I’ve had people question my intentions of going out on adventures, especially outdoor solo travels.
“You’re running away.”
“You’re fleeing from real life.”
They’re not always wrong.
Some of the times I’ve gone backpacking, or kayaking, or back country camping or climbing, I’ve gone because I’ve wanted an escape from my everyday life.
BUT there are times when I NEED to get away.
You see, working in a profession where I’m expected to give, give, give everyday (I’m a special ed. teacher), there are times when I need to replenish my cup to continue giving.
Being outside, getting away from people (except other like-minded outdoor adrenaline junkies like myself) lets me recharge.
After a hard week of teaching the neediest of scholars, I feel overwhelmed, overstimulated and need to get outside, in nature, and get back in touch with me.
In the outdoors, my ego is stripped down and my true authentic self can emerge. This is when I am at my most happiest. This is when I am my most raw. This is when my inner voice is loudest. This is when I heal. This is how I recharge…until the next time I can go out into the wilderness, to lose my mind and find my soul.
Do not shame me for talking too long with you at the bar. Just because I enjoy a good conversation does not mean I’m interested.
Do not shame me for dancing enthusiastically with my friends at the club. Just because I love to express myself doesn’t give you permission to dance up on me, or touch me inappropriately.
Do not shame me for expressing my emotions, calling me “too emotional” or “you’re overreacting” just because you’re too insecure and uncomfortable, and not in touch with your emotions.
Do not shame me for listening to my intuition. Do not call me “crazy”, when deep down I know that something isn’t right, that you’re cheating, that you’re pulling away.
Do not shame me for dressing up and feeling sexy. Do not shame me and cover me up because you cannot handle your sexual impulses.
Do not shame me for sending nude photos to my, then, boyfriend. You know who should be shamed? Him, for leaking the nudes.
Do not shame me for setting strict boundaries at work, stating I’m too difficult to work with because I won’t freely give my time and energy. Both my time and energy are precious resources, and I’m very discerning as to how I give them away.
Do not shame me for setting strict boundaries in my relationships. I’m selective of how and with whom I spend my time.
Do not shame me for standing up against my abuser, my assailant, the person who violated my trust, my boundaries, my safety. I will not be shamed into staying quiet and compliant; I won’t stay a victim any longer. My voice, my story will be heard!
Do not shame me because I chose my career over having a family. I am following my path, not yours.
Do not shame me because I chose a family over a career. I am following my path, not yours.
Do not shame me for putting happiness, wholeness and self-love above all else. I cannot give my talents and strengths if my “cup” is empty.
Do not shame me into becoming your salvation, your life raft, your caretaker. Just because you’re searching for completeness doesn’t mean I’ll allow you to become co-dependent.
I have a right to express myself, verbally, physically and emotionally. I have a right to body autonomy. I have a right to have my story, my voice, be heard. I have a right feel safe. I have a right to be loved, without expectations. I have a right to walk down the street, to be in a conversation, to be in any interaction where my body is not made mention, verbally, non-verbally or physically implied.