadowing that I hadn’t ever been able to notice from a distance… I was practically lost in the movement that made up a formerly hidden elephant, the shapes and swirls waving a hello, while beckoning me forward, causing my fingers almost to tingle, forcing me to restrain myself from reaching out and stroking it, so much did I desire to test its 2-D-ness.

And yes, this guy is gorgeous, but no, that wasn’t why I wanted to touch every so gently the sweeping strokes of the tattoo – it is merely a tattoo that was so well done, I almost couldn’t help myself.

I love hearing from people who care about their tattoos, why they have their various tattoos – there are so many beautiful little stories that are carried on their skins, and these stories always seem to bring me another little glimpse of what lies within each person…

And I like seeing who’s really there (despite all of our best efforts to keep one another out most of the time), thereby being able to love the true person within.

And isn’t that what we all desire, anyway, to love and to be loved truly and fully?

I suppose being true to ourselves is a good first step, and accepting and loving others as they are a second necessity…

Anyway, I had a lovely time exploring briefly this person’s tattoos today, and, frankly, I want to explore them more (again, not because he’s gorgeous, but because the tattoos are great).

I mean, what’s the point of showing them off so boldly, if hey aren’t meant to be examined and appreciated?

(Because house does one truly appreciate them without examining them closely?)

๐Ÿ™‚

P.S. I, myself, have this gorgeous henna from an event this past weekend, and I love it. ๐Ÿ™‚

And yes, I am petting my friend’s cat, who just could not stay off me at night, whenever I was getting ready for bed this past weekend. ๐Ÿ˜›

Post-a-day 2019