A few of us headed out to beach for the weekend to celebrate a friend’s birthday. I think I could write a book about the weekend: the people that I bonded with, I could get into how the guys sang Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love To You” to us, girls, as we heated the nacho dip at 1am, or how I learned to skip the line at the bathroom that was over 30+ minutes. I won’t even begin to tell you about the sunset moment we had or about how I got this terrible cramp on the way to the beach bar on Friday night and how one of the hottest guys I have ever seen, swooped me into his arms and carried me over to a bench so I could sit as I felt better. Yes, the weekend was amaze balls, kids, but you know the drill- I gotta give it to you in bits.
The purpose of the trip was to celebrate one of my best friend’s birthday. Him and his belly are 28 now. I hadn’t given much thought to the group that was going. It wasn’t until I got on the train that I realized that I was the only girl my age going. This was going to be interesting. But I knew I would figure it out, eventually.
As mature and social as I like to think I am, there were a few moments that first night that I felt off. Though a part of me didn’t really indulge in it, the feeling of being an outsider was present. I put it to the side and decided to stick to my original plan: tan my pale skin and chill out. The insecurities I was feeling were standard for anyone coming into a new group: What do they think of me? Do they want me around? Am I talking too much, too little?…
All these things went through my head on Saturday morning, but I decided to turn the radio off and make myself some coffee. I sat out by the pool and tried to read, thinking it would settle down my thoughts, but before I knew it one of the guests of the house came outside to chat. He completely interrupted my morning read, but there was something about how relaxed he was about it that I enjoyed. I realized that I was taking my presence too seriously and I sprinkled some let go into my 2nd cup of coffee.
“The quickest way to experiencing the peace inside,
is to learn to recognize when I am not at peace.” J. McDonald
As the weekend unfolded, I found myself completely immersed in thrilling activities with the most amazingly vibrant people. Every time the doubt would come crawling in, I’d roll my eyes and social butterfly myself over to someone new. I let go though and I ended up having real discussions with real friends. Normally, this would f-r-e-a-k me out, but a part of me felt good. I had expressed real fears and real thoughts with the help of some poison and a dreamy sunset. It was worth it. I heard myself talk and I knew that there was a lot of truth in the things I needed to work on. Also, I was happy that I was healthy enough to talk about it instead of let it fester. I’m learning to feel it out. I’m learning to catch it before it becomes a problem.
On the train ride back, as a friend of ours was telling the story of how he proposed, I noticed my eyes puff up. You’d think I hadn’t cried in years from the confusion I felt. What is happening right now? What is this?! Is that a… TEAR!? One of the girls from the trip saw me and gave me a side hug. It didn’t take long for us to trade battle stories and when we were done, she gave me another half hug and said something that full circled the weekend for me. She said, “thank you for sharing.”
When we are ourselves, we share. Sometimes, random events occur and we allow ourselves to open up and expose our raw selves to new people. The fun isn’t always guaranteed, but the adventure is worth the risk. I let myself have a great weekend. That’s something that I want to remember about it.
With moments like these, if our guard is down, we allow for others to enjoy us. Had I held on to the stupid agreements that I had made with myself on Friday evening, I would have ruined it.
The second lesson that I learned was about how all the insecurities I had surfaced. I had to stop and think, was I provoked to feel this way? No. I was not. So, it’s safe to say that I carry these feelings with me and seek out my own evidence to confirm them. Uncovering this helped put me at ease. It made me very aware of the connections and sensations that I am capable of fabricating in order to validate my insecurities. It made it easier to call myself out and it made it easier to talk about. I carry these fears with me. It’s almost comforting to know that I can also drop them. They are not universal truths, they are simple agreements that I have made with myself. It’s not the world saying this to me, I am saying this to me and I want to learn to stop.
And as the sun set on the water that Saturday, I realized I had moved on to a new phase. I had already ended the deep heartbreak. The old snakeskin has peeled off and I am almost completely shaking out of it. Peeling old skin off at the beach, isn’t that poetic? As I finished writing this out, I remembered the marbles post from earlier this summer. Man, I would have enjoyed passing this weekend’s marbles over to that second jar.
I had been thrown off by all the weird feelings, but the flood makes sense now as I look back. This new wave of feelings is a result of this new phase. The new skin; it’s going to take time to feel comfortable in it. It’s going to take some time. So, here goes nothing.
Oh, and there was this little girl on the train handing out stickers and I got three. I think I’m going to enjoy this phase. A lot.