Something in the crisp Ocala air makes things a little more clear.  I have had a chance in the last few days to organize my thoughts and emotions, and I will return to Pennsylvania better equipped to handle the obstacles awaiting me. 

Being alone with my thoughts for hours at a time as I walk the sandy paths of the forest has allowed me to watch them evolve and flourish into something new and beautiful.  This mental chrysalis has made me speechless and at times has brought tears of inspired awe. 

This is the me I have always known, the woman I have let grow dormant as I trudge through the muck of work and household responsibilities.  This is the girl who has slept in parking lots, performed spoken word in a corset, and given her last dollar for a new experience.  This is the woman who loves completely and feels no regret.  This is the me I know and love.  This is the me I want to show the world. 

I started a post in my head about being judged by the lifestyle I lead and the way people view me and my family.  After my illness and a few internal household problems I developed an exterior adorned with negativity.  A year later I was told how miserable my life, my marriage, and my health seemed to an observer.  We had resolved the issues in question, but I was still wearing the psychological and emotional armor I’d used in those battles. 

My lesson in all of this was to let go of my bitterness in general.  I’m allowed to be frustrated, angry, hurt, and depressed, but once the need for it was gone I needed to let it go, heal myself, and fix the image I projected.  This has been a hard lesson for me.  I’m a “fixer” by nature.  I spend a lot of time making sure no one else feels hurt or neglected.  Until now I had not seen that in fixing everything and every one else I neglected some of the most important pieces of myself.  I’ve rediscovered those pieces here in this bunk house in the woods, and I intend to nurture them.  Never again will I forget how valuable and vital this version of me is.  She deserves to be fortified and indulged.  She deserves to be seen by every one.  Anything less is unacceptable.

Go now, find those parts you may have neglected.  Love them.