I landed back in Philly on Monday, July 4, 2016. The significance of it being Independence Day is not lost on me. June was finally over and I was feeling refreshed. It was time to claim my Independence from the things that have been weighing me down. It was time to accept my new reality. I was transitioning careers and experiencing a new decade in a new life.
When I first landed in Philly, I felt like there was a cloud above me, perhaps it would be better to say a weight. I wasn’t ready to slip back into everyday life. On the cab ride from the airport to my apartment, I wanted to crawl up in a ball and just tell him to keep driving for a little while longer. I was excited to see the hubs and my friends of course, as they were the missing piece while I was gone, but I didn’t want to go back to the routine of everyday life. That’s why we take vacations after all isn’t it, to break up the everyday routine and experience something new? It’s a chance to alter our perception of what life is and apply the lessons learned when we arrive back home.
Luckily the day after I returned my sisters Jessica and Jennifer surprised me. Ccelli had told me to take the day off and that a surprise would be coming to the apartment at 10am. I almost fell over in the street when I opened the door. There stood my sisters with a cupcake that held a lit candle, a bottle of wine, and flowers. They had come to officially celebrate my birthday. They had planned a whole day in Philly and it was the perfect way to be welcomed home. As you can see from the photo I was so surprised that I took the world’s worst picture. Sorry I cut you out Jess 🙂
I’m a Gemini. Gemini’s are ruled by mercury and tend to be talkative, unfocused, and get bored quite easily. Coming home I was feeling the angst and unsettledness. Driving over the Ben Franklin bridge I kept looking out the window hoping to see some color but I was faced with only gray. I was feeling an indescribable hunger that couldn’t be satisfied with a breakfast sandwich on a Sarcone’s roll. I say breakfast sammie because I really wanted one at that moment. In the last 24 hours I had only really eaten licorice and vodka, which has been known to sustain me for quite someone but at this moment wasn’t enough. I was definitely craving something more than that. I wanted adventure.
It was so easy for my routine to change. I always considered myself to be a morning person. I often joked that my most productive hours were 7am till noon. Looking back maybe I was lying to myself because not having to report to an office daily, I find myself staying up till late in the evening and sleeping until around 9am. Now my most productive times are at night.
In the stillness of the evening, I find myself writing, listening to music, reading, basically getting in touch again with my inner artist. It sounds almost cliché. Artists are known to be night owls and here I was falling right into the stereotype but I like it. Those late night hours have become a safe haven and a place where I can get out all the random thoughts that go through my mind. I liken my thoughts to listening to the radio by hitting the scan button. Each station comes on for only a second or two, sometimes it circles back to one you have heard, sometimes you hit upon a gem for a moment but it’s constantly changing. That’s my brain.
My first week back, I went to visit Gina and fill her in on the #EatPrayDrinkTour2016. I was telling her the stories of the week and tried to convey my attitude towards it all. Instead, I just started crying at one point. They weren’t sad tears but more of a release. I made it through a challenging month, started the journey to rediscovering my authentic self, and now I could take a breath for a moment.
I’m fortunate that the hubs knows this isn’t new for me. He understands that I have an insatiable need for change. I like to mix it up a bit; from different hair color, to redecorating the apartment, to self-discovery. He has seen me reinvent so many times over the last 10 years that he could predict all the emotions I was going to have and exactly how I was going to handle them. As he always says, “It’s a good thing I’m not boring.” It’s true. Luckily if you know Ccelli than you know every day is an adventure.
My time in Portland and Laguna Beach will always be so much more than a trip to see my friends. It will stand as the week that I accepted myself. It’s as if a switch flipped and my need for approval from others turned into a need for approval from myself. I am learning to be comfortable with the person I am and I’m trying to be the person I think I should be.
P.S. Dave and Tanya I love you more than you know. Thank you again 🙂
As soon as I returned home, I bought a new guitar. Her name is Rae and I love her. She is the new addition that is going to assist on the next journey of my life. The next phase is filled with expression, self-reflection, and connecting with my inner child (or the part that understands the importance of fun). Most importantly, I am done fighting with myself. I am who I am and that person is just fine.
Here are the top 5 things I learned on my path to rediscovery:
1. Play. We forget to have fun sometimes as adults. Get out there and play as much as possible. As a child, going outside to play a game of tag could fill a summer night and create memories for days. Find those moments again and create new memories built on laughter. Put the phones down and talk to the person in front of you. Playing mean experiencing. If you are engaged in the moment you will experience something great. I promise it will be magic.
2. Learn. Never stop learning. There is an entire world meant to be seen and you should do everything you can to do just that. What we know as truth is a result of the people and the environment that surrounds us. As you change the people and environment, you learn new things and perceptions change. This is learning and it is important because being stuck in one train of thought results in not being able to adapt. Being able to adapt is the key to success in my opinion.
3. Be healthy. Life is no fun if you aren’t feeling well. Eating right and exercise are not just about looking good. We all know this so I won’t get preachy, but I will say I’ve been in a slump. I haven’t been feeling motivated to take care of myself for a few weeks and I feel it. I’m going to change that now that I’m coming back around.
4. Say no. The most empowering thing I ever did was learn how to say “no”. Saying no to the things you don’t want to do, things that suck up your time,or things that you don’t have a passion for. Saying no to anything that your gut is telling you to say no to is the single most freeing thing you can do in life. Learn to say no and be confident when in your choice.
5. Say yes. Ironically saying yes is very liberating as well. We are sometimes presented with opportunities that our gut wants us to take advantage of but we rationalize all the reasons we shouldn’t accept. If your gut tells you yes, then do it because I promise that choice was put in front of you for a reason. When you start to walk the path life leads you down, you find magic.
Magic can be found everywhere. I hope you all experience it daily.