NAKED!!! Getting Naked versus Feeling Naked
NAKED!! What is the difference between getting naked and feeling naked? Well, ‘getting naked’ generally implies an action that you choose to perform. We all ‘get naked’ to shower or bathe; or we ‘get naked’ to change into our various ‘fashionable or not’ ensembles as needed throughout the day; and if you are not ‘getting naked’ when engaged in a hot-intimate-sexual encounter, then I can only assume your partial nudity is a result of having sexual relations in a public or semi-public place. Getting naked is a part of life, but feeling naked, on the other hand, implies vulnerability.
You see, we get naked to shower, but when we have to parade our naked body around a gym locker room or sit naked in the steam room, we consciously know that other naked people might be scoping us out, looking for any signs of our physical flaws. Or, the first time you make love with someone, having to expose every part of your physical body—imperfections and all—can make both sexes nervously worried that what lies beneath our daily wardrobes will be exposed and fearfully rejected. Getting naked can make you feel defenseless; so wearing our ‘arsenals of apparel’, makes us feel as protected as a robber with a gun.
I have always been someone who was extremely comfortable with my naked-self, and I can’t wait to get home from work and throw on my Target boy shorts and wife-beater and chill. I love my mini-skirts and low cut tee-shirts. I like sexy. Yet, putting on a bikini takes on new meaning once you hit 40, and having sex for the first time with someone makes me not want to eat for two days prior in order to prevent stomach bloat. Yep, we all have our naked insecurities: I don’t care if you are Gisele Bündchen or Kim Kardashian… getting naked, is stressful.
However, the most naked I have ever felt in my life has been over the last two and a half years. Why? Because, I decided to ‘put myself out there’ and share my writing with the public, as opposed to reading my silly stories only to my friends. Creating my blog, ‘WheatFieldsToWonderland: A Canadian Girl’s Tips to Remaining Sane in the Upside Down World of Hollywood’ is a way for me to be creative, and it has grown into something that I am truly proud of. I have grown as a person, as a writer, and I have learned a lot about myself in the process.
Unfortunately, I have also learned a lot about the people around me. I guess I assumed that my friends, many of whom I have had for decades, would be supportive and encouraging of my endeavor. I thought that they would ‘like’ my stories on Facebook, and post comments and heck, maybe even share some of my posts. What was shocking to me is that the people who I thought I could count on for support, were often not the ones who have helped me. Of course, I have many friends who have been wonderful and supportive, but, for the most part, the vast majority of people who have emboldened me are not the ones who I initially thought would be my biggest cheerleaders. It bothered the fuck out of me in the beginning, but I eventually surrendered my heart to the universe, and I truly cherish those who have championed me; believe me, I know who you are and it has not gone unnoticed.
But now, I am doing something that makes me feel like I am naked in public; like I am the only person who chose to show up nude to the all-nude-beach. Kind of the opposite of the Emperor’s New Clothes, when the king who believed he was clothed was, in actuality, stark naked; I actually feel stark naked fully clothed.
Well, because I decided to publish my first novel, a story I wrote about the love between a dog and his human. A story wholly based on the love I had and shared with my little dog, Canoli. A little dog that changed my heart and made me see life and the universe in a whole new light. I am putting my own money out there to share a story that I hope will make people laugh, help them deal with loss, and feel good about love.
When my first review came in, and the reviewer started with… “Martin debuts”… I literally had a panic attack realizing that my little story was going to be taken seriously. Shit, this was way bigger than writing a blog post. This was a book, one with a cover, one that was going out for the world to see. One that people might love; or they might fucking hate.
So yeah, I feel naked… I feel vulnerable… I feel nervous, and I feel scared. Scared that my dyslexic mind will have written something backward and worried that I haven’t spotted all of my typos; nervous that people won’t connect with my vision; anxious that the critics will disapprove of my take on love and life… Believe me, any emotion that you think I might be having now, I am having. I am scared shitless.
But then, one of my sweet girlfriends, Rachel, said to me… “Janell, you have already jumped off the diving board, there is no turning back now, be proud of yourself and believe in yourself. You inspire me, because you said you were going to do something and you actually did it.”
And do you know what, I realized that Rachel was right. I had created something, and I was sharing something that came from my heart. Yeah, I did say I was going to do it, and there is pride in actually completing something that is so special to you, but I still hope that when I eventually hit the water, that I won’t do a belly-flop.
Oh, I can talk tough, and say I don’t care who likes my work, and that I will not take any criticism to heart, and that I will only embrace the positive remarks, but that would be disingenuous of me to say. Life isn’t easy, and that expression ‘nothing good comes easy’ is likely true. So friends, I am feeling naked right now. I am doing something I have never done, and sharing a story inspired by my dog that I loved so much.
But, do you know what? I am proud of this accomplishment, and I hope that whoever reads my book enjoys the labor of love that went into doing it. And, at the end of the day, sharing love, sharing your heart, and sharing your soul, is truly giving a gift to anyone who chooses to accept it. So on that note, never be afraid to try, because not trying means not growing as a person. And aren’t we here on this planet to become our best?
So, I am feeling naked, and do you know what? I realized that… that’s okay.
For those of you who prefer to listen, check out the audio link below…