She remembered how she was constantly picking her teeth from all the fresh, juicy fruit with funny names that she consumed. She grinned at the though of heading to back to that sweet little island that welcomed her like an old friend every time she touched its shores.
On her second trip there, she experienced her first real tug toward land ownership. She felt like a grown ass woman, wanting to put down roots and send holiday cards in December and whatnot.
She wanted to grow and eat things in that island’s soil. And feed them to the family she would raise there.
This would be her seventh trip to the island, but this time was markedly special.
This time, she invested in herself with a deeper level of commitment than she’d ever accessed before.
On this trip, she was going to do something that would help her trust herself and her choices more.
April 11, 2015 – My 27th birthday
I’m ready for a change. I gotta see my way out of this space because it’s not working for me anymore. I’m tired of being unhappy. A job but not a career I love. A life but not one that feels like I’m fully living. Questions about my beliefs, but no real mental space to really feel through that, so I can see what is true for me.
I’ve been reading about shit that’s really keeping my interest. Living in collectives focused on sustainable farming and respecting the land and the people. Maybe I want that for me and my daughter. She’s 7 now; she can handle herself better. And she makes more sense to me now. Mostly. So here’s my big picture game plan:
This year: Read more dope books.
Get book recommendations from my #wellreadblackgirl people. What if there’s a book out there that will remind me how to start quieting the outside noise and listening inward??!
Next year: Go to Jamaica. Sort + rejuvenate.
Book a personal retreat with someone who inspires me to start taking my desires more seriously. How would the luxuries of time and perspective affect my thoughts or my intentions?
She did both those things. And as the days leading up to the trip inched nearer, she decided to practice the mindfulness and confidence she intended to tap into during her retreat.
She let the winter stubble hairs on her legs stay there.
She chose art supplies over new for-the-trip sandals.
She left her nails free of polish; not even a clear coat, though!
She packed one bra, not three, because fuck bras! Sometimes.
Minimalist and focused, she wasn’t gonna crowd herself with stuff this trip.
She packed her bag, spent the night at her parents’ house with her daughter. They spent the next morning making pancakes and reading from their favorite stash of storybooks.
A few hours before her flight was scheduled to leave, she took a hot shower, wrapped her head with her favorite blue and brown, block-patterned scarf that doubled as a neck scarf if the plane got cold. She signaled to her dad that she was ready to be dropped off at the subway station where she’d take the train straight to the airport.
This time, she wasn’t going to Jamaica just for beaches, or beautiful men, or even the food. This trip was all about her; nothing or anyone else. Away from the distractions of her daily life, she set out to familiarize herself with the focus and quiet space she needed to shift her life in a newer, more authentic direction.
Quiet space, cool breeze, rich greens, and bright reds. Driving past blue-green seas and seashores seasoned with fishing boats. Stopping to eat fish and yam, and listen to reggae music pump out of large wooden speaker boxes and right into her bloodstream.
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