Sometimes a vacation feels more than a couple of weeks away.
When I returned home from Greece, I felt like I'd been away for over a month. I came home to a completely different routine, to a different me. Before I left, I was a bit of a mess. I had tired panda eyes, and a slightly dropped spirit.
In Greece, I spent two weeks violently shaking my hair underwater like a happy sea monster. I relished in taking sweaty naps in the afternoon, and cold showers at night. I glued my forehead to car windows that took me down highways that snaked around cliffs of yellow flowers that smelled like a freshly perfumed French woman.
I carried around two notebooks, writing down everything I saw. I reconnected with my fictional characters that I sometimes set aside, like that game you played as a child, when someone yells "Freeze!" and you don't move until someone says you can. I thawed them out, and their stories started up again.
Before I left, I went to dinner with my best friend, and she took some photographs of me in Roncesvalles. While I stood in the cubbyhole she picked, she asked me to use the space around me; to embody the newfound freedom that I badly wanted to embrace.
So I did, and when we found the best shot, I hesitated to post it. She told me to own it, to stop caring about the rest.
While away, I began reading Dr. Brene Brown's, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. I first came across Brown's Ted Talk on vulnerability and I couldn't get it out of my head for days. I've always struggled with vulnerability. I've even been told that by a few people. But Brown believes that being vulnerable makes you stronger, even if at first, you feel weaker.
This week's mantra comes from her book. It is a quote I can re-read 100 times and still feel something. Hope you do too!
"Perfect and bulletproof are seductive, but they don't exist in the human experience. We must walk into the arena, whatever it may be— a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation— with courage and the willingness to engage. Rather than sitting on the sidelines and hurling judgment and advice, we must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen. This is vulnerability. This is daring greatly."
I have a bunch of travel diary posts coming up. Stay tuned! x