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These past three years I've been to the beach more times than the 10 years before, and I have not become any more comfortable.
It's a weird situation, because I do enjoy the ocean once I'm in it, but only if the water is calm and the wave break isn't churning with foam and sand. I can appreciate how the kids love to roll in the sand and run into the shallow water, and how much fun it is to make holes that can fill up with water, the bigger the better.
I have always been envious and annoyed at the girls that can spend entire days, weeks, months in their bikinis just being beachy. My two sister-friends are like this. They have at least 15 bikinis each and the summer is always spent on the shore for the entire three months, one of them spends up to 6 months of the year, in a beach town where she surfs every single day. I have never even tried to surf, I'd have to be athletic in a swimsuit! And that is just never going to happen.
I own one old and saggy black bathing suit that took me years to find. It made me minimally comfortable for a while, but now it's just a joke. I dislike the whole changing into the bathing suit thing, even less do I like spending time in a bathing suit if I'm not even at the beach, forbid if I have to wear clothes on top!
From the moment I was born to my 9th birthday, I spent entire summers at my family's beach place. I, like all my cousins wore the bottom of a bikini only. We spent days, weeks, months like this. We had lots of little bikini bottoms. We took swimming lessons, which I hated because I never learned to swim in a straight line and would either end up where I started or crash into the pool lane floaters.
We never used sunblock, my back is full of freckles. We used to peel each others backs and shoulders.
When I was 10 my boobs started to show. When I was 10 I had moved to Miami and was still using only bikini bottoms, until I got shamed by other kids at the shore. I started gaining weight quickly and my boobs got ginormous. I was living with one of my beachy friends and she was all about bikini bikini bikini. I was going to the beach in an odd bathing suit and a t-shirt, always with a t-shirt.
Not so slowly, I stopped going to the beach. The not finding a properly fitting swimsuit was only one of the reasons, I started hating the sand, and the sticky sunblock. I started hating getting burned and feeling like I was in a fever fit after a day at the beach. I started to hate the beach.
For three years I have lived on islands, my sister-friends freak out every time I post a photo of me at the beach (with my same black bathing suit and board shorts cause I'm not gonna shave for the beach!) I go for the sake of the kids, who absolutely love it. I suck it up and deal with it so that my kids can play in the sand and get in the ocean.
But no, I do not like being in the beach so much, I like looking at it from the sand-less safety of decks and balconies and shaded terraces.