Stuck in my Bra was born in 2011. Like most women I know, I’ve worn a bra since I was 12 or 13 years old. Personally, I have never been terribly happy about it, but I need one. You get me? In the summer of 2011 I was on a week-long surfing retreat on Maui with a group of women. None of us knew anyone else on the retreat until we got there. Every day I struggled to get myself in and out of my swimsuit, my rashguard, and my athletic bra. I was wet, sandy, sweaty, and exhausted. My relationship with my bra became a metaphor for my life.
At the time I met these women, I was somewhere near the beginning of what turned out to be a difficult end of my marriage to the father of my three children. We were married for a total of 12 years and the last three were spent separated and battling. Our kids have been stuck in the middle ever since. My therapist had essentially prescribed this surfing retreat. I had been ill for all of the years of my marriage and I needed to get my strength back so she wrote me a simple prescription to (1) go outside every day and look up at the sky, (2) get skin to skin contact, and (3) take a two-week vacation by yourself where someone else takes care of you.
I did the best I could to follow the prescription. I spent one week with my body laying on a surfboard, floating in the water, using all of my strength and balance and will to learn to surf, staring at the water and the sky, laying in the sand, doing yoga, eating raw, vegetarian food prepared by someone else, being massaged, and spending time with these women who were all doing the same thing. These women encouraged me to share my thoughts and my stories. They told me my words were powerful and that I was hysterical. Offensively hysterical, to be precise. These women encouraged me to write. Since then many others in my life have encouraged me to share my story, start my own organization, run for public office, wrote a script . . . it goes on and on. People often tell me I am witty, funny, strong, fiercely independent, deep, inspirational, energizing, kind, committed, supportive, crazy, too serious, too sensitive, a visionary, a good friend, a great mother, a strong advocate, a sounding board, a rock.
What I know about myself is that I know who I am and what I stand for. I understand that my perspective is only that . . . my perspective. My truth is only mine and no one else’s. I have known I am a writer for as long as I can remember and I have wanted to write a book since I was a young child, but the bulk of my writing has been legal where I share someone else’s story or has happened only in my head. I now realize that I have never had a choice in the matter. I am a writer whether anyone ever reads it or I just keep writing it in my head. These people are all giving it to me straight and I am taking their advice. I might as well spit it out.
I have always felt compelled to share my experience. The problem I have had is that I sense that sometimes I make people uncomfortable because I can be too personal and too blunt. I don’t mean to make people uncomfortable. Throughout my life, my sensitivity to how my sharing makes people feel has affected the way I express myself, but it has not been good for me. I believe it has actually been a key factor to what has made me sick at many times in my life. I don’t ever want to be sick like that again, so I am going back to who I really am. Someone who shares. This is my life and this is my perspective. If my thoughts somehow make you uncomfortable just don’t read this. That’s my best advice.
So these are my thoughts. This is my truth. This is my contract with myself. This is my advice to my children. This is who I am and what I stand for. This is what I know right now. This is what I believe. This is what I’ve learned. This is my therapy. This is my caring bridge. This is my holiday card. This is my chat with friends and family I don’t see or speak to often enough. This is my thank you note. This is my apology. This is my collection of thoughts. This is my book, my series, my movie, my play, my blog, my newsletter, my poem, my art. This is my manifesto. This is my platform. This is my masterclass.
This is my gift to you and to myself.
Peace and love.