Mental Health Self Care Travel

WILD: NEW YORK EDITION

I watched the movie Wild (yes, I’m the movie not the book) after I lost him. Uninterested in everything, I aimlessly scrolled through movie selections on my fire stick desperately trying to find something, anything to distract me from how I felt or the random memories that would pop into my head. The movie was a great choice, I watched as cinema in its best form portrayed how I felt inside. Lost as hell, unstable, in indescribable pain…removed.

In the scope of a year I had been sued, thrown into power struggles at work, lost the most important man of my life only to get into an accident days later. Life was spiraling and the biggest part of me wanted to give into the chaos and not fight against it like I’d done all my life. Exhausted was an understatement. I felt like a zombie, like the life had been sucked out of me and I could never rest again. “Life” was an elusive concept and the living dead was my reality as I felt no range of emotions. Just tired and numb. After I watched a version of myself reflected in the movie Wild I got an itch to get out-of-town. Little did I know that itch would translate into a 4 day solo trip to New York for the first time.

 

Solo Trippin’ or just Trippin?…

In my excitement to change scenery and get some distance I informed a select few of my plans to venture into the concrete jungle as a country girl, solo. The reaction was overwhelmingly the same “wow, wait…you’re going by yourself. I don’t know about that, people are crazy.” My mood changed from excitement to apprehension as I pondered whether it was actually a good idea to go on a trip solo or was I just tripping. But I knew I needed to get some distance to begin to feel like myself again or find a new self that could enjoy life. My confidence in myself and outlook on everything needed to be revived and taking this particular trip seemed like the perfect  idea. The background noise had to be silenced and it was when I brought my plane ticket.

 

Insight and the City

With metro card and luggage in hand I called an Uber from the airport to take me to my air bnb. It was rainy in the city on the first day and as I arrived to my room I settled completely into the best sleep I had gotten in a long time. Sunshine woke me up from the huge windows and I decided to stroll down Brooklyn streets to have brunch. Afterwards I went from visiting the Brooklyn museum to tackling the subways for the first time, then to having a glass of red wine with steak by the Brooklyn bridge. I was then scoped up from the subway station by a high school friend who took me bar hoping all night long. Needless to say the trip was off to a great start. I walked the Brooklyn bridge, had coffee in lower Manhattan, and even took a boat tour around the island. I went from feeling like the movie Wild to feeling full-blown Carrie Bradshaw.

 

Discovery

In “Wild” the main character had lost her mother and found herself spiraling in a very destructive way. She decided to hike one of the hardest trails alone and it took months to complete. On her journey she began to process her grief, rediscover herself and look into life with different eyes. I took my trip because I needed that enlightenment…I craved that release. I knew I wasn’t dealing with my very real pain in any real ways and I could feel myself slipping into a destructive thought pattern. My zest for life was nonexistent because what was the point of life in the mist of so much pain and death?  I needed to find the answer.

What I discovered about myself during the trip is that I’m capable of navigating the world in a way that works for me. I did things that marveled me and left bad experiences behind. Being able to make a decision so many people would not make for themselves was empowering and reminded me that it wasn’t the first time that I had done it. I am brave in more ways than I usually give myself credit for. My view of the world expanded and outside of death I began to once again see life. My heart was full when I saw the statue of liberty in person and not on a screen. I was immersed in creativity when random songs and beats vibrated off the subway walls by people hoping to make it big. The skyscrapers seemed bigger than life and my problems. I was small again in a world that seemed big with possibilities.

When I got lost in the treacherous subways for two hours it was a reflection of how I actually felt in life; like people were moving past me, knowing exactly where they were going and I was stuck. Confused and alone. When I thought my way through the whole ordeal to finally find my way back to where I needed to be, it helped to show me that my ability to withstand and overcome is amazing.

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Return to Sender

Coming back home was bittersweet because while I enjoyed the city for a few days; there was still so much I wanted to see and do. Yet, the thought of a nice bubble bath and my own bed was appealing after a great trip. I felt rejuvenated and ready to take life as it would come. On the trip I had started to process my grief a little more, my feelings of low self-esteem and restlessness. I found myself once more willing to fight for the life I wanted and not get lost in the painful moments  because there was so much life still left to live and experience.

Hey Builders, what is the best solo trip you’ve ever taken? Comment below and Let’s Talk!

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