Can you imagine hailing a cab naked?
Negative life events such as getting divorced can strip us of our self-esteem. Likely, the years of a detached or troubled marriage leading up to divorce have a lasting impact on one’s self-worth. This makes it even harder to gather strength and confidence for separation.
I watched my friend Allie blossom from a shy woman who didn’t value her worth to a confident and independent within two years.
“Normal” people don’t do it. Prude people would be appalled. With enough drinks, 20-something’s might do it on a dare. So how did I, a 40-year-old respected professional, loving mother, and devoted wife, hail a cab naked? I NEEDED IT. Like many of us hard working moms, we put ourselves last. We focus on pleasing everyone but ourselves. After doing that for many years, I felt blah. Who was I anymore? My ex made it clear that my looks were not something he was proud of; That I could never be enough for him, no matter how well I did all the “wife and mother” duties.
Divorce made me happy again
Although I would never wish divorce on anyone, mine was a turning point for me, and a good one. At first, I focused on God and continuing to be a good mother to my kids. But eventually, I started thinking about what I needed. I started dating with a very clear picture of what I wanted in a partner. Never again would I live life “going through the motions.” I needed a partner who felt the same and shared the same values. Once I found that (in my now husband), life changed. I changed. But somehow I needed to prove to myself how strong and wonderful I had become.
Hailing a cab naked became a life-altering moment
So one night, when we were traveling together in San Francisco, I did it. It was unplanned. We were leaving a restaurant and needed a cab ride back to our hotel. We had a few drinks, and I remember thinking “I should just hail a cab naked. It’s not really “me,” but I wonder if I can do it?” Then, right there, in the heart of the city, I took off all my clothes. Everything. It felt liberating! I stood on a curb in the busy city – bare, vulnerable, staring at my husband as if to say “Am I crazy?” We were both laughing, and he was shocked. My heart was pounding. I thought of my imperfections, the marks from having children and for a split second, I thought, “ok, I did enough. That was brave. I’ll just slip my clothes back on and laugh it off.” But then, I turned the other way, faced the street, and raised my hand proud and high. It was fastest we’ve ever had a cab stop. He almost locked up his brakes. He asked where we needed to go as if he didn’t notice I was naked. The answer: anywhere. The feeling set me free. If I could do that….I could do anything. And the look on my husband’s face told me I was with the right partner.
Allie found herself again
Hailing a cab naked – would I do it again? I’m not sure. I don’t need to anymore, but I’m certainly not opposed. My heart is full. I am unashamed. I am someone I am proud of, and I am more confident and happy than I’ve ever been. So in the end, this article is not really about hailing a cab naked….but about having the courage to do something the “other you” would’ve never done. No matter how big or small….or crazy, it’s finding something that embodies your strength and screams “I am confident and happy with me.” What is your version of “hailing a cab naked?”
Sometimes a negative life event is necessary to help us find our true selves. Demand joy in your life. Live with confidence!