Well, I got so used to being disconnected I took a whole week off blogging.
But really, disconnecting wasn't as hard as I initially anticipated. In fact, I really only used my phone to talk to Kyle and I didn't miss social media one freaking bit, as you can see because I've basically neglected this blog since my return. It was refreshing to step away for awhile and be present in the moment. I came back from Columbus refreshed, inspired and with a new appreciation for girl friends and quality time.
Making friends in Atlanta has not come easily to me. I've met a few wonderful women here, mostly through work, but have had trouble creating the same kind of "community" I have back in California (more about that in this post). If I'm being entirely vulnerable, I haven't tried very hard to seek out the community I want so badly; but I feel like I don't really fit in here. I didn't realize how much this was effecting me until I landed in Columbus and Paige, Simi and Jen came flying out of the car to hug me. Our weekend was so special. Today I thought it would be fun to share five things I learned from our weekend together.
ONE: IT'S REALLY, REALLY IMPORTANT TO SPEND TIME WITH YOUR GIRL FRIENDS.
When you have a full time job, a full time boyfriend, a full time dog and a full time blog it can be really hard to find time for your friends. Especially when those friends don't live in the same state. I have been so caught up in my routine that I've forgotten how special "girl time" can be, and it was so overwhelming (in a good way) to have such special, quality time with them. Since being home I have been a better girlfriend, dog mom and friend because I was able to be fully present with them.
TWO: BE VULNERABLE, NOT ANXIOUS.
I think one of the most memorable and special parts of this trip, for me, where the deep and meaningful conversations we had. We talked about everything from relationships to intuitive eating, from competition among women to funny and embarrassing stories. At first, I was nervous to open up for fear of being judged but when I did, I was met with "how can we support you?" and "wow that must be so hard, what would help you feel better during this time?". It was the kind of support you can only get from your girl friends and it was just nice to be able to share with them so openly and feel so safe.
THREE: TRY SOMETHING NEW, EVEN IF IT SCARES YOU.
We took a barre class on Saturday at Studio B Wellness (Sim is a teacher there!) and before walking into the studio I had an anxiety attack: I was that scared of trying something new. I was absolutely terrified I wouldn't be able to keep up, that I would be the fattest girl in the class and that the instructor would have to babysit me the entire time. At the urging of the girls (and with a lot of encouragement) I calmed down enough to walk through the doors. And you know what? I loved it. Not only was I able to keep up, the instructor even complimented me on how quickly I was able to catch on to the moves. I've been searching for a barre class in ATL ever since (I had a bad experience at Pure Barre). I think I might have a new fitness addiction. And if you're in Columbus, you should try Studio B immediately (especially Sim's classes!)
FOUR: WANT TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF? VACATION WITH HEALTH COACHES.
Imagine sitting around a table in a busy restaurant with three of your girlfriends. You open the menu and think "oh my gosh I really want a burger but would anyone judge me for that? Should I get a salad?" Now imagine the girls you're with not only encourage you to enjoy that burger, but tell you IT'S OKAY TO HAVE IT. And you order the burger and it's the best burger ever then you, your friends share the fries and have a second glass of wine. That's what vacationing with health coaches is like. Fun, encouraging with nothing but joy and peace around food. No guilt the next morning. I may not be entirely happy with my body right now, but the girls made me feel beautiful the entire weekend....even after I ate that burger.
Now, let me shamelessly plug my friends:
Find out about working with Paige here.
Find out about working with Sim here.
Find out about working with Jen here.
For information about Finally Free click here.
FIVE: THERE IS MAGIC IN LITTLE MOMENTS
While I was packing for the trip, I found myself trying to put together cute, Instagram-worthy outfits....or at the very least, I was trying to be put together while I was on vacation. Halfway through my packing (and my freak-out because I only had a carry-on) I realized: it was a weekend about friendship, not fashion. So I packed leggings, jeans, t-shirts and tennis shoes. That sums up the weekend perfectly: the magic happened in the moments when we sat around the living room wrapped up in blankets watching the Oscars or sitting at the dining room table talking and laughing. It was all about WHO we were; it was all about our FRIENDSHIP. It had nothing to do with how we looked, what we wore or our make-up. It was freeing, and refreshing to focus on the connections, not being entertained the entire weekend.
I can't begin to tell you what our weekend did for my soul. I've felt more whole-hearted, genuine and open since returning home. The four of us have talked almost every day since we parted, and being able to share such a special friendship with them is something I treasure. On another note: I strongly recommend visiting Columbus. It was such a charming, friendly city that is filled with some really delicious restaurants!