On this day last year I hopped on Amtrak to NYC and joined my mom for 24 hours. At lunch that day I told her I wanted to spend a good chunk of next summer in my home state of Texas. I knew some D.C. families that would ‘summer’ away and that just sounded perfect. I wanted to see Stella jump into her Grandmere and Papa’s arms and run wild with her cousins for days on end. It was said with a lightness and as a cheerful dream. But in the preceding months this trip became not a lover’s dream, but a charged reality of something that I MUST do! And so as I packed my bags the night before Jason, Stella and I embarked on our three weeks in Texas I was apprehensive of what the time would unveil. In a world of sharing happy status updates I was engulfed in a season of anxiety, stress, and unhappiness. It’s these seasons that being a self aware yogi really sucks. I was stuck and though I know it’s necessary to toil there before the lotus blossom, it still felt really crappy.
So that’s a lot to say our trip to Texas became a very necessary time to step away from what got all too muddy in D.C. My time spent with my family really was all I’d hoped it would be. First we spent a relaxing week at the lake where we bobbed in the water with a joyous Stella. I stayed up late every night talking to my favorite counselor (mom), and Jason and I even had a day to ourselves walking down my college memory lane in Austin.
After a week in the hill country, we headed to Arlington. First up, are we up to a physical task in the Texas heat? Yes! Jason and I finished our first triathlon, and our time in Arlington was looking good. As the days wore on, my fitbit steps were paltry, but we enjoyed lots of pool time, great food and fun with family. We even took an afternoon to explore houses in the area (I could totally live in the funky house on the canal). Was it time to relocate? Was Texas the cure to my unhappiness?
The first day we arrived in Texas we had learned that Jason’s aunt had passed away. So on the eve of week three, Jason returned to D.C. to attend the memorial service and get back to his day to day. I made the tough decision to forgo the service. I needed more time to unstick.
Sunday morning Stella and I headed to church with everyone. The pastor asked us to play a word association game. “What’s the first word you think of when you hear Jesus?” This one was simple - love! And I think that's what the pastor meant in his sermon, but as I listened I felt conflicted and sad in its delivery. When everyone stood at the end to give praise through song I just wasn't there.
I relayed my church experience to my stepdad the next day and owe him credit for putting things back in perspective. He reminded me to take away just what I needed. It was then I realized, I do still want my life in D.C. - the place that I've called home for over 16 years. There is no escape to tough seasons. There is sadness and joy in all locations and I must continue to look within for freedom, acceptance, and love.
Stella and I enjoyed the little pleasures of Arlington for the remainder of the week. I saw childhood friends (and their kiddos!), played putt putt, sugared up on snow cones, found indoor playgrounds to beat the heat, devoured Shipley’s do-nuts, enjoyed a girls shopping trip, and even got to watch my nephews play soccer and act in a play.
I want to ‘summer’ in Texas again next year too. I already miss my family a ton, but right now I'm happy to be back in D.C. It is time to put the car in park for days on end and laugh with my yogis. The season will change and my lotus will bloom again. It's from within that I will unstick, not in one city or another.