I learn something new about myself on every adventure away from home. I look at these adventures at not just a way to give myself a break but also a way for me to reconnect with me and understand new parts of myself as well as old. They are opportunities for me to be the other part of me I want to be. Someone once told me we all wear masks to fit in with those around us. It makes absolute sense. It’s not that you’re not being yourself it’s just that the world is multifaceted and we have to be that way as well. Knowing that has helped me better understand people and give myself some grace when I’m not feeling “authentic” – such a millennial word. However traveling solo allows me to leave all of the masks I don’t fully embrace wearing at home and take only one.
I often feel caged to be honest and my spirit animal is a lion. Feel me. I feel as women we consume ourselves with life in a way we never have time to just stop and know us – our own self. We are caught up in the selves of all those around us and live quietly behind them – pushing, guiding, encouraging, giving – to them. We don’t talk about ourselves enough or share our dreams. We let ourselves get buried in guilt and shame. We don’t question why we are who we are because we just don’t have time. We put our oxygen mask on everyone around us and ourselves last often. Women may give themselves s a few days a year to walk away from it all. That’s not okay. Sorry men but women are the bringers of magic and make a house a home. It’s exhausting. I love scrolling and seeing women on a girls weekend or just alone at night having wine and watching Netflix. It’s self-care for some. Getting to know yourself is a form of self-love. Think about the person in the world you love the most – you want to know everything about them. What makes them happy? What makes them sad? What fills their bucket? What are their dreams? So for me these trips are a way to answer those and reconnect with the wild woman the resides in me. I truly believe taking time to reflect is the only way we can evolve as a human and a society but a hustle and bustle of the American Dream life does not naturally allow for that so you must TAKE it.
So what did I learn.
I’m reminded I’m a loner and these trips should be reserved for me to do just that – be free and individual. I’m reflective. I enjoying going inward. I won’t lie by the end of the week I’ve been exhausted by people everywhere. I think about the needs of others constantly. My trips out west and to Costa Rica I have hours on end alone. Sometimes I will only see a few people in passing and maybe speak 100 words a day. I don’t have to think about others. It’s me with my journals, blog and books. Now don’t get me wrong. I met some beautiful people that I hope to reconnect again in months to come at concerts or next year. I look forward to getting to know them better and dancing again with them in the future. I also enjoyed the time with one of my dear friends getting to know each other even more and making some insane memories. I would not trade those memories in for the world. Sooooo I’m not complaining I’m just learning and being honest – that’s what this blog is about. I’m beyond blessed that I had the opportunity to follow a band I love and have the seats and location I did. It does not escape me that I am a lucky lady and it is a reminder of how far I’ve come to be able to make this happen. That brings to another point but that’s a few paragraphs away. However the constant having to talk and interact wore on me and I returned feeling a bit depleted. Solo travel it’s all about you and where and what you want to do. Seriously when I solo travel I can make decisions with no thought and it’s really . When I got home the first place I came to was my shed where I listened to Amos Lee while watching the birds as they got their evening meal. I was at pure ease right by refilling by myself away from the world. So will I do another week long tour again? Not in the near future. Was it amazing? Yes. Phenomenal. Was it exhausting? Yes. My feet and back are tired, my voice is strained and my ability to really listen to someone is absent. But being this close below to a singer whose music has absolutely helped hold me when I was too weak to stand….words can’t express how it felt.
Anything is possible I’ve learned. I think about what I typed 5 years ago in the old shed. Darkness. I never imagined I would be who I am today. I never thought I would be able to do what I just did financially or mentally? Rolling up to a concert solo is a task for me. I have to face a lot of fears of rejection. I have to really focus on all I’ve learned and remind myself I am worthy of conversation and have a story to share. I’ve worked hard thought these past years. I have fought and clawed to where I am today. Not in a million years would I have imagined that I would be taking my fifth personal week long trip away from my family. I am stronger than I give myself credit for at times.
Now for concert location. I love the pit! Love it. Once you’re there and if make rail or a few people back the energy is insane. The anticipation, the conversations, the waiting…and then the band comes out and you’re like this is the most amazing experience in my life. You’re waiting years for a song and then all of a sudden you’re so close you can sense it’s coming. You can see the artist up close and really feeling the words of the music. You can feel their joy and pain and that of those around you. It’s very intimate. Now maybe it’s my loving to dance with my bare feet in the grass that does this but midway through a pit night I’m kinda done though. You can’t dance there really. So as much as I love it (and seats are just not for me) I think my truly happy place at a DMB concert is the lawn with. Amos Lee, Anderson East…put me in seats. DMB, put my on the grass, wind me up and watch me dance. Well, maybe the pit every now and then. Maybe it’s like your fave food. If you have it all the time you start to not want it. Hmmm..
Oh and I also learned I never want to go back to Atlanta. The traffic about broke me. I have always heard about Atlanta traffic and they weren’t exaggerating. I will never complain about Nashville traffic again.
I really just want women to feel like they can take time away from their lives. I know some can’t but I live in a personal world where most women can if they choose. Most people reading this can. I live in a world where women have disposable income and help that can step in. I used to be the queen of excuses and every now and then I still make them. I live in a world where a woman in a deep dark depression can emerge and spread her wings wide. I live in a world of possibilities and dreams. I live in a world where I have to make choices how to spend my money and I choose to do me! (My world is my little bubble – not the world in general.) The kids survived. The science fair project is finished. The house is still standing. There are no weird smells. No one missed any practices or appointments. Flower didn’t get walked but that was a conversation the girls didn’t like and I don’t think anyone will not walk her next time. All is well and the world is still turning even though I took a week away. Although I do feel exhausted my spirit and my soul is filled. That is what these are about.