exploring life and love with pictures and words

What it means to be bare naked in public. . .

The name of my blog has nothing to do with its content, no photographs of naked people casually running errands around town. Sorry, Instead, Bare naked in public refers to a phrase I’ve used many times to describe my inhibition toward expressing myself creatively. I don’t think of myself as a creative person. I’m more practical, a problem solver. I like to help people by finding or knowing the answers. I am very comfortable in the concrete, the known.

I do think there is a creative soul inside of me. I spend quite a bit of time day dreaming, writing stories in my head, scribbling in journals and taking pictures. I have ideas for stories I might write and I have often considered telling stories with photographs. For me, stories, pictures, music, art, and nature evoke powerful emotions, thoughts, and memories. I want to create for that reason, even if I am the only one who grows from the experience. But, fear has kept me from creating anything. It’s ridiculous to think I can spend so much time being afraid of something I haven’t even attempted. Unless I count my goofy little snippets on Instagram and Facebook, all of my creations remain in draft form, in my head and in my heart.

All of this ruminating over ideas happens when I am doing something else, driving, standing in line at Trader Joe’s, or taking a shower. It’s during long sleepless nights that I scribble a few notes in a journal. I’ve told many of my friends that I feel like I have more to do in this life, something to say. This secret creating has been going on for years and I have been satisfied with keeping these ideas to myself . . .until recently.

If you knew me you might wonder why this is such a big deal. I am not a shy person. I am an extrovert. I strike up conversations with strangers. I laugh loud and hard. I joyfully squeal when I bump into friends and acquaintances around town. I kiss and hug people I’ve just met. I can tell a stranger she is beautiful and I always smile at passers-by. I am comfortable telling funny, and embarrassing, stories to friends and strangers.  My poo stories are legendary. I love to make people laugh. I cry easily. . . . serious ugly crying . . . and not even that embarrasses me.

I am an educator and I’m proud of my work. I am a confident leader and communicator. I make difficult decisions that don’t always make everyone happy. And sometimes, I have to be the bearer of bad news. More often, and gratefully so, I witness and share in the tiny triumphs of childhood,  becoming a reader, tying a shoe, or being the best handball player in 3rd grade. I love my job.

My family and dear friends are most important to me. I love them, I love them, I love them. And they love me. With all of the stupid shit I have done (and some of it is truly unbelievable) they still love me, unconditionally. They believe in me, and more than anything they want me to be happy. I want to be happy too.

So how is it that I can have a job I love, the encouragement and love of my family and friends and still  lack the confidence and courage to put my creative self out into the world for all to see. I think my spirit has definitely been shaken by some difficult life experiences, some out of my control, and others strictly of my own choosing. The last few years have been tough for me . . .  the last several months even tougher . . . and in the last few weeks my heartache has been unbearable . . . lots of ugly crying in private and in public. It’s not pretty and I want to spare the world and myself of this continued hideous display of emotion.  I will admit that this part has gotten a little embarrassing.

Sometimes little shake ups in our lives are needed to get our priorities straight so that we may lead the life we are meant to live, right? This latest episode of heartache made me realize, FINALLY, that I’ve been putting huge, important parts of my life on hold for far too long. Instead of pursuing my dreams, improving my life and becoming a person that I can love and admire, I’ve been chasing happiness, thinking it could only be found if someone thought I was worth loving. As my former therapist would say, “How’s that working for you?” UGH! I actually had to find a new therapist because I couldn’t bear  the thought of telling the old one that I repeated all the same stupid behavior!!

What I realize now is that I’ve allowed my self worth to be determined by the success or failure of my relationship with men. I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to convince men that I’m worth loving. That sentence is so stupid and sadly that WAS me. Years of that behavior has knocked the confidence right out of me. I lost myself.

Of course none of this is rocket science.  It’s been the topic of a zillion self-help books. The good news is I’m done wasting time. This little shake up and some timely encouragement from a friend has me on my way. So . . . no naked pictures (at least not yet), instead a place where I can practice being my creative self, share my personal story, my ideas, ask for encouragement and maybe inspire others to do the same.

There is an anonymous quote floating around the internet, What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?  . . . I would tell stories about life and love with pictures and words.  It starts now. I feel sure that the universe will afford me an abundance of opportunities for personal growth, maximized potential and true happiness, IF I am willing to be brave, take risks, and stand bare naked in public.

This is slightly terrifying for me. But I’m doing it.

I am so happy to be here.

 

30 Responses to “What it means to be bare naked in public. . .”

  1. Susy Amoroso

    This is real stuff, no fluff. It is perfectly you and beautiful. I wish I could express myself as well as you have. Looking forward to hearing more from my very creative sister.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Roberta

      I hope in last this year you have come to realize that you ARE a creative person. The way our creativity manifests is different with each person – you are creative in expressing thoughts, feelings and experiences in words. I find that so much of what you say – and also what you have experienced is like it is coming straight out of my own head. I have longed to write – as you did – but something continually holds me back. Perhaps I will consider a blog…well, I did start one a few years ago, but life got in the way, and I actually forgot I’d done it and abandoned it altogether. Thanks for your encouragement to the rest of us who haven’t quite gotten past the fear yet.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Lori Fernandez

