Sometimes I wonder if this distance thing would have been easier or harder if we were doing it 20 years ago before the internet and text messages. Sometimes I feel like all these various means of making the distance feel not as far just make it feel even farther.
Take, for example, skype. Skyping with him makes me simultaneously deliriously happy and really really sad. I feel like I smiled more in the hour I just spent talking to him than I did in the past four days since we last Skyped. He has that effect on me. But while talking to him face to face(ish), seeing his smile and hearing his voice and remembering how much I love his laugh…while all of those things make me feel soooo good, feel like the distance doesn’t matter so much…at the same time it shows me just how far apart we really are. Because if I can see him and I can hear him then dammit, I should be able to hold him. Not being able to touch him while I’m talking to him is the hardest thing to get used to. I miss him so much more when all I can do is blow him a kiss goodnight and close my computer screen and ready myself for the next night in my longggggg series of nights alone.
The ability to see him while I’m talking to him is still absolutely priceless, though. I’m glad I have the chance. Even on this crappy computer that I’m dealing with since mine got stolen. Even if we basically just talk about our mundane lives. Even though it makes the desire to feel him nearly unbearable. Because no one else makes me smile for an hour. This sadness I feel when I say goodbye to him again…it’s a sunshower. Does not detract from the overall joy.
I always hear lots of my friends who are natural talk about how much they love the versatility of their hair. Now I’m not down for versatility when that word means heating my hair or hiding it under a wig/weave, but I’ve come to realize that wearing my hair in the same totally free unstyled way it naturally falls, while easy and convenient and cute…is kind of boring.
When I first went natural, it was like I’d started a new love affair with the fuzzy black spirals growing out of my head. I was always trying to find the best product, the best technique…but once I found a regiment that worked for me I fell back, only trying a new product or toy for my hair on rare occasions. My hair has become one of my most defining features over the course of the last 16 months since I decided to go and stay natural–people who meet me now, when they see pictures of my old straightened hair, don’t understand how that ever could have been me. My curly fro is me.
And I love that. But I am anything but static and predictable. I love being a wash-and-go kind of girl, but some days that has to leave room for some styling. I want to change it up sometimes. The basic fro will always be there, don’t worry, but I wanna…play with it a little. I already have a bunch of combs, bobby pins, and headbands…I rarely use them. But now, this summer, I will have them at the ready. I will scour the interwebs for naturals with similar hair textures whose styles I love, and I will try to emulate them. Maybe I will add my own twists/flair. It’s gonna be an adventure!
I did something totally and completely unheard of yesterday. Something I haven’t done since the early days of high school sometime, when going to the beach/pool was a once-or-twice-a-summer occurrence and didn’t really warrant any worrying or forethought. Something that even then, was only really done in front of my family, who wouldn’t judge me too hard.
I, Maya Reid, of sound mind and body, wore a two-piece bathing suit. And I’m not talking about a tankini or a little skirted thing–full on bright blue bikini. PUBLICLY. To the beach. In front of people I haven’t seen in years and people I’m very close to. And total strangers I’ll never see again. And besides being worried that every single wave was going to result in my boobs popping out of that halter top–(d-cup bikinis from dELIA*s are totally not designed for anyone with actual d-cups. Fyi. Anyone know where a busty woman can get a bikini that won’t try to flash everyone as soon as it gets wet?), I wasn’t nervous or embarrassed. I had brought along my old skirted one-piece in case I felt uncomfortable, but I never even thought about changing into it! And yeah, maybe the other girls who were with me in bikinis were skinny little athletic bitches, but it didn’t matter. Because I felt comfortable in my own skin. And it has been a long time since I’ve been able to say that and really mean it.
I think the single most valuable thing that I’ve gained this semester/year/a little bit every day is confidence. It’s the thing I remember lacking most severely in high school and one of the biggest changes I can see in myself over the last year or two. Emotionally, intellectually, physically…I’m not scared anymore. So what if I cry at everything and get emotionally attached ridiculously quickly? So what if my ideas don’t match yours–the world would be boring if no one ever argued or played devil’s advocate. So what if I’m not a size two and my hip bones don’t protrude from my body like all the bikini models? All that stuff isn’t me. I’m me. And I’m happy being me. I love me. And somebody else loves me. There’s something about being loved like that that makes me feel beautiful in a way that can’t be messed up by a lack of makeup or bed-head or an overabundance of curves–he’s helped me bridge the gap between feeling like beauty is something I do and realizing that beauty is something I am. So if I had any haters yesterday, fuck y’all. I’m beautiful.