Those of you who know me know that I have a pretty in tact sense of adventure. I will generally try anything at least once and I never say no to something just because I haven’t ever done it before, in fact that’s usually the reason I say yes. Whenever I find myself hearing in my own head “oh I’m not the type of person that would try… (x, y, z)” I know that’s the exact reason that I should, and I tend to go all in.
Sixteen years ago my oldest brother Jason called me up looking for my mom. We made some small talk and he kind of half halfheartedly asked “you wouldn’t happen to want to go on an unguided canoe trip down the Green River in Utah’s Canyonlands for five days would you? We need a group of six and we can’t find a sixth”. I had never been camping before in my life up until that moment, nor had I ever stepped foot into a canoe. I paused for a moment and then just said “sure”. I don’t know who was more shocked, him or myself. I was twenty five years old at the time and felt like I needed to experience some new things. I’ve completed that same trip two more times since then, only with me as the leader. I’ve gone winter camping in the White Mountains in February. I own my own angler rigged kayak. I have gone deep sea fishing out of Gloucester every other weekend for an entire summer (despite spending my very first trip throwing up for nine hours straight). I’ve almost had to bail someone out in Saint Kitts. I’ve driven a golf cart on an island in Mexico. I’ve done some stuff! Then… I had kids. :).
Things just change for a while when they are little and you become a different version of yourself. I tried to keep up with the adventures at first (my first trip ever to Martha’s Vineyard was when Aiden was 3 months old) but there is just SO MUCH STUFF when you have an infant. The hassle isn’t worth the thrill. My youngest is three now though and I’m starting to see the haze of the babyhood days clearing. I’m getting out there again but it’s an adjustment at first. So far it’s been entirely on my terms but recently when a photography workshop I’m participating in put the focus on self portraiture, I died a little on the inside. I’m not super comfortable being the subject in photos (I mean.. unless cocktails are involved). It’s interesting to me how bringing out the beauty in others brings me so much joy but turning the camera around and pointing it at myself brings me so much hesitation and a little bit of anxiety. It’s not a confidence thing, I just think it’s so different from what I would normally do now and a little scary to put myself out there like that… so that’s how I knew I needed to do it.
For the past seven years of my life, I have given my body over to my babies. Between two pregnancies and nursing each child for well over a year each, that’s a long time to be a pod person. Don’t get me wrong, growing and feeding my babies has been the most impressive, rewarding and amazing things that my body has ever done but I’m ready to get back to myself. I’ve been working incredibly hard and I’m starting to settle back into it. I’m not totally there yet but I will be. I’ve had help. I have an incredible personal trainer who also happens to be my amazing sister-in-law, Jen Cavallaro (#upwardspiralfitness) who has completely rewired my “all or nothing” mentality. A lot of people don’t know this but I also joined my son’s dojo three months ago and will be testing for my yellow belt in a couple of weeks (shout out to Sensei Craig Cogan @ #elitefreestylekarate for motivating me to start, being patient with me and for continuing to motivate me to push forward). I have gained strength, stamina and to be honest some muscles in some places I didn’t even know existed. I used to take a lot of pride in being competitive and it’s kind of fun to feel that spark again, even if I’m only in competition with myself… actually, especially because I’m in competition with myself. If you’ve been following my blog posts you probably already know that this is the year I’m trying new things again. I’m proud of what I have taken on so far and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings. Today I’m celebrating myself, because it’s not the kind of thing I would normally do ;). xoxo