Skin

belly up


I am sitting on the deck of the pool, adjusting my goggles and getting the music started on my MP3 player. I am giddy: the next moment is so delicious. I slide into the pool, push off, and glide forward into the cool water. My skin is alive with the sensation. I have left gravity behind.

I am slowly moving from DNGAF to Actually, I do care. But I don’t care about what I used to care about. I used to care if someone saw my belly. Now I care about the feeling of sun and air on my skin when I wear a bra top and leave the tank at home.

The first day I tried this, I felt apologetic. I’m sorry, random stranger, that you must bear witness to my bare and imperfect belly. I had to really steel myself: this is okay. I am outside on a walk with my dog, and there are no laws that say I must cover my belly. Then I put the responsibility back where it belongs: on the random stranger. If that person is bothered, that’s their issue, not mine. It’s – what? five seconds of their life at the most? Yeah, they’ll get over it.

I used to care if my hair looked all right. I had a kind of narrow idea of what alright looked like. Now I’m letting my curls get a little wild. It suits me.

Sometimes I get home and look in the mirror and think, whoa, that’s what my hair has looked like for the past few hours? I DNGAF and no one else did either. Really. No one is paying that much attention. I feel proud of myself for finally running out of fucks to give to something that doesn’t matter at all. 

I wear a two piece bathing suit to swim laps at the outdoor pool. It feels good. Every now and then I think about what I might look like to other people but most of the time, I don’t think about it. Because I’m not looking in a mirror. I’m not checking myself out. I’m just wearing what I’m wearing. I’m thinking about swimming and whether I’ll get a lane all to myself. I’m thinking about the music I’ll be listening to and what it will feel like, those first few seconds when I glide into the pool.

The moments are delicious when I’ve gotten out of the pool and I lay down to dry off. The sun hits my skin, and slowly I warm up again all over.