I came back down onto the beach today after taking a glorious “Dirty Hippie” shit (a chai drink from Hunga Bunga Java Coffee shop where we have become regulars even for only being here once a year). I sat down in my chair and my sister Ella said, “Did you see that girl that just came down?”
The tall tan blonde must have seductively glided down the public walk way we are sharing with neighboring oceanfront beach homes, and people staying sound-side, moments before I did. But I came down the steps jauntily, rather than seductively, as my mother explained how I walk. I replied “No” to Ella as my eyes wondered to the tent beside us on the beach and I spotted her. “You should see her butt,” Ella added as she returned to reading 30-Second Brain, a book about neuroscience. “I don’t give a fuck about her ass,” I said.
Approximately 15 yards away from this lean tall ass-beauty, I examined all that she had to aesthetically offer me. Again, long blonde straight hair, lean and tall, sun-kissed, and if I had a microscope, probably not a peach fuzz on her youthful flat-stomached, thigh-gapped, around 17-year-old body.
Yeah, I remember being 17 too.
But the question, my friends, that I ask now as a 21-year-old woman is, “Do they have the funk?”
Do they radiate charisma? And I’m not talking about “Is he or she a good person?” No, that is irrelevant and unknowable unless you indeed know the person and spend months, even years, with said person. I’m talking about an energy that certain people carry with them. Even places have the capability to carry this energy. Like where I am now, in Topsail Island, North Carolina. A pretty funky state in its entirety. But the young woman’s energy radiates the same energy that houses at the North end of the island radiate. Yes, they are huge and luxurious and have hot tubs and a million rooms decorated with expensive shit that someone can afford to own and rent in addition to their mansion in Maine along with a fleet of Lamborghinis… But these North end beach houses all look the same. I have stayed in several of them over the years and have always found myself longing for the South end. Where we are now. Tucked in between two of the only gnarly beach trees that can be seen for blocks down the dunes. With wooden walls and ceilings and weirdly placed and shaped windows added and built by the hands of a charismatic man, or woman. You can fucking tell. Our little island hideaway has the funk. It has words, and a story, and an energy emitting from it’s little thought-out structure. It’s like Bilbo Baggins and the Shire. Hello.
But this isn’t the first thing that Ella has said to me that triggered this reaction from me. Not but two weeks ago, she walked into my room wearing a new open-backed dress, asking if I had any stick boobs (the bra that sticks to your breasts so you don’t have to worry about straps). I replied and asked why she needed them. She said, “My boobs are too small. It will look weird.”
Now, my reaction is coming from someone who doesn’t wear a bra unless I’m wearing a shirt that requires me to at work or I’m running a long distance, but pure anger was and is indeed the reaction to my sister’s statement.
For those of you who don’t know, but she will willingly talk about it now, Ella, my sister, was anorexic.
I’m sure running track has something to do with it because anorexia is common among track athletes for some reason, but my dears, society has everything to do with it. And all of us know why. From technology to porn and this idealization of what women and men should look like, we know what eats us alive when we wake up and look in the mirror and we think, “How SHOULD I look today?” And then usually the following question is “Why can’t I look this way?” And the following reactions ensue trying to achieve that “look” that is expected of us. Anorexia can KILL you, and it’s a result of society’s standards. SOCIETY COULD HAVE KILLED MY SISTER! And people, we are all a part of society! Are we killing each other with our expectations?
And friends, I am by no means NOT also affected by this. Yes, I have become very confident about myself over the past few years with the help of working in the restaurant business and dealing with customers, having a few funky friends, spirit guides, my loving parents, and heavy metal music (yes). . . But just the other night while I was at work, I was struck pretty hard inside my 21st century self-esteem. And I am not afraid to openly admit what bothers me about myself:
Physically: 1) My drinking habits along with my lack of exercise habits sometimes show visibly on my lower stomach area, hips, and upper thighs. 2) I wish my arms were more toned as well. 3) I wish I was a tanned bronzed beauty 24/7/365. 4) I have dark hair so my body hair is darker and easier to see if not freshly shaven. (Though I care less and less about this as I get older. I plan to rock my landing-strip for as long as I can bend over to keep it up with the utmost 70’s pride). And 5) Sometimes I wish my face was different but that’s just life and you are 100% stuck with your face, I don’t know what else to say about that.
Personality: 1) My drinking habits make me do and say shit that I would never do or say sober, and I can’t control my habit sometimes, so fuck – – but that’s a different blog. 2) Sometimes when I get nervous under high pressure situations I will lie, and I fucking hate when I do that. I’m working on it. 3) I have the tendency to be attracted to people I probably shouldn’t be attracted to, resulting in me doing weird shit and then going through a long self-loathing process. 4) I can’t stick with a routine to save my life. And last, but not least 5) I’ll contradict myself, like I probably have already in this blog, which I also hate, but everyone does that and the very universe is a contradiction in itself so there really isn’t anything I can do about it.
Anyways, at work, my 21st century societal self-esteem was struck by a strawberry-blonde beauty in a patterned open-back dress who definitely does have the funk. I nonchalantly asked my coworker and dear friend, “How do you compete with that?” He replied, “You’re Tricia, you already won.” Of course, exhausted and hungover, I looked at him with teary eyes, and I remembered what the funk is about and that it is totally inside of me.
Now, I was never anorexic but I have come a long way since 15, 16, 17 years old; when you aren’t a child but you are hardly yet a woman. I can happily say, at 21, I am happy with myself for the most part, though I know my sister still struggles.
Currently, in the book I am reading called Dark Days, a memoir by Randy Blythe (who is now a best-selling author! Congrats!) he said something about people trying to be rockstars and that you can try really really hard to be rockstar, your hardest even, but some people just don’t have it. The same concept applies to the funk. But you can get it, and I’ll explain how.
Mother Earth is my greatest example. Even as I decay writing this, getting closer and closer to death with every breath. . . every moment, every year, I can feel Mother Earth’s funk getting stronger. She’s old now, and aging faster with this 21st century mentality as our environmental awareness fades with our irreversable technological sprawl across her. But like Lamb of God iterates in one of my favorite songs by them called “Reclamation”. . . The lyrics are “The elements reclaim what was taken.” And Mother Earth will. She is older than this 21st century society, and she will win.
My point is, funk is a side-effect of being an old soul.The earth has an old soul and I’m pretty sure I myself have an old soul. You have to die to be reborn within this life and in others (and I’m not even sure if reincarnation is real or how it works. I’m just guessing here). If your soul is older than the current society we live in, you probably have the funk. And it isn’t the tall skinny tan girl’s fault, I’m not trying to judge or shun her, it’s not bad that she gave me the vibe of a simple product of society. She just probably hasn’t died that many deaths or lived that many lives yet. She will learn, and one day you will learn, we will all learn that we’ll be better. And hopefully one day, society will be a reflection of positive funk. (You can still have the funk and be a complete asshole who hasn’t really learned anything, I was morbidly in love with someone like this once.) It’s up to us to sway the funk in a positive way as we live and learn.
So every second that my beautiful sister sits in that beach chair reading her brain book, and not looking in the mirror worrying about “What should I look like today,” she is gaining funk momentum. And as I sit here under the funky moon and write this, so am I.
All I ask is that you question yourself, and question society. Believe in yourself, and believe in self-empowerment. Wake up and skip the mirror. Don’t look at it. Go outside and look INTO the earth. Then you’ll see your true reflection.