Life Is For The Living

I am sitting on the beach in Barcelona.

I am sitting on the beach, and for the first time in the three years since I outgrew my last one, I regret that I do not own a bathing suit. The day is warm, the water is clear, and I am surrounded by locals and tourists in varying states of abandon, basking in the sunlight.

And here I am, wearing too much clothing.

I have never felt self-conscious for this reason before. Too little clothing, yes. The wrong clothing for a given setting, yes. But this is new.

This is a sign of growing up, I think.


I am lying on the beach in Newport.

I am lying on the beach, in the bikini I bought after I returned from my Europe trip, and I am watching my friends play volleyball. They don’t care that the sunlight might be too harsh on their unflattering angles—they’re just having a good time.

And here I am, refusing to participate because I am afraid of what people might think of my untanned skin or the fact that I don’t have visible abs.

I have felt self-conscious for this reason for most of my life. It has held me in a prison of my own making, stifling my ability to live a fully-embraced life.

I don’t want that to be true anymore. I don’t want to watch my own life pass me by because the circumstances aren’t ideal or because I haven’t arrived at some arbitrary destination yet.

I get up and join the game.

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