Back to Myself
Being Creole, my natural skin color is a kind of caramel. I grew up in the sun and the heat, you see, and was always some toasty shade of brown. But then I spent more than twelve years living in the Northeastern United States, a very unnatural place for me and one in which I never felt quite settled or at home. Honestly, I spent those years waiting for the day I would leave. I knew I could not stay, had in fact decided I would not “celebrate” another anniversary of having lived there, and was able to move shortly after making that promise to myself. Hooray!
While living in the Northeast, my skin color faded to a sort of jaundiced yellow. Sallow. I didn’t look unhealthy—at least, I don’t think I did—though I felt it. And my state of mind was showing through my skin.
But now, after just four months on the West Coast, I am once again my natural, lovely shade of tan. And yes, I do wear sunblock! When I was a kid, most people didn’t worry about that kind of thing, and not being at all prone to burning, I worried even less. But I’m much more conscious of and conscientious about it now. I wear sunblock and try to limit my exposure. But I am myself again, and healthy and happy and glowing for it.
It feels good.