Vacations are good. Vacations are necessary. And repeat… This was my mantra leading up to our trip. For the first time in ten years, Jon and I would embark on an adult’s only get away to New York. It actually worked out quite perfectly. Jon was playing Afro Punk (which I was BEYOND excited about.) I was going to be doing a shoot for a brand that I held near and dear to my heart. Babysitters were in place. Needless to say, it was going to be fun. I was super excited. Leading up to our trip, (and during) I would learn some amazing things about myself. Perhaps these were things that I’ve always known. However, these nostalgic discoveries were so very evident. Here are three things that I learned during our great adventure…
I learned that I deserve good things. Before our big trip, my anxiety was on fleek!! I was afraid that at any given moment, one of our kids would catch a cold, and I wouldn't be able to go. (Please note: My kiddos are never sick.) The thought of the brand that I would be working with, canceling for unforeseen reasons, (although they have never cancelled) crossed my mind. The thought of my daredevil of a kid, Jedi... breaking an arm during one of his acrobatic stunts crossed my mind. I even imagined Afro Punk canceling due to unforeseen weather. I know… It was crazy. Anxiety made its grand appearance. Truthfully, the thoughts continued until we boarded the plane. Why were these thoughts so prevalent? Why did I feel like our beautiful four day plan would fall through at any moment? The answer was so very evident… I wasn't aware that I deserved good things. As someone who has dealt with both childhood and adult trauma, one can begin to second guess when good things happen. You begin questioning IF something/ someone/ some experiences are really as amazing as they seem. I for one, if not careful, can pick things apart to its bare bones... carefully examining the gift that has been given to me... as if it is a mysterious package left by a stranger similar to the film, “The Box.” When healing from trauma, it is very easy to doubt every good thing that comes your way, as opposed to simply embracing it. After all, the pain experienced is so very real, one’s guard is hard to let down. However, it is so very imperative that at some point, the healing begins and the exhale takes place. At some point, the folded arms that guard our wounds, must open to receive the good that so desperately would like to enter our world. Although, I can never take away the traumatic events in my life, I can still decide to embrace the beauty and wonder this world has to offer. For God sake... I deserve it!! On my trip, I prompted myself to say thank you and receive… arms open… heart open.
I learned that I am super resourceful and quick on my feet. Upon arriving in NY, my tummy began feeling upset. Perhaps it was nerves or lack of sleep on the plane. Who knows. We landed around 9am in NY. Before heading to baggage claim, I went to the restroom and freshened up a bit, and Jon and I headed out on our first adventure. First stop... my photo shoot. As our Lyft driver drops us off, my stomach by this point feels really bubbly and weird. I try my best to think nothing of it. We finally arrive in the city. As we're waiting outside of the loft, one of the shoot's coordinators comes down to meet & escort us to where we should go. Not a second after we greet each other, I do the unthinkable… I “sharted!!.” Yes. You read it right. I shart myself. For those of you who have no idea what that means, it means that I simeoultaenously farted and crapped my pants. Yep. Thank God, no one heard it. Thank God, It wasn't a huge “shart”. However, what is really a reasonable sized “shart”? Its all horrible. Its all incredibly humbling. What do I do next? I walk up the FIVE flights of stairs to the loft where we are shooting and I immediately ask for their bathroom... just citing that I need to freshen up... remaining as calm as possible. Needless, to say, my tummy is obviously upset!! (Please note: “Shart(ing) is not something that I incorporate into my everyday life.) Once I get into the bathroom, I freeze. In this particular bathroom there is no sink, just a toilet. I panic. I look through my bag and I notice that I have a water bottle and baby wipes. So... what did I do?... I did what every dope woman who sharts her pants would do. I channel my inner McGuiver and begin to give myself a bath with my freshly opened bottle of Dasani, which I had confiscated it from the plane... and baby wipes. I literally began squatting over the toilet pouring water all over my nether regions and wiping as if my life depended on it. Because it did!!! I am convinced I couldn't have bathed myself any better had I been in an an actual shower. Soon after, I got dressed... walked out of the bathroom with a Mentos smile on my face without anyone suspecting a thing. After modeling underwear for the next 7 hours, I left the shoot, giving myself a much deserved pat on the back... and the rear.
Lastly, I learned that Jon and I needed a vacation more than ever. We needed time to connect with ourselves…. just us. No distractions. We found ourselves wondering around the big apple, with no particular place to be. It was wonderful. We stayed up late. We woke up late on days that we didn't have to work. We made love on the table (because we could). We did exactly what we wanted to do, when we wanted to do it, AND where we wanted to do it (pun totally intended). I remembered WHY I chose him so very long ago. I remembered why he has been my best friend for all these years. WE remembered why every day, we choose each other. We ate vegan churros at fun vegan diners. This moment reminded me of when he and I were dating... staying up to the wee hours, eating greasy Waffle House diner food, and just knowing that perhaps this thing that we were feeling was not only mutual, but real. This trip served as a beautiful reminder. It was necessary. It was beautiful. It was a teacher. For this I am forever grateful.