Dancing in Carnaval is exhilarating to say the least. Fleeting moments of vulnerability mixed with feeling powerful and exquisite.
The is an initial moment of shock as you realize you are about to dance in the streets of San Francisco in a costume that reveals parts of your body you aren’t sure you want to share with the world. That moment doesn’t last long as you are surrounded by thousands of beautiful women. Women in every shape, size, color and hue feeling beautiful together.
The power bounces off each person and gives you a surreal feeling. It’s a high unlike any other. You have to be there to feel it. You can’t help but smile at every person you see. In this moment your insecurities are non existent. In fact, they no longer matter. You aren’t worried about how you look or what people might say. You are literally living in the moment.
Living your best life, as they say.
There was a moment my best friend looked over at me and asked “What are you smiling at?” and I gleefully replied “The world”. I glanced at the women around me and found joy and their happiness. I felt emotional as I reflected on how society treats women and people of color. I took note of the police officers smiling and dancing to the music as they enjoyed what will forever be their best day ever on the job. I felt hesitant to engage them but exchanged pleasantries.
As I walked in the parade I felt like a Queen. On most days, I feel like royalty but today everyone saw my crown shining. I was boldly wearing my most beautiful accessory- my smile. I was smiling so much, it hurt.
The crowd was captivated by our beauty. They appreciated our differences and couldn’t stop staring. You could see it on their faces. Everyone was having so much fun. I hope the memory of Carnaval stays in their minds forever as it will in mine.
You see, there is power in vulnerability. On the other side of fear are the best things in life. When you face fear head on, you get the opportunity to unlock another dimension of yourself. Life is too short to live in fear of the unknown. Doubt will leave you questioning yourself and prevent you from experiencing what life really has to offer. Carnaval is not about dancing naked in the streets. To me Carnaval is power, beauty, strength, and culture in one place, at one moment- in time.
I wish the feeling would last forever.