    Christine, your post gave me goosebumps and actually brought me to tears, happy tears. I think this is going to be wonderful! Love you friend. One more thing…….. any actually naked photos need to start on a Wednesday evening in my roof top hot tub!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. Evelyn Evett

    Love it, love it, love it but more importantly I love you. Raw, real, and truly You. This is a perfect vehicle to express your creative side that has been shared intimately with a few. The world won’t know what hit then when it has the privilege to meet the original “it” girl. Just Do It!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  4. Sheri Tully

    Christine, that was so beautiful and real. Your word struck a cord in me that is very deep. In reading this I felt a little bit (no that’s a lie) a lot of how I feel exactly. My life’s experiences have been a roller coaster, not a lot of ups, but mostly downs. You express yourself so well, i can’t wait to read more of your creative, inspirational and moving words. Very well written! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  5. Mary Amoroso McDonough

    I will never forget when you wrote and read Mom and Dads Eulogy. First, I was stuck by how perfectly and lovingly you described our parents and second, I was in awe that you could get up in front of everyone and speak so eloquently at a most difficult time in our lives. You have always had a gift for speaking from the heart and expressing yourself so openly and honestly. I feel special just having you as my sister and grateful you are sharing your gift. Love you Christeenie xo

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  6. phyllis kerlin

    Good Gravy I was so glad to read this from you. I have had a tiny fear that you were, of late, rating yourself by a rediculous measuring stick and feeling less than great. I felt it in many of your quick postings, and I wanted to go over, knock on your door, and say “Hi. Snap out of it.” and then take you to the pier to throw more flowers off the end of it. But this time, as the flowers hit the surf we would shout names of those who at one time in life we thought were supposed to complete us. And we’d laugh hard, rowdy laughs at some of the names.

    This creative venture of yours is wonderful. I try to do art somehow everyday and it often is the best part of my day, so I smile knowing that you are about to be daily blessed by the phenomenon of flinging yours out into the universe.
    Don’tcha just feel SO much better?

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  7. Judy Jennings-Gunther

    Oh how I love the way you write. Your “ugly crying” put a smile on my face because it reminds me of my little sisters. The few times CJ would cry she would cover her mouth because she did not want her mouth to look like Betsy’s when Betsy was crying. If you are going to cry caring how it looks defeats the purpose.
    Sharing your creativity can be vulnerable. That is why if someone shows me something they have made I will always think of something positive to say without out and out lying. One women was very proud of her dolls that had a crochet skirt to cover the toilet paper roll. I said, “what a creative way to hide the toilet paper” then she showed me tri-colored (orange, white, brown)knit slippers. “I bet those are so nice and warm” 🙂
    When you show someone something that you have made you take the chance of being rejected. It can be scary.
    The fact that the people that mean the most to you love what you do and support you no matter what, is what matters, not what a random stanger thinks.
    I must go, Basil has just made me some coffee(2nd cup of the day) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  8. Luvy Lawrence

    Christine, I just have to say that your blog post is so brutally honest and refreshing to read. I had no idea you felt this way. I see you as a beautiful, confident, friendly and very sexy woman. I have a feeling your writing and stories will resonate with a lot of people. I’ll keep reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  9. Dan

    So . . . no naked pictures (at least not yet),

    You know there will be don’t you? Not that you’ll be posting them on the blog, though you might. Who knows. My point is, the naked pictures are inevitable if for no other reason than they are part of your consciousness as having a place in this journey. At some point, you will come to realize that baring you body is less exposing than baring your soul. Then you will bare your body not only as a symbolic of baring your soul, but also as a testimony that your body, your physical being has way less to hide than your mind and soul. After that, your writing will come from a more vulnerable place because you will have faced down what you perceived as the “undo-able” thing. You will realize your body had nothing unique to hide all along, while your deepest thoughts did. It wasn’t really your body you were wanting to hide, but your essence you were wanting to protect. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
      • Dan

        Truth and frankly speaking is my stock-in-trade, you know. I do believe that about the pictures; wait and see. They are waiting right on the edge of your event horizon. When you get to that point, you will see it as both necessary and inevitable. After that, nothing will be the same. I wouldn’t tell you so if I didn’t believe it.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Bare Naked in Public

    Reblogged this on Bare Naked in Public and commented:

    A year ago I started my blog. I’ve come a long way. Thank you all my loyal readers, followers and friends for your encouragement. Many of you were moved to tell your own stories and you inspired me even more. I love writing more than ever. No plans to stop. Thank you!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  11. jmd12340

    When I started my blog I was afraid. I read one of your post and have been hooked ever since. I wasn’t expecting naked pictures on your page anymore than someone should expect the band “Bare Naked Ladies” to be what their name suggests.
    You are talented and have much to offer this world. Your words touch the hearts of many of us who choose to follow your writings. Whether you’re talking about how happy you are to spend time with your grandson or your talking about relationships that did not work out.
    We all cry sometimes. The mixture of tears and laughter can sometimes be more tears than laughter. Knowing that others also go through periods like this helps me accept the circumstances and press on.
    Your words inspire me, and others, so please keep writing. You make the world a better place with every key stroke.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  12. lbeth1950

    I am always so happy to see your posts in my inbox, like having a good friend to coffee. You don’t shield yourself or make excuses. I love the time I spend with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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