Everyday nudity

I’m getting to have way more time than I’d like, sitting around in just my underwear this week. And it is quite likely to continue for the next month or two.

You see, I live in a converted attic space. So, it is a lovely little studio kind of space, but the awesome-looking vaulted ceilings are actually the roof. And this is Houston. And it is June. So, it is hot.

Because there is only a single window unit on each of the three floors, it gets terribly hot up here during the day, and it takes a couple to a few hours after sunset for it to be at a tolerable temperature, and another one or few to be at a sleep-able temperature. And so, after I take a cold shower, I sit in my underwear by the fan for a while, and eventually lie down on the bed, usually without sheets on me, aiming to keep myself as cool as possible in a not-yet-cool room.

It has been two hours now, and I finally was able to turn off the fan, but can’t put on my shirt yet.

And I might turn the fan back on a while longer…

Ugh…, but, at least, it is practice being with my mostly naked body, and being comfortable in it just hanging out, not feeling any kind of sexual tie to the nudity. It is just everyday nudity.

Post-a-day 2021

Body Image

I intentionally look at myself in the mirror, nude – or almost entirely – every single day.  I look and I see all that there is to my body.  I fill myself with the experience of all that my body is, standing before that mirror.  And I love myself.  Through and through, from the tiniest hair to the German skin to the inherited bowels that are all too sensitive – I love my body for all that it is and for all that it is not.  This is my vessel, my space, my temple, my power, my source in this life.  And I am ever grateful for and in love with it.

That does not mean that I do not want to improve upon it.  One can love something and still want better for it.  Indeed, I believe part of loving something means always wanting better for it.  Such is the case with my body.  Every day, as I see the improvements from only a week ago or days ago, I am grateful that I have blessed it with such love… such love as it takes to get out of bed when I want to snuggle in deeper to the cozy covers, to get myself ready for bed early enough to have enough sleep, to choose these foods over those, to deny the casual pressure of those who do not have the same intentions with their food and drink and schedule, not to take the easy route, and just to accept the current and temporary convenience of eating this standard meal that I find before me, possibly even for free.

They mean no harm to me, I am sure, but such a meal is not free for me.  It has its costs.  Yes, it is utterly convenient, and significantly less socially odd and, sometimes, less embarrassing.  But, it is not blessing my body when I consume it.  Often, it causes my body actual pain, in some small way or other.  And, occasionally, it causes pain in some not-so-small ways… things I never noticed until I began to pay close attention.  I always thought eating meant one would feel ever so slightly ill afterward.  But that is only with certain foods, with the ones that do not serve my body, that I feel that way.  I have learned.

My food is my medicine – I take no other – and it is my daily blessing that gives me the energy for tomorrow.  It gives me my strength to exercise at 5:15 most mornings, as though it were a normal hour of the day.  It gives me the nutrition I need for my deep slumbers at night to restore and improve my strength and energy.

And it is not always easy.  Indeed, it often is difficult to manage getting myself the food I need, whenever I am doing things away from home, with others or alone.  Even at home, it takes effort.  And yet, after all this time, the effort seems like almost nothing.  Why?  Because it is so incredibly worth it.  I don’t even have to think about giving myself the right foods to serve me best, let alone thinking twice about it.  All because I love and want to take loving care of my body.

My body is merely the starting place.  If I am comfortable in my body, and it is ready and able for anything, then my spirit, too, with my body’s support, can take on whatever comes my way, and with a ready heart.  So, as I gaze at myself in the mirror each day, easily noticing the room for improvement, I also marvel at the beauty of all that I am, of all that I have become, and of all that I see I can become… all because I love myself for exactly who and how I am. I once was afraid to see myself naked – I couldn’t stand it.  Now, I look forward to that time of intimacy and being attuned to and connected in all ways with my physical self.  It is one of the most beloved times of my day, and it fills me always with love, joy, and gratitude for this life and for this current step within it.

Post-a-day 2021

Get your a** off the floor ;P

The biggest mistake was sitting down.

If I hadn’t sat down in the first place, I wouldn’t be stuck here right now, battling mentally with what it will take to get me to get up, go put on some clothes, and finish my post-shower, pre-bed activities so that I can go to bed and sleep.

However, here I still sit, leaning against my bed, instead of in it, and just a towel wrapped around my hair… eyes drooping closed and slowly rising again to determine if I have made it into bed yet, only to be disappointed to the point of closing them once more… the cycle repeats.

