Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Shower me in catharsis

There is nothing like a warm shower to do away with an entire day, few days, maybe even a week of grime and grossness.

This has been one of the strangest weeks of my life. While I feel that I'm still at a stage where personal is personal and I don't want to start divulging stories with the internet when I still haven't come to terms with them yet, what I'll say is this: I've been in love and I've lost my love. And I never realized in what a quick succession those two conditions can occur.

But the point of this blog is not to discuss the feeling of losing what you believe is true love. Maybe in a while I'll feel comfortable exploring that in a public forum. Until then, I'm going to talk about something directly related but also completely separate.

In my youth I loved taking baths. My mom bought me all sorts of toys to play with in the tub. They were organized along a wire rack on the side of the shower opposite the faucet. My favorite was a Hello Kitty-shaped sponge.

But even Hello Kitty couldn't draw my attention away from the beauty that was a shower. Because however often I took baths, and however much I enjoyed them, I loved showers even more. The feeling of warm water streaming down while I arranged my hair atop my head, scrubbing as hard as I could to make my L'Oreal Kids shampoo + conditioner lather and bubble was beautiful, serene, comforting.

So many times I begged my mom to let me take a shower instead of a bath. But because I was so young and didn't understand how to bathe myself properly, she'd often say I had to wait until I was mature enough.

You'd think that in time the appeal would have waned. It never did.

In high school I faced one of my biggest decisions as I took a shower one evening. I was standing there, crying to myself about how stressed I was in my first quarter as a ninth grader. And as the water washed away my tears, it also brought to the surface a decision to quit Speech and Debate, which was probably the best decision I made against my better judgment in all of my teenaged life.

Some of my most stressful moments have been drowned in the waters of a shower.

When I was sick earlier this week, I used it as my sole refuge from the toils of stuffed nose and sore throat. I'd climb in and spend at least 20 minutes letting the steam clear my sinuses and heal me physically and emotionally. Being run down all day can take its toll on your nerves, but at the end of each day there's a warm shower to prove there's something nice to look forward at night no matter how sucky the day is.

Fast forward a few days and I need to vent about something other than sickness. But I can't be too candid on my blog. And I don't want to tire out the subject too much with my closest friends who have been gracious enough to grant me phone calls, afternoons sitting around and talking, instant messages of kindness and uplift, etc. A shower is the one place where I can find a pure catharsis.

And the one place where I can drown out all the sounds and all the feelings other than the purely visceral. The hum of the water and the steady stream wipe away the tears of a difficult day.

So in addition to being thankful for my friendships, my family and my own attempts at self-motivated resilience, I'm glad to have a shower - a place where no one is around to disrupt my privacy and even if they were, I wouldn't hear them over the sound of water hitting the bathtub floor.

We all need a place like this in our lives - where we are cut off from reality, even if only for a few minutes a day. I don't think I quite realized until today how very much I need it. But now that I have, I'll never underestimate the power of the daily routine.

No comments:

Post a Comment