Locker Rooms & Childhood Trauma
Yesterday was the first time I've ever changed openly/unabashedly in a locker room.
1996: I was the first girl in my elementary school class to start wearing a bra - naturally, being different was awful, so I would change in the bathroom stall instead of out in the open with the other girls before gym so they wouldn't see my shame. I was a shy kid anyway, add in being a busty 4th grader and you've got a problem. I also remember being visibly aware of the size of my thighs in 4th grade. Thanks America, for my girlhood lack of self-confidence.
Then, in the 6th grade ... came Chantal K. Because I changed in the stall before gym, she started a rumor that I didn't wear underwear. I can't even begin to tell you how traumatic this was. (Not to mention nonsensical, but that is only something I see now.) I can't even remember what I did to remedy the problem (it must have been blocked from my memory) but somehow I survived middle school with Chantal K. My imagination takes solace in the fact that she's fat now.
High school: even while playing field hockey, I changed in private and didn't dare flaunt my body around the other 'slim and trim all-girls school athlete' types. College: I never necessarily dropped trou confidently in front of my roommates, but I began to get used to the idea of sharing bathrooms - thanks to Ally, Pais and Lana chasing me out of the public restroom down the hall from our room where I went why I was feeling shy.
Maybe it all changed last summer when I went to Hawaii with my best friends and literally ran around in a bikini for 8 days without a care in the world. Since then, I've been tons more comfy in my own skin. But I still wasn't ready to bear all to my peers at the gym.
Fast forward to yesterday. I left the LMU library and brought a change of clothes to the gym. For some reason, I didn't head to the stalls to change out of my dress. I set up camp in the middle of the locker room and did the damn thing. It was liberating.
What does this mean in the grand scheme of life? Absolutely. Fucking. Nothing. But it's a good story, eh?