Tomorrow, I embark on something I actually haven't told that many people about. Escape. I've been asked questions about it by those to whom I've confided. No, not for long, just a weekend. Not that far. Not with anyone else, just on my own.
ON YOUR OWN? They say. Correct. Yes, I do have friends. Yes, I'm aware it's more expensive to travel alone. Yes, I'll keep myself busy.
Why, they all ask. Why? For myriad reasons that keep spilling out of me uncontrollably. Because I have become afraid of my own solitude; uncertain within my own company. Because I feel terrified of the prospect that I might feel this way forever. Because I can't justify encouraging other women, other people, to empower themselves when I'm not willing to do the same for me. I have become alien in so many ways, some of them even to myself. I feel foreign in a hundred contexts. I am exhausted with an existence that sometimes feels overwhelming, even when it's not. The short version: I need a fucking break. A break when I'm not being operated on, or recovering. A break when I'm not taking calls from clients. A break when I'm not changing a nappy whilst trying to explain the i before e rule and all of its exceptions. A break where I'm not a mother or a trainer or a counsellor or a councillor or a therapist or a teacher or anything to, or for, anyone else. A break where I'm forced, simply, to be me alone: the one thing that truly terrifies me at this very moment.
I’m not afraid to travel alone. I love it, I love airports, new soil, strange territory and foreign voices. I love indecipherable menus and not knowing what's around the next corner. I love the sun and the ocean and the beauty of landscape unseen before. I'm only fearful of the moment I stop conforming to every role I've adopted, the point at which I need to remember what it's like to be me. What it is that makes me. What I need to be happy. What I need to be rid of to create my best environment. How to proceed in order to best grow.
This fear terrifies, overwhelms, but ultimately frees. Overcoming this moment unlocks every possible potential of the future. We all reach crossroads, have points of epiphany. We all need a break from the walls that surround us, sometimes. These walls aren't always made of brick. They're not always oppressive, or stifling; sometimes we just need to breathe again.
Tomorrow, I will wake and inhale a moment of freedom for my mind; a long-awaited pause. I will not be afraid to spend time with this woman who, right now, feels like nothing more than a familiar stranger. I will not question myself or run from myself anymore.
And I will return with the best company ;)