Photo Credit: Azure Blank.

I am going to the wedding of Azure’s cousin next week. A few weeks ago I was worrying about what to wear out loud to my mom. She looked at me and said something like: You wouldn’t look the way you do if you wanted to fit in with traditional people.

That gave me pause.

I guess that might be so. But the truth is, I spend a lot of my time fretting about my body. And even that’s not totally true. I waste away hours around what others think about my body. And that traditional idea of beauty is a measuring stick I never stand tall enough against—yet keep dragging myself over to.

People are complicated. But the wind and waves aren’t. They are soft or cruel with no motive. It’s just the way of the turning tides.

Today as I lay on the beach, soles of my feet blanching against the drowsy sun, pieces of sand glued to my just wet body, Azure was building a tower of sand half submerged in the warm sea. Right then, as minutes ticked away without being watched, I had a few moments not worrying about what all of those eyes were seeing when they looked at me (were they looking at me?).

Instead, I let Azure coax me into the sea to take a few pictures of me. In a bathing suit!

I’ll blame it on the way the mountains held the shape of the inlet and the toughness of the water against the peachy rock. Everything was just so. And my body, if I let it, could be, too.