Let my last post of 2016 be about NUDITY.
We went swimming at an indoor pool yesterday for the first time in a while - it's been months since I was last in a locker room filled with naked women and girls. Back then, it was still a little weird and I was still a little shy. How could these women just walk around in the nude like that??
But now, I think I've crossed over. I walked the HECK out of that locker room in the nude yesterday. It wasn't even first-hand weird. I could still tap in to that part of my motherland culture that was sounding off alarm bells all over the place, but it was pretty easy to tune them out. Because remember: in Finland, it would draw attention and stares to try to cover up your nakedness in such a context.
And another first: I used a communal (women-only) sauna there! It was amazing! The girls and I sat inside for about ten minutes. We shared the space with other women who came and went. There was a pair of 20-something friends who chatted and stretched (!). There was another mom with two girls younger than mine. There were a few middle-aged women on their own and then an older lady who, when the water bucket ran empty, got up and filled it again.
I don't know if you can tell from reading this post, and I don't know if there is any way for this to not sound weird, but it made me so happy to be sharing that space with those women, completely naked. It felt like a celebration of WOMAN (at least in my mind - I was probably the only one in there having such a moment because it's so new to me). Even weirder: I loved being reminded again how women's bodies come in all shapes and sizes. It was so life-affirming and confidence-boosting and the world just seemed right when we were doing our own thing, just hanging out in the sauna in the nude.
The next challenge to unlock will be doing all of the above in the company of someone I know (besides my kids). I'm not so sure this is within reach yet. But we'll see.