So this entire trip has been about learning to not only step out of my comfort zone, but to be comfortable doing it. 

I’ve already begun to make baby steps. Doing things I never would do. Trying foods I would never have eaten. 

I’ve joked since Justin first left me about wanting my very own ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ moment, but the thing is, He listened. 

Because here it is. 
So the other day, in theme with my trip, I decided to buy a bikini. 
Now, some of you may not believe that He had something to do with something so silly and trivial, but I would have to disagree. 
Hear me out. 

There it was. In my favorite colors. It had not been in the same store when I was in NC nor had it been online. 

It was everything I could want in a bathing suit. Except that it was a bikini. 

It had been over 8 years since I had worn a two piece. And I’m not going to lie, the second I laid my eyes on it, I began to criticize the way my body would look in it. 
This bathing suit was meant for a ‘perfect’ body. Whatever that meant. But I grabbed it anyways and quickly made it to the checkout line before I changed my mind. 

When I got to my car I threw the bag into my backseat. And I left it there for a few days. Uncertain of what I was supposed to do with it. Puzzled that a bathing suit could bring up so many emotions and feelings that I had worked so hard to suppress. 

Memories of the way I felt about my body growing up were suddenly at the forefront of my mind. Never mind all the progress I had made in the last few years. 

Suddenly I was back to where I was. Embarrassed, ashamed, and full of self hate. 

The bag sat in my car for a few days. I pretended not to notice it when I would get in the car. 

But there it was.

Because I don’t give up on things and because I can be one of the most stubborn people you will ever meet, I knew that I would wear that bathing suit at least once. 

And so, last week, I put it on. 

Maybe I was hoping it was all in my head. That my body was ‘perfect’ for this bathing suit. But when I looked in the mirror, the full size mirror, I might add, I felt the same way I had when I held it up in the store. 

But then I realized something. Something big. 

Who really cares about what I wear to the beach? 

I was so nervous that someone would think ‘eww, why is she wearing that?’ Or that someone would say the things I was saying to myself. 

But let’s be real. 

People who are at the beach did not come to see what I would be wearing. They didn’t come to criticize me. To put me down. They came to see the beach. 

And if they did, it had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with the way they thought of themselves. 

The things that mattered were the things I was saying to myself. And it was time I started being a little nicer. 

So, I grabbed my bag and I made my way to the beach. Bikini and all. 

And I’ve done it more than once. 

Am I where I want to be? Not yet. But I’m celebrating every step forward that I take. 

Because stubborn or not, I did it. 

And no one can take that away from me. Not even myself. 

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