Welcome to my brain.


So I have been walking around barefoot this summer. With the exception, of course being in Kolkata. There's too many dead things there that I could accidentally step on to not wear shoes you know. But  otherwise, I have been walking around without shoes. In fact, the only time I wear shoes, is if I know that I will be inside a place that requires shoes, or to Sunday mass. My goal is to callous my feet, and to make them strong enough to walk the Camino de Santiago barefoot. I have gotten glass, rocks, sticks, thorns, bugs, and wood stuck in the bottom of my feet; I have hiked a mountain, I have climbed trees, I have walked on burning hot railroad tracks, I have wandered through forests and fields of tall grass. I have stepped on three bumble bees and the shredded skin multiplies every day a little bit more. That sounds gross, and upon looking at the bottom of my feet; it is gross. My little sister said they looked like dead person feet, and I can't argue. Luckily, I embrace grossness. It's so much more than that anyway.

 I have tested my resistance on many a things. I workout in the wilderness and I run on uneven land with rocks and sticks, but when you're running you don't even notice the amount things your feet have stuck in them, and the pain doesn't kick in until later, when you're resting and you realize, "wow I wonder how long this 1/2" splinter has been there." That doesn't sound enjoyable. But this has been (for some reason) one of the most enjoyable experiences of my young weird life. I can't explain it, honestly. I guess that's what I'm trying to do right now: explain it. I think of all the things I would do with shoes on, and all the things I wouldn't do with shoes on. When I'm walking in a state park, I rarely go off the trail, but this summer it's more likely that I can't stay on the trail. I find that I can grip, climb, and hold on to things much easier with bare feet than I ever could with anything with a sole. Which makes sense, because that's how we were made, primal as it may seem. And the endurance I've built is kind of incredible. Not to toot my own horn or anything. 

It's the gall to actual do things barefoot. It's the thought of climbing a mountain without the comfort of hiking shoes, or a sole to protect my arches, and then saying "why the hell not" and then you do it because why the hell not? It's staring back at people who stare at you as you're exiting a wooded area next to the high way. You would be amazed at how often people stare. And not necessarily at my feet, just at me in general. You know, for walking out of a wooded area by the high way. Something that I have always hated and has been heightened this summer is people who stare. There's not much to look at, so why are you looking at me. It's very irritating. So it's finding places to be barefoot where no one will stare at you. Its finding new things to be barefoot on, finding new challenges to really push your poor little feet to their limit. It's figuring out when the cement is the hottest, and that mud is the best cure to walking on 140 degree streets. It's seeing what you're capable of in the most mundane way. It's loving yourself in a way that you didn't know that you needed to love yourself. And that sounds totally beside the point. But hey if you're a spiritual person, silly things become spiritual.

I would consider myself to be a fairly materialistic individual. I spend about fifteen minutes on my makeup in the morning, and I used to go great lengths to make my hair lay the way I want it. I have anxiety, which is a fun fact in case any of you didn't know. I constantly have my fingers in my mouth, chewing the skin around my nails, biting my nails, or chipping nail polish. But you can bet that I would repaint my nails every morning, and even my toes. I would paint them so often that my nails had a yellow tint. It didn't matter how many times I painted my toes, by the end of the day, so much would have been chipped off by my daily barefoot excursion, that I would have to continuously repaint them to make my feet look feminine. That's a lot of nail polish, and I went through probably three bottles before I realized how pointless it was. Who cares. So I stopped painting my toenails. And then I stopped painting my fingernails because I was wasting time and money. And I stopped showering at night and tying my hair back and waiting for morning to straighten it and then curl it to make it lay nicely and not in the giant frizzy mess that it is. But that's what it is. A giant frizzy mess. And it rocks. 

It rocks and it's a great metaphor for my life. All of it, not just my hair. Bare nails, tattered feet, and messy hair. It's a real human being. My goal in being shoeless is to have tough feet. My goal in life is to be authentic. To be emotionally naked. To be okay with being broken. To embrace the fact that I do not have all the answers. 

What is authenticity to me? To be authentic, one must lively as truly as they know how. And anything other than that...what's the point? Why live in anything other than in truth? At the end of the day, what else is there? Authenticity is figuring out for yourself what truth is, what you are, and defining yourself by those means and not by the means of the world. The world will try to deprive you of truth. It will try to take that from you. But to be authentic, who gives a shit about the world? The world is tiny. The world is so so small. We, as human beings, as individuals have worlds inside of ourselves; we have kingdoms, battling for us. We have entities at war for us. One is the truth and one is a lie. 

I suppose, in short, spending this summer barefoot has heightened my life-long goal to be truly authentic. To mean what I am saying, to be who I am, and to love what I do. To let go of anything that is keeping me away from truth, and beauty, and goodness. To be less vain, and more beautiful. To hate less and love more. To be happy one million days in a row, to climb the trees, to sip my coffee slowly and to live for Who I am supposed to live for. To find my true self so that I can live in Truth. 

everything is amazing

living poetically