I love how you are fully awake and present when we are in new places. There’s something about new sights, smells, and sounds that makes you sit up and pay attention in a different way.
Or maybe it’s just how Time takes on a new attitude… how it speeds up and drags on during travel. How it teaches us to just be where we are.
We traveled quite a bit during the last month, you and I. There was the whirlwind trip to Arizona for Brant’s 40th, then the trip to Mexico with girlfriends for Taryn’s 40th (because when the two enneagram 7’s in your life hit a milestone birthday, you celebrate all-out-style), and then.
Then there was the trip to Mexico with Nate.
Listen, Body, I don’t need to tell you.
You already know.
I could write a whole letter just as an Ode to that trip. It was magic. It was everything we needed and more than we wanted. It was a full stop. A total bodily refresh. It was fortifying, restful, playful, relaxing, it was leisurely and slow. It was sweet. And It. Was. Sexy. I mean, we about melted the walls of that place, didn’t we, Body?
I think it’s (maybe?) the happiest we’ve ever been in each others good company, and I actually have a million things to say about that, but I’ll start by saying that I don’t think I’ve ever been more in tune with you.
I am hyper aware of you all the time now, but particularly when we are in a new place. I am finely attuned to what you need, what you want, what you’re anticipating, and what you’re afraid of.
This is a double edged sword because your Joy is most fully inhabited on vacations but so is your Anxiety. There is something about travel that just automatically puts you on high alert.
Even when you are having the actual time of your life, Body, I’m noticing that there is some tiny, ambiguous, unnamable part of me that’s still tempted to hold back. The part that’s anxious. The part of me that’s always low-key on guard, but not sure why.
I am happy to report: THAT part of me finally rested in Mexico with Nate. About 30 seconds after you dug your toes into the sand on that first day she ceremoniously exhaled, lay gently back, and stretched herself out until the ocean lulled her to sleep.
She took a full siesta.
She was so very tired, after all.
I’m not sure we’ve ever rested so hard in our life, Body.
And you reveled in it.
You were so pleased with this turn of events, weren’t you.
You were effing delighted.
You were windblown and makeup free and barefoot for almost a whole month.
(pops tiny bottle of champagne for the one time that’ll ever happen)
You operated and felt better than you have in a long time, at least 6 months.
You slept until you felt like waking up (for 10 whole days!) You ate what you wanted when you wanted it and OHMYGOD, it’s been a hot minute since we were able to do that without any physical fallout (-coughcough– or emotional baggage).
Your mind went blissfully blank, but not in an alarming way. It was that sweet, pleasant, peaceful brand of blankness that is SO rare and juicy for us.
We felt so free, Body, so loose and fun and happy.
I think that’s what stands out to me the most about the past month, about all these trips. I sense a new kind of confidence springing up in you that I’m not sure I’ve had before, maybe ever?
It feels like joy bubbling to the surface.
It feels like honest desire laid bare.
It feels like a grounding, like getting low and quiet but also… sure.
It feels like a Homecoming and an Odessy, all at once.
Here is the biggest surprise so far though, Body: The practice of fully inhabiting you is somehow reuniting me with the most intimate parts of myself.
The parts that felt lost or maybe just forgotten on a shelf somewhere, collecting dust. The parts that I missed so badly I couldn’t even talk about it, much less acknowledge it.
My audacity. My playfulness. My ability to dream. My creativity. My compulsion to mine for humor, no matter how dire the situation.
You were here for all of that during these trips.
You were fully awake to the moment. You were anxious, yes. But you were also fairly settled within that.
I wonder why… what about it was so different this time?
Maybe just the fact that we’re so much more connected to each other than we used to be? I think that’s helping me show up differently. I think it’s helping YOU show up differently too.
I’m proud of you.
You did so many new things and went so many new places.
You’ve been pushing past your comfort zone a lot lately, and while it’s definitively uncomfortable, I can’t deny that it also feels like relief.
It feels like getting something back after missing it terribly.
Like sharing food and stories and helpless laughter with a group of women.
It feels like a barbie pink one piece and a book of funny essays, and the comfort of realizing that 39 year old me is basically 11 year old me.
It feels like slowing down and leaning in.
Like taking our time to take it all in.
It does not surprise me Body, not one bit, that all the places you began to get my attention were the areas of my life that were tinged with longing.
It does not surprise me that you continue to do so.
It does surprise me, the way you delight in meeting my longing. Naming it. Making room for it. Giving it permission. Blessing it. Healing it, too.
You remind me that I am still adventurous- linking arms with 7 other women while we ran naked and laughing into the moonlit ocean. Body, I am a fun-haver! I always have been! That part of me is still very much alive!
What good news that is.
You remind me that I am sensual, when I miss his body and his smell and his touch when we’re apart. And when we’re together, you remind me to lean in to my desire, to stay present with it, and to follow it’s lead with unflagging joy.
You remind me that I’m carefree, spinning around in the ocean like an egg, squealing, and getting pummeled by waves.
You remind me that I am not weak when the anxiety simmers into a boil, suggesting instead that I am brave, and inviting me to stay with it, even when it’s hard.
You help me stay grounded in the here and now instead of the what if.
You look around, listen in, breathe slow, sit with the discomfort, and recite our truths back to us.
(related: Ummm, Body, are you my therapist?!)
*files under, Things To Revisit Later*
You rally when I need you and you bloom when I show you the affection you deserve.
Whenever I am good to you, you always love me right back, tenfold. How are you so cool like that? Why? Nevermind, don’t answer that. It doesn’t matter why or how, only that I know it in my knower.
I guess I just want you to know that I’m proud of you. Of us.
I almost didn’t go on all those trips, which is saying something because you KNOW how much I love to travel. It’s my favorite thing in the world, but I was… hesitant. I was worried, mostly about you. I didn’t know if you could handle it.
I didn’t know if we could trust each other enough to handle it, but we could, Body. Of course we could.
We are so much stronger than I give us credit for, sometimes.
Thanks for reminding me what it feels like to be free and light and playful and rested.
It was such a gift.
Really, I could cry, just thinking about it.
I wonder if there’s a way, if there’s a world in which you and I could spend our life near the ocean? Maybe someday, Body.
Maybe someday we’ll have our dream of living by the water.
You would love that so much.
In the meantime?
Do us both a favor and remember to ALWAYS TAKE THE TRIP, k?
Do it guilt free, every chance you get.
You’ll be so happy you did.