It was early this past spring when I decided I needed to get the hell out of dodge. On a whim, I booked a flight to Tampa, Florida. As I was going through the thick of it, I took solace in the fact that I had something to look forward to. I figured three days away from the mess that was my life could only help to center and ground me.
I left just a few days after the house went on the market. Armed with a journal and a couple of bathing suits, I plotted a course for self-care.
I dubbed it my “Eat. Pray. Love” trip. More than just needing to relax and recharge, I wanted to get some answers. Once the house sold I would be living on my own again. I needed to know if I could be alone without feeling lonely. In some ways, it felt like a test-drive for my unmarried life. Would I find joy in my own company? Would I feel sad and empty? I wasn’t sure what emotions would come up or if I’d be ready to face them when they did.
The airport shuttle dropped me off at a strip-mall spa across from the condo complex where I was staying. I had a massage, facial and something called a “detox body wrap” which seemed fitting.
I woke up the next morning and got ready for an early yoga class by the bay. Sherry, the instructor, welcomed me with open arms and started the practice with a beautiful reading. Halfway through our class, some dolphins swam past and I’d never felt so at peace. I left that morning near tears. It had been a long time since I’d felt that kind of strength and clarity.
Later that day I found myself at a beach bar with my book and a beer. When I started up conversation with someone new I tried really listening to how I told my story. Was I happy? Was I excited to start this new part of my life? I figured whatever I was putting out into the universe was a part of my truth.
For the first time in a long time I was listening to myself and I liked what I was hearing.
A few days later I landed at Newark with a fresh perspective, a tan, and a great offer on the house. My little trip gave me what I needed to start packing and figuring out my next move. I’ve come to realize that as I move forward through this journey my inner voice acts as both my compass and my anchor. Now all I have to do is listen.