It's 4 AM. I'm in Houston. I had a very long chat with my parents last night that is now leading to this post. I figure, why not be more honest in my writing? Why hide in it? If my intention is to offer more of myself to my work and clients, offering a truthful glimpse into my life, why glitter it up and make it appear as if all is ok? I know that is wildly unrealistic and frankly, not fully truthful. My life, like your life is imperfect, flawed even and I worry about what you worry about. The truth can also set you free. I really believe that. I don't want to pretend anymore that this spiritual journey that I'm on or this yogic path is one of rainbows, butterflies and all good things. Yes, it certainly helps to have a practice and to be of the mindset of surrender and letting go, but I am wanting to be more honest about what things ACTUALLY look like and feel like. I don't want to paint the walls white anymore or ride around on a unicorn. I want to be real.
In all honesty, South Africa was a hard trip for me. I was sick with what appeared to be some kind of food poisoning and so it made it nearly impossible to eat while I was there. Also, because my body was fighting off the infection, I was tired and fatigued, often sleeping for entire days at a time. It was sad to have to miss so much of the retreat, which was my original reason for going. I was also lonely even in the midst of others, feeling too tired to connect and so far from home. Yes, I got to practice a bit of yoga which was incredible, but I was not present. I was preoccupied with my stomach and rushing off to the bathroom or to be in my bed so much of the time. It feels like a daze. It was exhausting. I love my friends there. They are lovely and took great care of me. But, frankly, it was challenging to fully enjoy myself and let go because of digestive issues.
I got back to Houston. I was beyond exhausted, delirious even. I KNEW before leaving that I should have given myself just a few days of time to adjust before going back to Austin to work again. I even said this out loud to my sister and she fully agreed with me. I did not. I went against my intuition and booked myself nearly to the brim beginning the day after I got back with yoga classes and clients and even some social obligations. That was a mistake. I was jet lagged, still sick to my stomach and feeling pretty alone honestly. I try to be brave and walk gracefully into new and challenging situations, but the next events that happened whipped me straight back into a reality I had almost never known in my 30 years of life.
I was in a really rough car accident on my way back to Austin. The airbags and seat belt saved my life. I was in my beloved, tiny Fiat on the highway and I rear ended a giant white pick up truck going God knows how fast. I am so lucky to be alive and well and even only mildly bruised up and sore from the impact. I did not listen. I didn't listen to my own advice. I ignored myself so that I could be back in time for obligations in Austin that I ended up having to cancel and move around anyway. It was just not worth it. It is not worth my life or health to push so hard that I end up in the way of harm. I let fear or my desire to please others before myself get in the way of actually taking care of myself. I have probably never been so scared as I was just after the impact occurred. I called my parents right away.
'Mom, dad...I was just in a wreck. I needed to tell you.' My car, I knew...was totaled. I remember buying it back in 2013. It was the first real adult purchase I had made on my own and I was so beyond proud of myself. I went to the dealership with my ex boyfriend and did all the haggling myself. He was mad at me for being so impulsive, I remember, but I didn't even care. I knew that it was the car I wanted even if I had barely done the research beforehand and fumbled through the process. I loved that car so much. People knew me by it. A fiat 500 pop, light blue---not even a scratch or a ding in the 4 years that I owned it. And now, in an instant, it became undriveable and unsalvagable. I break out into heavy tears remembering details from the accident and how lucky I am to be okay and how much I'm going to miss that car. Yes, it was a big deal. I'm not going to pretend that I am ok. Those days are done now. I really no longer care about the same things I did before the accident. I could care less about managing my image or pleasing others. It really feels like in this moment, I want to consider myself first before serving and catering to others. Like the oxygen mask analogy.
If I'm not practicing self-care...I am a hypocrite. If I'm in such a rush to make it all happen right now, I'm missing the point. I'm not being present focused. I'm not meditating. I'm not going to be of service to others as well as I can. This event was HUGE for me. The travel and the accident. I have a deeply strong desire to stay put for a while. To allow others to care for me and to ask for help. I'm done living in the delusion of okayness for the sake of others. I'm done being strong to spare others from feeling uncomfortable. I'm pretty sure I can take a little bit of emotional pain after something so physically threatening didn't kill me. I'd rather not please you, I'd rather respect you. I'd rather respect myself.
I don't know how this will actually change the course of my days. I do know that in this moment, I feel changed. It's like God was shouting at me, 'BROOKE JUST STOP!' Stop running, stop moving, STOP RUNNING AWAY FROM YOURSELF. And in a way, this entire situation has been a blessing, a lesson, even a necessary occurrence as frightening and shocking as the entire thing was. I will not hide my truth from you anymore, reader. I'm committed to living an authentic life and, like you, I'm in pain. My pain is real. I won't deny it or push it to the side to be some ridiculous martyr. I would rather take myself off any pedastal at the risk of being judged or even---God forbid, disliked. I'm ok with that if it means that I don't have to manage my existence so heavily anymore.
It feels good to be real. It feels even better to be taking life so slowly now----to be really focussed on one day at a time. I'm ready for whatever life throws me next. This has been, as my dear friend Marissa so lovingly calls it, ANOTHER FUCKING GROWTH OPPORTUNITY. I am grateful as hell for friends and family who really love and care for me. It has been made extraordinarily obvious to me these past days just how much love I have in my life. That is worth so much more than any dollar. I'll leave it at that for now. I appreciate your taking the time to read this.
Until next time,