Have you ever had a time in your life where everything around you seemed blurry? A time where you felt like you were stuck in thick fog and couldn’t see which way to go? A time where you felt a bit lost, but knew you were finding yourself?
For the past several summers, my girlfriends and I have set aside the last weekend in July or first weekend in August and deemed it “girls weekend”. As the years have passed, we have experienced marriage, the birth of our children, death, and divorce. We have celebrated each others wins and we have been there to pick one another up when we fall down. Despite our various schedules and busy lives, we have made the commitment to show up for one another, put the weekend aside, and keep the tradition alive. It is truly a special thing.
These girls weekends usually consist of going somewhere close by, almost always near or on the water, laughing so much our faces hurt, drinking entirely too much wine or vodka at least one night, lazing around on the beach or by a pool at least one day, dancing our hearts out into the early morning hours, having so much fun together and, perhaps most importantly, give us all a much needed break from being a Mom or a wife or a girlfriend or any and all of those things to someone else. We put ourselves first for one weekend each year and I think it’s safe to say that none of us have ever regretted gifting ourselves this time.
In between all the shenanigans and all the fun, we have real, raw, honest conversations about life. We form deeper connections with one another. We get vulnerable. We open up. We share where we are at at that point in time. Sometimes where we are at is a high point, a success point in our life, and so we celebrate with one another. Sometimes where we are at is a low point, a challenging time in our life, and so we lean on one another to talk and work through whatever that challenge is.
Two years ago this August, we were on our annual girls trip in Portsmouth, NH and unbeknownst to me at the time, I was about a month out from sitting down with my then husband to share with him that I no longer wanted to be married. I knew that conversation was coming, but I didn’t realize it was coming so soon. What I did know that August was that I felt like I was surrounded by a heavy, thick fog that I could barely see my way through. I also knew that while I couldn’t see through the fog, I was being called in a direction, the direction of divorce, and somehow I knew in my soul that if I followed my instincts, my inner voice, I would be able to navigate my way through that fog to a clearing. And so, two years ago this August when I walked into a local shop downtown, Kennedy Gallery and Custom Framing, and saw this picture, I stopped in my tracks.
Isn’t that such an amazing thing about art? We get to interpret the meaning. We get to decide what that piece of art is saying to us in the moment. We get to feel however it makes us feel.
This piece of art made me feel ALL the things.
That boat represented me. Sturdy and strong. Sitting in the midst of heavy, thick fog. No oar to paddle or make its way. Unsure of exactly which direction to head in. Knowing to listen to its inner voice, move in the direction of the underlying current, and trust it would find it’s way through the fog, into the clearing, to the other side.
At the time I saw this piece I knew I was heading into becoming single and supporting myself and my little loves. As a result, I could not justify making the purchase, so instead I purchased this beautiful, less expensive piece called “The Holstee Manifesto” that also called my name, especially the line that reads “Getting lost will help you find yourself” because, at the time, I surely felt a bit lost, but knew that I was on the path to finding myself. I wrapped it in brown paper, hid it in the back corner of my closet in a bag, and saved it with the sole intent to display it in my new home, wherever that would be, as my first piece of decor. And yes, you better believe it was the first piece of decor I opened up and put on display when I moved into my amazing new home just three months later.
I promised myself that day in the gallery that I would return and purchase “Bass Harbor, Maine” in the future, when the time was right, as a reminder of this time in my life, how I was feeling, and most importantly as a reminder that I had found my way through the fog to the other side.
In June of this year, after visiting the gallery three times over the past two years just to “check on” my piece of art and visualize it in my new home, I made a phone call to the gallery, purchased the artwork, and drove to Portsmouth to pick that baby up. I was finally in a position to make the purchase and damn it, it felt so good. I hung it in my bedroom on the blank wall that had been awaiting its arrival for nearly the past two years.
Now, every night before I go to bed and every morning when I wake up, the first thing I see is “Bass Harbor, Maine”. And every night before I go to bed and every morning when I wake up, I am reminded of how far I have come. I am reminded that even when things around me feel blurry, even when the thickest of fog sets in and I feel as though I can’t see through it, I can turn inward. I can and should listen to my inner voice. I can and should rely on my internal navigation to guide me. I can and should take whatever step feels right next. And I can and will find my way through to the other side.
If you ever feel like that boat, if you ever feel like you too are sitting in the midst of heavy, thick fog, no oar to paddle or make your way, unsure of exactly which direction to head in, remember that you are sturdy and strong. Listen to your inner voice. Allow yourself to flow and move in the direction of the underlying current. Trust you will find your way through the fog, into the clearing, and know that you too will make it to the other side. You have everything you need inside of you…and I hope, some great (girl)friends too.
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