Of Doing Just Good Enough

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From childhood, those of us who are lucky are told that we have the power to succeed in anything we do. It’s a sweet sentiment, course, I never did become a dolphin trainer or learn to do a cart-wheel – but if I really wanted to, I could succeed at each task.

As I’ve gotten older, the simplistic mentality of everything’s possible has changed. At least for me.

Instead of craving for success, chasing that dream, or daring to take a chance. I just try to not fail. I find that, “just don’t fail,” is all the motivation I need to get out of bed in the morning – albeit a little late.

Not failing was made me an A/B student instead of an A student. It’s why I do okay at work, but I’m not the best employee ever. It’s what keeps me skinny, but not in shape. It’s why I can swim well enough to not die, but you won’t see me swimming across a lake.

If I had the energy, or truly cared, then I would focus on success and being my absolute best. But for now, I’m content to just not fail at stuff.

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Of Playing Outside

Lake

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Turns out I’m an outdoors person, who knew? When I was little I would spend hours outside. A tree was my best playmate. I trusted my 12-year-old brother’s rickety forts and sketchy rope ladders with zero fear about 25 feet off the ground. It wasn’t until the sun went down that I reluctantly went inside.

Then something happened, I morphed into an indoors person. It was a slow process. Maybe I started staying inside because of the fancy new technology that eventually took over my life. Maybe it simply stopped being cool to play outside. Maybe because I dress quite girly I came to believe that I could never enjoy the dirt. Maybe my friends were (well, still are) largely indoors people so I stayed inside to hangout with them. Or maybe I went through a phase. No matter what the cause I spent several years avoiding swimming, hiking, and climbing trees.

Till recently.

Now when I sit on the couch with the sun shinning through the blinds I can’t handle it. I start to fidget, squirm, and pray that I find someone to go for a walk with me. Sometimes no one answers, or they (in their anti-go-outside-ways) refuse to do anything but watch a movie. That’s when I go by myself.

But I can usually count on my brother. If he’s not busy he’s always down for a hike, plus he lives in my dream neighborhood – surrounded by trails, rivers, and a large beautiful lake. It must be a family trait to venture away from the maintained trail and traipse through the bushes. For I don’t think we’ve ever gone for a walk without destroying a bunch of spider webs, despite my sister-in-law begging us to not climb up yet another river bed or fallen tree. Where’s the fun and adventure in staying on the path?

Thanks to going off trail I have several cool locations to drag my indoorsy friends to: a cove that looks like it could have been in the Swiss Family Robinson complete with purple sand (yup, purple sand), a fallen tree that sticks up out of the water that provides a wonderful jumping branch, a rope swing that can only be found by canoe, a waterfall hidden behind bushes, a campfire spot next to the river located after the second bridge on an old logging road in redneck territory.

Maybe someday I’ll be able to take my friends to my movie-esque locations, until then I’ll keep exploring through the rough in my Sunday’s best and sandals.

See? It’s true. I’m an outdoors person, don’t let my girly dress fool you.

Of Swimsuit Shopping

Kate Upton Sports Illustrated

Honey, I think you need a bigger size. (Click image to view source).

The last time I went swimsuit shopping, like I need to find a suit pronto style, was back in high school. I’m going to guess I was eighteen (I’m currently twenty-three, you do the math). I bought a basic blue two piece for probably about $24. The next swimsuit I acquired was on a whim. I was twenty-years-old and it was on sale for $3, that’s right, I bought a decent string bikini for three bucks. That’s a steal if I’ve ever seen one.

This evening I ventured out in search of a swimsuit for my day at Wild Waves tomorrow. Purely because I was too lazy to make the 25 minute drive from my parents house to my apartment. I thought, it might be kind of nice to have a new suit. No longer interested in that itsy-bitsy-teenie-weenie-yellow-polka-dot-bikini, I wanted something old-fashioned and classy. Ideally like something you might see in a movie from the 1950s.

50s Swimsui

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I had a shocking revelation. Swimsuits are expensive!!!

Even the shitty ones made of thin nearly see through fabrics and cover maybe three inches of skin. The average swimsuit (regardless of quality) seems to cost about $40. I couldn’t believe it, for a moment I thought about backing out of the day trip tomorrow. I also debated forking out the $20 in gas that it would take to get to my apartment and back. If my mom hadn’t been with me I probably would have backed down, fearful of the expensive prices.

I tried on several suits. What I found is that swimsuit bottoms are incredibly lame. Most of the tops I tried on were cute, but paired with a bottom I instantly looked wide and disproportionate. No wonder women feel insecure about their bodies – all the swimsuits are designed to make us look awkward. I blame the current obsession with showing as much skin as possible at the beach. It’s made for the unfortunate truth that the bottoms don’t rise to a natural place on the body. They end up being somewhere between crotch level and the hip. If they actually reached the hip (or even the waist if the brand was going for the vintage look) I guarantee girls would look prettier in swimsuits.

There was one I did love though. It was pink and rather dress-like. I was almost hesitant to try it on because I knew my friends would get a kick out of me walking around in a swim dress. But you know what? It’s adorable. I looked sexier in this despite that it’s a very modest piece of swimwear – sorry folks, but my ass will not be hanging out for you to gawk at. I felt classic, like I was living in a different time. Who cares if I’ll be the only one in a swim dress. Since when has something like that stopped me? (Um, actually it last stopped me in 2007, fyi). Here, I’ll put a picture below:

Pink Swim Dress

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After much panicking over the cost, and my mom convincing me that it’s actually a good price for a nice quality suit, I ended up spending $50 dollars. To make things better my mom bought me an awesome floppy sun hat, which I fully intend to wear.

For $10 more than it would cost me to get a bikini – I’ll be a classy broad at the water park.