So Jayne emails me with "I want to do this!" with a link to Brave Girls Camp. She said, "I really need this". I do too, I remember thinking. Really longing for the bravery I thought I needed to do the things I needed to do. Mainly confront my marriage, and my son. Take up for and take care of me for a change. Maybe I could find out how to be the aggressive extrovert I have always wanted to be. That's being brave isn't it? I look at it...yep, looks like fun to me! OK, I'm in!
Now, I didn't bother to read all the rave reviews, or even read Melody's blog. Sorry, but I really didn't. What I read was pretty simple. Idaho...means a long way away from Texas and everyone and everything in it to me. October...means cool weather and mountains. Crafts...means fun, fun, fun, and I can learn some scrap booking from Jayne. Women...means getting away from men for a while...my main goal. And good food...always sounds pretty good to me! Sure I want to go!
So I start saving every little extra penny I could get my hands on and sent in my down payment...and payments as regular as I could till it was finally paid off. Not telling anyone except Jayne for several months. It felt very much out of my comfort area, spending that kind of money on only me, for such selfish reasons, but for some reason, I had to do it. And I had to do it now before I backed out. Its easier to look at 1200.00 in little lumps than in one big one. I just had to constantly remind myself that I make the money around her, me and only me, so me and only me will decide how to spend it! And I'm spending it on ME!
It was almost a years wait for October to finally get here. One look at that says that year flew by. The other part says that it took years to finally say TODAY is the day I leave! And the excitement was multiplied by the fact that I finally, after almost 4 years, got to see Angie and Keagan again. As much as Idaho was great in every way, my time with them meant everything to me.
But this is a blog about Brave Girls Camp.
Brave Girl Camp is the vacation from life that you have been waiting for, and the experience of a lifetime. Our goal is to make sure that you have the time of your life while making lifelong friendships, and especially that you go back to your life a stronger, more joyful woman, feeling on-track and ready to be exactly who you are and to do exactly what is in your heart to do.
There! Now doesn't that sound like fun? You read this page...
and tell me if you wouldn't want to do that! (because I am not a computer person and I don't know how to have you click on a word and it just pops up like it should, that's why I put that in!)
And every single word of that whole page is absolutely true! Every single word! It is total fun, a great get-away vacation, I have life long friendships, and I am for sure a better woman for having experienced those 5 days.
What I didn't pay attention to was the getting to know, or work on your "inner self" part. Where you do the art projects to help you work through "stuff" that has happened in your life. Sounds simple and painless enough. Mainly because I very rarely allow anything to get to me in an outwardly emotional way. My problem is that me and my inner self haven't gotten along in a long while and she was having a hay day trying to get out and eat this mushy stuff up. Not really sure how to describe my inner self in a nice way...but since this is my blog, I can just say...she is a bitch to get along with sometimes. You people out there are really lucky that you don't have to listen to her every day. I have to say, ole inner self had a better time than I did at times. She had a blast with her constant "I told you so's"! She would poke at my heart with every one of Melody's truths that I would cut out. And the outer me, was required to stay calm and collected at all times. Because that's what I do.
Now I am not one that is always comparing myself to every other woman out there. I am pretty secure in myself. Sounds conceited to write that out like that, but I really don't think of it that way. I'm certainly not better than anyone else, just not any less than either. This one of the few things that inner self and I do agree on. One of the hardest things I saw at BGC was the women that didn't feel this way. The ones who have been told for so long that they were on the much lesser than list. And the women who had been so deeply hurt over and over by the ones they loved and trusted the most. And the women who just didn't believe in themselves. And the women who just needed to be told they were so awesome and totally worth loving. And the women that I could feel melt into my arms when I hugged them because they were so starved for a real hug. And the women who looked so empty, lost, alone and scared when they arrived. I have to admit, I was NOT prepared for that. My heart actually physically ached for them.
I was not prepared for all of that...but I was humbled by and honored to be around everyone of those amazing women. I will now admit to feeling very out of place at the first "red carpet" meeting. Even though my husband had just suddenly ended our 26 years together a month before...I had nothing to say in the circle. My childhood may not have been perfect, but it was perfect for me. I had everything I could have needed and everything I remember wanting, and I was totally loved and adored by everyone around me. I just wanted to be my mom when I grew up, because she was perfect in every way to me. And marry someone just like my dad, cause he was perfect to me. And have 7 kids, cause I have 3 siblings and...OK, well that didn't work out so well. But yes my siblings are now perfect for me!
My point is, I had nothing what so ever to compare to what these women had all been through. I had no idea what to say. My first thought was..."Hi, I'm Georgia from Texas and I think I got on the wrong plane and ended up at the wrong retreat". But luckily God knew just where he was sending me and I gave in and let it happen. I felt such empathy for each of them. I wanted to have words to help then understand their worth. To have the hugs to make them feel better. To show them in some way how important they are and how beautiful they are in every way. I didn't have any of that.
But Melody and Kathy did. Every single moment of every day told us all just that. In hundreds of different ways. Every where you looked, the love oozed from every little nook and cranny. It was in every tiny bird placed in exactly the right place. The first morning as I sat eating breakfast, I looked up and saw my mom sitting at her quilting frame. I couldn't swallow for choking back the tears. Love dripped from the cinnamon rolls. It blinked in the Christmas lights that hung everywhere. It flickered in the candle flames. It cuddled around me in a huge fluffy towel all my own. It soothed the jitters in the notes of every sweet song. It chips away at the hardness with every twinkling eye that smiles at you. And the sunset over beautiful Lake Payette told me without a doubt that God had sent me to this very place to be with these very women at this very moment in my life to reaffirm...that I am truly LOVED!
See all the wonderful pictures on my Facebook page.