Of swimming pools and achy knees
In which Ameya tells you some of her adventures on her travels
Writing to you this time from the lovely city of Santo Domingo! I gotta say, after a good ten days on this island, that island life is rather wonderful. It’s sunny, but it never goes up past 35 degrees, and it can get humid but the wind blows it away soon. I might just be converting to being a beach person…
So, to finish that story I began in my Instagram post yesterday, I turned to my new German friend and said, well, I can’t really walk far or fast, so why don’t you go get food and I’ll hang out here. I was expecting him to say yes, and I was prepared to feel like a sad loser—which is the feeling that has always stopped me from even saying honestly that I can’t keep up, and which used to make me overstretch myself horribly and still feel shame and embarrassment because I couldn’t keep up. But he just shrugged and said okay we’ll find something in 200 metres, come on, and then gave me his arm to lean on for a bit too.
This is what happened at my friend’s wedding too, where I wanted to dance but could barely hobble, and needed help to get off the bus every single time. Before I could ask, he would be there holding his arm out. And if he wasn’t, one of his friends was. And the one time nobody was, I stood in the door and hollered for help, and three hands appeared.
The other thing I did at that wedding, was wear a swimsuit and lounge around in the pool all day. I didn’t worry about my big thighs or floppy arms or bulging tummy. I was happy in the pool, drinking cocktails and giggling and making new friends. But my knees! I had to clamber in and out of the pool, only on one end, where I had enough support, and it was a slow and ungainly process. But I did it, and not only did no one notice, I didn’t worry about them noticing! I can’t tell you how amazing it felt!
So that’s the biggest thing I learned on this trip (so far): There’s no shame in admitting to needing space or help, and most people, no matter whether they know you or not, will lend you a hand—literally. Also, WEAR THAT SWIMSUIT!
This week I have FOUR interesting reads for you, not all about being fat, but all definitely about rethinking how we structure the world.
This is a lovely one on building strong and healthy boundaries from The Guardian.
This is about assigning value to time instead of money, about people who don’t make giant amounts of money, but also therefore end up with time to be able to do the things that bring them joy, making them time millionaires.
Kumail Nanjiani is a Pakistani American comedian who’s had a movie out and achieved a decent amount of fame for being a regular guy. When he was cast in a superhero movie he decided to train and acquire a superhero body. It’s a fascinating read.
The Atlantic has a piece on how it literally costs more to be single, because we arrange tax and economic incentives, and most of the ways we structure an adult life, around being in a couple.
And that’s it from me for the next couple of weeks. Next newsletter from another country!
Ameya (& Pallavi)