Okay, fine, I’ll get up and finish things up… I just don’t have anything for tomorrow, though I have more than one thing I would love to do tomorrow (if only it weren’t all dependent upon another), so it is harder for me to want to go to sleep.:.

Well, perhaps I can develop something wonderful simply by waking earlier than needed, and taking the time to explore what I might like to do, and then do it…

We’ll see about that…, but it is enough to get me up, so, here I go…

P.S. I Really want to go somewhere next week – no school, no work, no events… let’s either get a cheap plane fair somewhere or drive somewhere, a state or national park, perhaps(!)… ye-he-hess (Mr. Burns style, fingers and all).

First day of school nightmares

Walking onto campus this morning, I had a sudden concern that I was wearing the wrong clothing – it wasn’t actually our last training/in-service day, but, rather, the first day of school… and that meant that blue jeans were not welcome…

I thought really hard on it for a couple or few seconds, and determined that no, it was not the first day of school – the boys really are just dressed up to come take their photos for their school IDs and the yearbook; that’s why they’re here at all, even.

Phew!

What a relief that was to be clear on…

And it had me recall the idea of the horrible dream of showing up in a terrible outfit, possibly one akin to the Emperor’s New Clothes, or being late, and jus my generally being horribly embarrassed on the first day of school by getting something terribly wrong somehow… and how, as a teacher, that fear-filled dream never real goes away.

I still tend to have a nightmare-ish dream before the first day of school.

Typically, I forget the first day of school, and so show up way late and wearing the wrong clothes and utterly unprepared for classes, somewhat in a dual daze and panic…. this morning was almost the real-life version of that dream… fortunately for me and everyone else, it was not.

I’m curious as to what dreams will come tonight to me… we shall see… (probably, anyway, though we’ve no guarantee I’ll have any or will remember what I have)… 😛

Post-a-day 2019

Towels and Conversations

In my first year of college, whenever I’d have an evening shower, I usually would end up down the hall afterward.  The social and clearly labeled “extrovert” end of the hall was always booming when the girls were in, and I always would go down to check in when I heard the chatter.  (I had been assigned the introvert end of the hallway, and, somewhat ironically, I was the only one in the hallway who knew everyone else.  I just like to get to know the people around me, and so college was no exception to that.)  This meant that, come evening time on weekdays, I would spend some portion of the time down the hall, socializing, so to speak.

And, as mentioned, this included the time immediately following my evening showers.  And so, I would be hanging out down the hall, hair wrapped in one towel and body in another, both holding tightly, as though sewn into place.  Totally normal for me.

One night, one of the most outgoing girls asked me about how on Earth I can be so comfortable in just a towel… Wasn’t I worried it would fall off?… Or that I was naked underneath???  No, not at all, I told her.  And I explained why I wasn’t.  First, we were all girls, so I saw no issue anyway (though I had no intention of anyone seeing anything under the towel).  Secondly, I grew up with older sisters who had seemed to spend a third of their time at home (when in college) walking around in a towel or two, and so it was very normal for me.  And, from a very young age, I had learned their tricks of how to make the towel stay in place, and, naturally, I had mastered it by college.  So, it never seemed dangerous for me to be hanging out down the hall  – this was after the curfew when boys had already been kicked out, mind you – in a towel.  It was like hanging out in almost any other clothing.

She had trouble believing that the towel was stuck, and so I even did a little shaking around to show how it wouldn’t fall off.  Nevertheless, she still was terrified of ever doing such a thing herself, and I was amazed that this towel tying trick wasn’t common knowledge or part of common use.  I think I even showed them right then and there how I tied the towel (without opening it, of course).  These were the girls who talked about just about everything with one another, quite openly, and yet they were somehow terrified at the thought of showing their bodies to one another.  I still have a certain shyness about my body, but, in certain contexts, it’s very so what to me.  Like in onsen, the Japanese hot baths, it is absolutely no big deal to show my body and to see other women’s bodies.  And in theatre, for costume changes, it happens sometimes… oh, well… it’s no issue.  It just happens.

