Nice to meet you
One day when I snuck out for a week, I snapped a selfie. I was on the beach. I usually wouldn't have had my phone turned on, much less on and inside my pocket. But people needed to get a hold of me, so I was chained to my phone. There I was, walking a gorgeous beach, unhappy that I was a prisoner to my cell phone.
I wasn't enjoying the beach as I usually would have, but I kept walking. The sand between my toes was a small comfort, the salty air was cleansing, and the sound of the sea bellowed in my ears, drowning out my grumbles. I was sulking. Never mind the fact that I was lucky enough to be strolling a beach. No, that wasn't enough for me. I wanted it all. To be left alone in peace while I vacationed and walk to my heart's content and not have to make certain my ringer was loud enough to be heard over the raging ocean. While I sulked, I wasn't paying attention to the one thing I should never have taken my eyes off—the sea. A rogue wave broke just a couple of feet from me and splashed all up and down my body. I burst out laughing. Mother Nature had just slapped me. "Snap out of it, brat!"
Then, a text came through from a friend. She asked how I was doing. How she knew I would be crabby on my solitary vacation is only explained by one word: love. It had begun to rain a little, and I needed to get off the beach. My feet were tired, my back hurt, and I was wet and getting cold despite being fully clothed. I approached the dunes, and my back gave out. It was done and needed a rest. So there I was, plopped in the dunes in the spitting rain watching the ocean. Not another soul was around. I was in my little salty world.
Off to the side, I saw a sun dog. I smiled and snapped a selfie, I never take selfies, and I sent it off to my friend. She replied, "You look happy." She was right. I was. That is the picture you see here. No makeup, a slightly sunburned forehead, I hadn't showered that day, and I may or may not have brushed my hair. I was damp and in pain but damn if I wasn't truly happy. That is me, everybody—the real me. I'm Jude McLean, and I'm delighted to meet you.
- Jude McLean