One of the best parts about Greece was the people I met. The pole camp brought a group of us together from all over the world. I got to build friendships with people I would have never met otherwise.
Two of the most important friends I made I mentioned previously. One was a gay, New York, hairstylist and the other was a British business-women mother. The three of us thrived on pole sport as an athlete challenge. During our time in Greece, we began to share stories about ourselves that would have otherwise been harder to come out in day to day life. While pole training to adventuring, we'd laugh and make jokes. We were easily among the loudest in the group and we had a ton of fun being so. But, during the quiet moments when we were away from everyone and eating cake while watching the sunset, we talked about our struggles and things that made our hearts hurt or caused us to become cold to the world. Both were older than me. We all lead completely different lives and were spread pretty evenly across the world. Our common interest in pole sport brought us to the same place. But as different as our lives were, our passion as artists gave us a strong commonality.
As I shared with both these incredible people the struggles of my divorce and how lost and lonely I felt during my identity crisis, they both helped me come to an understanding that I was not alone and that I was worth more than I was allowing myself to realize. In one short week, they showered me with love and care and made me feel that I was more than I was allowing myself to see myself as. I finally began to accept that I was a bit of a mess.
My whole life I had been an obedient, quiet, good girl. But I had come to discover myself to be a dark, passionate, sensual and very wild woman. My upbringing told me I was sinful and terrible for it. internally, no matter how much fun I had, I still judged myself for it and considered myself a bad person for being comfortable with my body. I enjoyed the empowerment and satisfaction that came with being a temptress on stage. For the first time in my life, I felt powerful and confident. I liked being desired. I loved it when I began dancing and could hear and entire bar suddenly go silent and suddenly become captivated. I could command a stage with a single look. But my hometown considered me a newly become devil child for it. And no matter how hard I tired, that inner shame rooted itself deep down inside of me enhancing that feeling of unworthiness.
But in Greece, I could see myself for all that I was and learn to love and accept it. I am an artist. I do the things that most people will never have the confidence or bravery to do. I break the lines and I influence people to realize the bright and dark things about themselves that they can't see in day to day life. The rest of the world can call us sinners for it, but at the end of the day, it is the artists that drive and influence the world. It's those who have the bravery to experience, discover and live the things that most people would not be brave enough to attain that keep society exciting and the world moving forward. Call it sin. I call it art.