Picking up where we left off…
After that profound lunch, I returned to my hotel room. What felt fancy when I arrived suddenly felt cold and empty. Where does one go to find herself again? I was lost. So naturally, I cried. Big, fat alligator tears. I needed to escape, get out of the lonely hotel room in which I felt trapped.
Setting out on foot, I explored the streets of Providence all the while trying to dry up my tears. No such luck. So I did the next best thing, I called my mother. Moms have a way of making everything better. And then, while walking and talking, I saw a beacon of light in my darkness. I walked toward a beautiful, old church and found myself standing among the rose bushes in its garden. Peace. That’s what I felt in that moment. I hung up the phone and sat in the garden, taking in my surroundings. You’d think I’d pray, but I didn’t. I just sat in silence, taking everything in – my day, my emotions, the air around me, my breath. And I had a moment of clarity.
I don’t have to have it all figured out. Seriously. It’s as easy as that.
Answers will come. Little by little and day by day, I’ll find myself again. I was never lost, I just got hidden under a perfectly poised mask. It was time to start peeling back the layers, one by one to unearth my authentic self. The me that I enjoyed, that wore and smile and lit up a room. The me who was kind and compassionate, rather than jilted and angry. The me who wore her emotions on her sleeve, not caring what others thought about her vulnerability.
So I stalked back to that gorgeous, overly-priced hotel room with determination. I was going to do something, anything, that I enjoyed. As I tore through the visitor’s guide in the hotel room, an ad for a local, craft brew tour caught my eye. Beer. I like to drink, I thought. Sounds fun, right? But then I stopped myself.
I don’t like beer. I don’t like BEER. I DON’T LIKE BEER!
My ex was a beer drinker. And sure, I’d acquired the taste for it after years together. But in that moment, I first realized something about ME. I don’t like beer. Given the choice, I’d prefer wine.
So, I found a locally winery and hopped in an Uber. About 45 minutes later, I was at the quaintest little winery near Newport, RI. I sniffed, swirled and tasted wine to my heart’s content. Inside the winery, a local jazz band swooned. I sat, tasting my wine and listened. I soaked it all up, like a sponge. The sounds. The smells. The ambiance. And I laughed for the first time in days. I met some of the most kind people, who chatted with me for hours about their joys, passions, families, jobs and so much more.
This is me, I thought as I returned home later that evening. I made my first discovery into who I am. I am social. And curious. And adventuresome. And, I love wine! From here on out, I’m choosing me.