There they were in their birthday suits, not a care in the world. They certainly weren’t body conscious or shy in any way; they didn’t seem concerned about the fact that it might rain; they weren’t phased by people like me snapping away on our camera phones… They had decided they were going to participate in a naked bike ride and they did. Simple.
Last week, I resigned from my job. I’d been doing the same job, successfully with various organisations for over five years and although it wasn’t my dream job, it had its good points. Then I encountered an organisation to which I wasn’t suited and work became something of a nightmare. It brought on stress levels like I had never experienced in my life to the point where nausea and migraines were regular occurrences. The set up of the organisation made it difficult for me to do what I was trained to do in the way I was trained to do it; apathy amongst some staff, which was largely ignored, impacted on my ability to do my job and the stress of being on the receiving end of what can only be described as very subtle workplace bullying by a member of staff made me despise being there. I could have fought harder and really kicked up a stink until I got what I needed to excel but in all honesty I’d reached a point where I just didn’t care enough about the job or the organisation to even try.
I graduated with a degree in Journalism in 2007 with all the hopes of forging a career in that field but as time went on I found myself moving further away from the initial plan. If you can’t find work in one area, you have to look for it in another and before you know it, that ‘other’ direction has completely taken over your life and you find yourself settling because ‘it’s the right thing to do’. Only it’s not. It’s soul destroying to know that you have a passion and skill that is going to waste, it eats away at you and makes you feel like a failure because failure isn’t actually failing at a task, failure is not ever having the courage to try.
I practically danced out of the building on my last day at work. Part of me was saying: ‘What the Hell are you so happy about? You have no job, you have bills to pay and the past six months have been a monumental waste of time and energy on your part’ but another part of me, the part that I had become so good at supressing for so long finally got the chance to speak and she said: ‘THANK FUCK THAT’S OVER! Now can we please focus on what I want?’ And of course what she wants – what I want – is to finally embark on a career that makes me happy and utilises the skills and talents I’ve worked so hard to develop. I appreciate that I’ll have to start from the bottom, I’m okay with that. I know it won’t be easy; I’m okay with that too, and I’m aware that I may not be successful, but at least I would have given it a try. What I’m not okay with is sleepwalking in to another job that does nothing for me other than just about pay the bills.
So when I saw hundreds of naked people riding past me in the street I had a special kind of admiration for them. There they were, exposed to the world, the subject of both ridicule and wonder, at risk of damaging very intimate parts of themselves if things went wrong and possibly a little bit scared (because let’s face it, riding through the streets of London butt naked won’t come easy to everyone) yet they were doing it anyway, knowing at the end of it all they would have accomplished a goal, or at the very least, had fun trying!Follow @KariceQ