At this moment, I am sitting with my face covered in a green, sea mud mask, no make-up, my hair casually tossed back into a ponytail, tank top, no bra, and a dirty pair of paint-covered shorts, yet I’ve never felt more beautiful.
I feel young. I feel vibrant and alive. I feel ready to do and see a million things.
I hop out of the shower and allow my hair to dry on its own, no products, no fussing, just the natural curl. I get ready for a night out of the house – sans makeup – and I have never felt so right. So open. So clean. Beautiful.
My tanned legs. My flat stomach. My butt. My curves. My bleached hair from too much time spent in the sun. My home-made anklet from Brit. My unpainted toenails. They are all perfect.
Yet I wonder why it took me so long to reach this place. So much time wasted on insecurities. So much fussing with this part of my body and that. So much worry about my skin, my hair, my body, my clothes.
Perhaps it takes one life-changing event to make you realize that the world is more than the small things. Perhaps it takes a series of events. Perhaps it is more than that. Something undefinable that makes you finally realize that you are yourself forever and there is no sense in fighting it, only embracing it.
Perhaps it is surrounding yourself with the right people. People who make you feel beautiful because they say it and mean it. People who see you. Know you. Understand you.
Or maybe it has nothing to do with anyone but yourself. Maybe it means growing up. Growing up and growing into yourself. Not allowing the world to dictate what you are.
Whatever the reason, I welcome this new found confidence, this new realization of what it means to be beautiful and know it for myself. I welcome this new freedom, hopeful that it will not pass with the summer heat.