Why I’m stripping on the internet / by Richelle Ouellette

You know those nightmares in the opening scenes of 90s teen movies? Maybe you’ve even had this dream. The one where you’re in front of a massive group of people and all of a sudden you realize you’re completely naked. You do your best to cover your naughty bits, but in your dream world, the laughing and mocking of your classmates/work associates/family members is un-ignorable. It echoes in your mind, even after you snap awake and sit up in bed.

That dream. That’s the one I’m about to give myself in real life. Why? Because I’ve been longing to write more, and I heard a quote recently that ignited my soul:

“The moment that you feel, just possibly, you are walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind, and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself…That is the moment, you might be starting to get it right.” -Neil Gaman

And so I’m taking off my metaphorical clothing. I’m getting real. Like the kids used to say, I’m gettin’ jiggy with it. (Please advise; does that phrase apply here?)

I recently cried in front of my therapist as I exclaimed how deeply I crave real connections and authenticity. It’s not something I can magically manifest into my life, but I figure the best way to find what I’m looking for is to first be it.

That is to say: if I act authentically, I will attract genuine people and create pure, meaningful relationships.

Obviously this is something I have to practice in person with my friends & associates, but I’m willing to give it a shot on the internet, too. So this is me, Richelle, real, raw, and unlike one of my feminist heroes Beyonce, far from #flawless. (But seriously girl, twins?!) This is me, showing the world my unfiltered, uncropped selfie.

In other words, I’m just a girl, standing in front of the 3.2 billion people who have access to the internet, asking them to love me… for exactly who I am.