Previously on "Apple Ear Life" - Despite nothing going according to plan in the 2 weeks leading up to yesterday I stepped out in faith that this was where I needed to be, got on a plane (with Anxious in tow) and headed to CD2 in Florida.
Over the last few days my friend (and traveling companion - I always wanted to say that!) Sarah Catherine and I joked that if we could just get here we would be able to say we'd accomplished something. This morning I woke up and thought, "Well, I'm here - now what?" Coming to CD2 reminded me of being a freshman at Meredith. All fall the upper-classmen would talk about an event called Cornhuskin', but every time we'd ask what it was and tried to figure out what to expect we'd simply be told, "you just have to experience it." Over the last 3 and a half years anytime I asked someone about CD2 I got the same kind of responses: "Oh, it's life changing..." "You really can't describe it..." "It's like a week of therapy..." If you think I don't like it when things don't go according to plan, I really struggle when I don't even know the plan. When we got here yesterday we kept asking for a schedule and kept being told, "oh, just show up for dinner, don't worry about the schedule."
Keep breathing, Rachel.
But now I understand. One day in and I already can't explain what's happening here. I'm learning so much about myself and one of the big realizations is that I'VE GOT FEELINGS. Boy, do I have feelings. But if I'm going to stay true to my commitment to just be present and experience this retreat then I've got to experience my feelings.
And I did.
Yes, that's right. Yours truly was crying before we even made it to lunch on the first day, and you know what? I'm going to OWN it. Yes, I cried. Not because I feel sad about everything going on with John (that came later in the day). Not because of how anxious I am feeling about being away for the better part of this week and knowing he's got surgery next week. Not because I'm feeling guilt about leaving my students with a sub yet again.
No, I cried because it's hard to be seen. Having someone you consider an acquaintance look at you - really look you in the eye - and see you is HARD. Allowing myself to be vulnerable enough to feel the tears well and overflow and yet continue to let that person look me in the eye felt raw. Owning that it's ok - that was priceless.
So my big takeaway from today? I spend a lot of time running around doing the things that I think other people want to see, but I rarely pause to let them really see me.
Here's to seeing and being seen...