It’s hard to explain to anyone who has never lived on their own how one can need a break from themselves but the ones who have lived alone need no additional details.
During this 2020 pandemory so much has happened in the world but more specifically, to me. I was never trying to win the "Going Through It" olympic trials, but HUN-NAY, I was, had been, and it all became too much. Although I was doing the work to heal, I still had to hold myself accountable for not always getting it right. The pandemic had everyone in the house doing whatever we could to keep our spirits up, down or indifferent. But I can't lie, I was sick of being in the same 4 walls trying to heal in the exact place I experienced trauma, brokenness, and pain. My home stopped feeling like the place I needed to be in 24/7; the days in the park were not hitting like they used to.
Initially, I went into my old way of doing things; created a project out of my get away and invited others. In under 3 days I’d invited my girls, spoken to an employee at said location and even figured out the place we should stay. I was seconds away from planning every minute of our trip when I felt a strong sense and need to be alone; causing me to do something so out of character, I even surprised myself.
I reclaimed the invitation I’d given my friends with no type of reason other than, “change of plans.” In the moment it was the most freest I’ve felt since 2020 began. That action was not something I would have ever seen myself doing but my boiling point to escape and to heal was raising my level of honesty. Today being a friend to myself hasn’t been about keeping my word to others as much as it’s been about keep myself as my only priority.
I purposely left everyone behind; to include pain and anger from events I was struggling to heal from. I didn’t pack anything with me that hadn’t served me well; I took the necessities and things that would bring me joy along my trip. With my bags packed, rental car stacked and my Do Not Disturb on; I was off; to a place I’d found 11yrs ago that I knew had the ability to fill me up.
I love nature, it remindes me of God’s masterful work. My 3hr drive was gracious. Real cute and filled with the sun dancing on my arms and legs; I was still rocking winter skin and exposed more flesh just so I could tan a bit. Then the most random text came through (I still don’t know how that was possible with my DND on but go off God); it was from my photographer homie Reese Bland; informing me he was on his way. We had been talking about shooting; and during my massive planning of the trip I pitched him into coming up for the day; totally forgetting to reclaim that invitation what happened next would only be classified as divine intervention. There I was driving (about 2.5hrs away) and Reese was telling me he was stacked, packed and on the way to the mountains to shoot with me.
Yes, I wanted to deter him, thought about interrupting him and busting the bubble on the idea I had days ago where we did this random shoot; now it didn’t feel so cool and almost triggered my anxiety. Breath Diana... it’s just a camera and you don’t have much packed so this shouldn’t even be on your worry list; say yes and just move with no care; mentally I was yelling no, but My mouth simply said, ok.
Getting to the condo in enough time to be hospitable, washed up quickly and splashed only a natural beat of makeup on my face.
I posed, for the life I wanted and not the one I was living.
I posed for the woman I expected I would become leaving the mountain.
I posed for the pain and anger I hadn’t packed with me but it managed to find me, anyway.
I, simply posed.
I didn’t know if we were making great visuals but it didn’t matter to me. I’d given myself permission to be in the very spot I was standing in; I relaxed my mind, exhaled and enjoyed myself. Yes, I did. I was unaware of what Reese thought, choosing to not attempt to control the environment; I stopped myself several times from asking. My need to know what he or anyone thought wasn't necessary, especially in such a vulnerable moment.
The remainder of my trip was what it was. I had beautiful things happen to me. I spoke to strangers; shared a laugh with a sales teller in the Market about flavored beer and Greek salad. I hiked for no miles and felt the pains of my dancer knees needing more oil for the trip. I caught a glimpse of a wild rabbit that reminded me of #MYSon Christopher Robbin who’d I left with his Uncle. I took pictures of flowers and skies that all seemed to be performing for me and my attention. I got caught in a rainstorm that was eerily beautiful and left me dangerously emotional, sad and lonely. I made breakfast for one with the intention of a black mother cooking for 20. I laid on the couch watching anything that caught my interest and stayed up long enough to see myself fall asleep while the sun shined on my brokenness; awakening to a bit more energy and hope that I could heal where I was. I learned something so profound to me that I returned home with a running conversation going on in my head;
“This type of freedom will cost you”.
Freedom wasn’t free, it cost me room, board, a car rental, copious snacks and extra accident insurance. But realizing the total cost spent was peanuts in comparison to healing, even one inch of it. I smiled, laughed out loud in real time, said grace with actual thankfulness in my heart, forgot to be angry at people I still can say hurt me the most, and seen life in a way that didn’t have room for the woman who arrived on the mountain feeling less than, praying for a miracle.
Radical Self-Care; is what you believe it is; but for me it was not being a woman of my word, not including others, being open to a slow yes as opposed to a quick no, emerging from a place of uncertainty to a new locale of well maybe this isn’t as bad as I thought. I’m right and wrong and none of those things are anyone’s business to dictate.
This space I’m in is special; the place you’re in is too. Healing doesn’t have to look like what others believe it should, nor does your self-care. I must keep my focus and be open to being extreme about myself and how i show up for me; even if it is radical to some maybe it just ends up being a regular day, cumulus clouds, 80 degrees and a dance break in the sky.
My Radical Self-Care is so important; whom I knew myself to be is different. Now I’m planning another trip for August and can’t wait for the woman I’ll be when I come back from that one.
God has me here for a reason; I’ll honor that by living and maximizing my up.
Let’s Be Made Whole!