To this day – last time was Friday evening – I still walk around in my towel and chat comfortably with people after I shower.  My high school ‘big sister’ was known for always saying, in response to a compliment about her clothing, “I’m naked under this.”  The initial shock always wore away when, after a few moments of consideration, the listener realized that we all were naked underneath whatever outfit we were wearing – that’s kind of how it works when you put something on in the first place.  For me, there is little difference between clothing and a towel.  Plenty of people regularly don’t wear underwear, and men don’t wear bras, so we’re just as naked under a towel as we are under most clothing.  (It’s just what in our minds that messes with us and makes us uncomfortable.)  That’s why, even when I’d shower in college, and a guy would be in the hallway when I was heading back to my room in just a towel, I was unconcerned.  I’d even talk with them, if I knew them.  It seems that, if they were concerned about talking with me, they could always excuse themselves and leave.  That’s what my friends and I would do if we had an issue with a guy in only a towel.  (But that really isn’t much of an issue to me, mostly too due to my upbringing with older siblings.)

(I somehow feel harsh or demanding with all of that…, but I didn’t mean to be; not in the least.  People can always do as they prefer – I’m just sharing why I am so comfortable in such a silly situation, and why I see it a totally normal, despite its being totally awkward for plenty of people.  I mean, my ukulele teacher is someone I met when we both were bathing in an onsen, naked, of course.) 😛

Post-a-day 2018

Singing, Showering, and liking you better…

Today, I sent a message to my best friend that read, “For some reason, I regularly think about messaging you when I go to the bathroom”

Her response was prompt and simple.  “Lol,” followed by, “You like me so much better when youre naked”

“Duh,” was my casual response.

You see, the whole thing started back in college.  Freshman year, I was Skype-ing with Christine one day, probably early morning.  I had gone into the common room to chat with her, but, since we were in an all-girls dormitory, and it was too early for visitors to be around, I wasn’t fully dressed (probably just a t-shirt and underwear).  When we started the call, she let me know that a friend of hers was with her, and that it was a guy (because it was already afternoon in Cambridge, England, so it was normal to be hanging out with people already there). So, I had to go put on some more clothing before we turned on the camera.  (At least, I think that was the case… she might have just checked to make sure I was properly clothed, because I regularly would be not fully clothed.  Either way, the next part did happen.)  When I commented about this, the guy friend of hers made a comment about liking someone so much better naked (I forget if it was about Christine liking me, or what, but it was totally silly, and seemed such an odd comment.)  We both were lacking in understanding at first, but he explained that there was an actual song (by Ida Maria), and that that was the line the girl used in it.  (See, it made sense and wasn’t actually weird at all.)

The chorus goes like this:

But I won’t mind
If you take me home
Come on, take me home
I won’t mind
if you take off all your clothes
Come on, take them off
‘Cause I like you so much better when you’re naked
I like me so much better when you’re naked
I like you so much better when you’re naked
I like me so much better when you’re naked

We found it hilarious.  We found the actual song and music video, and fell in a sort of this is silly and utterly ridiculous, but I still love it kind of love with the song.

I shared it with my hallway neighbor, who played guitar, and we tried playing it a bit on the guitar.  I eventually played it for Christine one day on Skype.  My greatest, proudest achievement with the song, however, was the time I snuck into the bathrooms (they were shared, and had loads of stalls and multiple showers) one day, just after Jessie, the neighbor, had gone in to shower.  Once I knew she was actually in the shower, showering, I walked into the showering area (mind you, not into her stall, just in the showering section of the bathroom), and began playing the song on guitar, and singing it to her.  I could hear her snorting, gurgling, guffawing laugher emitting from the shower stall as I sang and played.  It was spectacular for the both of us.  I shared the story with my best friend, too, and she loved it.*

So, the song has always held a special little place in our hearts, minds, and lives, all three of us.  Everyone else probably just thinks we’re crazy, whenever they overhear us mentioning or quoting or singing it.  😛

Here’s a link to the music video.

 

*This reminds me… I sang to a friend of mine in Japan while she showered one night.  We were chatting on the phone, just hanging out one night, after we’d both gotten internet, and so didn’t have to hang up after every five minutes anymore, and she really needed to shower, but we weren’t ready to end our conversation/hanging out.  So, she set the phone to the side on speakerphone, and I sang to her while she showered.  I had been humming and singing quietly already anyway, so what was the difference if I just did it a little louder, right?  It was spectacular, of course.  Then a night or few later, when I mentioned to another friend that this had happened, he complained that I didn’t sing for him and that that certainly wasn’t fair.  And so I sang to him over the phone… and he fell asleep.  😛  Spectacular in a different sort of way, I guess, but still spectacular.  🙂

Post-a-day 2017

 

In the raw… not

Sometimes I wonder if my OCD isn’t the only thing I have.  I had a sort of episode today, which is what called to mind this idea (though I have had it regularly for years).

I had just showered, and was using the bathroom briefly before dressing.  My mom had just shown me a dress she was considering for my cousin’s upcoming wedding, while I had been wrapped in my towel.  When she came back toward my bathroom a minute or so later, telling me to look at another outfit, I told her to wait a minute, because I was peeing.  She, in good humor, and not thinking much into it, said, ‘No, look at it now.  I have it on already,’ and began to open my bathroom door, to show me the outfit.

Without having my chance to think anything through, I had thrown my arms around me protectively, and was almost yelling – not actual yelling, but much louder and more panicky than regular speech – to tell her to shut the door, and saying that she doesn’t ‘get it’; I was serious about waiting a minute.

I was almost in tears.  My mind was able to view the situation with sanity – What on Earth, girl?  It really is okay that your mother see you naked and/or on the pot.  What just happened in here, darling?  My reaction, however, had been instantaneous and automatic, leaving no attempt to consult with my brain on the matter before responding to the situation.

I went to talk to my mom about it afterward, and my eyes teared while we hugged.  It had taken me a while to go see her outfit, because something had me feel a need to be fully dressed before going to see her, as opposed to my usual comfort level of a bra and underwear being just fine.  It was like an odd means of making up for having felt exposed – compensating by over-dressing.

Growing up, I never was very comfortable with nudity of my own body.  My female family members were all incredibly comfortable with being nude around the house.  I’m not sure I went a week at any given point in my childhood without seeing at least one of them walking around naked.  And it never disturbed me.  I even marveled at how comfortable they were with being nude, and respected it.  I think I even thought that I would be so comfortable by the time I was around their then-ages (college-aged).

It never happened, though. College came and went, and here I stand totally uncomfortable with my own nudity around others.  In college, I was surprised that more girls in the dorm didn’t walk around more often in their towels.  I had just learned so well from my sisters how to make a towel stay in place wrapped around my body, that I spent plenty of time down the hall with friends, their constantly wondering and asking how my towel stayed up.  I didn’t even have to consider if I were comfortable in a towel – I just was.  In the same way, I suppose, I never even considered the idea of being comfortable nude – I just wasn’t.

And I imagine that all of that is somewhat normal for a good chunk of my society.  Some girls strip down entirely in the locker rooms after water polo practice, and some just don’t.  I have actively pursued being comfortable with my own nudity, just in my own presence, over the years, in hopes of 1) learning to appreciate my own body, and 2) being comfortable with certain close family and friends being around when I’m changing or have to use the bathroom.  (There are just certain scenarios that are part of life, and I can’t seem to see myself possibly functioning in them.)

But, just to throw in a sort of curve ball, let’s talk about how I am fine with other cultures and my own nudity.  I specify: Bath houses in Japan and a topless beach in Spain all had my full participation.  I was slightly nervous initially, but the social acceptance of the behavior allowed me to accept mentally the task.  I even appreciated the ease and comfort of the accepted nudity.  For the topless beach, I wasn’t with friends, so that made it loads easier. But the bath houses in Japan were easy enough to do with multiple friends, after my initial exposure to how the whole thing worked.  So, social context makes a huge difference in my comfort levels, it seems.  In my apartment in Japan, with the same friend with whom I had hung out naked in an onsen, I would not be found nude… take away the bath house, and the comfort disappears with it.

So, sometimes I seem to be in good shape and totally normal.  I changed at the YMCA the other week after swimming, and I did it in a way that was much more exposed and easy-going than I ever would have done in the past.  Perhaps, despite the fact that the general social context has changed (not Japan anymore), since it is a changing area at the gym, I still can grasp the behavior mentally, and participate to a certain degree, after my experiences in Japan.  However, since it is not Japan, and the general social context has changed in terms of nudity acceptability, I am only okay with it, because no one I know is around to notice me.  Add a family member to the equation, and I’d bet that I would be wrapped up or in a bathroom stall while changing clothes.

And I think all of that is somewhat normal, too.  However, when something like today happens, where it is not just a matter of my being uncomfortable, but a matter of my having a panicked, immediate reaction to the situation, I wonder if there is something more to it.

Post-a-day 2017