One by one, there have been piles and piles of events that should make me want to crumble. The weight on my shoulders has been heavy. How do I recuperate? How do I find rejuvenation and cleanse myself of what no longer serves me?
How do I refresh?
Before this year, I didn't know how to answer that question. If a friend asked me to unwind and become anew, I wouldn’t know how to achieve it. Let go of what no longer serves me. What does that even mean? Before this year, I couldn’t tell you because I consciously never acted upon it.
For instance, up until a few years ago, I would tell myself, “this year is going to be my year.” Then the year would show me exactly how it wasn’t. At least, that was the mental space I lived in. I would bottle everything up until it chaotically burst out, and my loved ones would, unfortunately, get caught in the splash zone. I would let all of the negative aspects of a situation bury me whole.
When I first met my husband, I wanted to learn how to love myself. I wanted to be independent and check everything off my bucket list. I didn’t want to feel like I needed someone to make me feel whole. I wanted to be the one I needed.
He was what I needed, though. Not in the sense that I wouldn’t be whole without him. No. He was able to be the support I needed in order for me to make some difficult changes within me. He helped me find the path I needed to be the best version of myself. Shortly after we got together, I hurt my back.
I was his disabled girlfriend for a while. I let my injury hold me back mentally. I am the type of person who doesn’t like to rely on others, especially when I’m used to being the strong foundation for others. I’m too self-reliant. So, it was hard to have someone care for me the way he did. I love him more because he has shown me, again and again, what a healthy relationship is.
But even the most supportive partner can’t save you from your inner turmoil.
Losing so many in my life, living in a pandemic, and fighting my own mind have taken a deep toll on me physically, mentally, and spiritually.
I don’t think I’ve truly processed everything that has happened in and around my life. My soul was starting to feel heavy. Brain fog was at an all-time high. How could I balance the good and the bad? How can I celebrate when I need to grieve?
It was crushing me. But I knew I could get through it because I had to. And I always have.
But what if I didn’t need to just get through it? What if I could find rejuvenation? What if I could finally be refreshed? So, I planned an overnight getaway with my best friend. We both needed to get away. Adulting was starting to become too much for us both.
We took a trip to a hot spring in Death Valley. An hour and a half away from Sin City. It was nighttime by the time we got there, but it was beautiful all the same. The aesthetic of the resort reminded me of Greek ruins. There are garden statues in the front of the entrance strategically placed around a small spring. Four private hot spring bathhouses and a public hot spring pool were at our leisure for the whole night.
The water was kept at 102-104 degrees and the therapeutic waters had tons of minerals. In Europe and Japan, hot springs are used for balneology. Balneology is the scientific study of the therapeutic benefits of naturally occurring mineral waters. The aches and pains I usually dealt with disappeared. My muscles were relaxed in a way that reminds me of my early 20s.
Oh, and there isn’t Internet or TV access around the resort besides the common area near the checkout.
So, we had to unplug and disappear from society for a night. It was 100% worth it.
I haven’t felt more like a kid from my childhood in years. We had to entertain ourselves, and I think we nailed it if I say so myself. We took a dip in the private bathhouse, then had dinner in our motel room. After dinner, we had a bite out of all the snacks we had packed. We talked about everything and anything under the sun. I haven’t belly laughed like that in a while. We made new inside jokes. I joked and did some wicked impersonations of our favorite videos from YouTube.
We let our woes and worries melt away. We even got to get some reading done.
I’m not from Vegas. I moved here right after high school because my small town had the worst employment rates. I couldn’t make a living after school, and I wasn’t prepared to go to college. I felt like I needed to pay my own way, and I couldn’t do that if no one wanted to hire me. I moved here in 2013. The years I’ve lived here have felt heavy. The energy this city emanates is intense and excessive.
After my cleanse and dip in the hot springs, the energy hit me harder than I anticipated. For the first time, I didn’t let it tear me down. I was just acutely aware of it. I needed fresh eyes and a cleansed soul.
I learned how to unwind and become anew. Getting away from the technological distractions made me realize how detrimental it actually is. How lonely it actually makes society. It does bring connection to one another, but not in the way that it matters.
The weight on my shoulders isn’t as burdensome. I’m able to relax and view everything from a different angle. I’m trying not to judge myself so harshly and breathe through tough situations. I’m learning to be more patient. I do want to say that it hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies since my trip, but it’s getting better.
I have made it through half the year, and I truly believe that it is mine. I have worked hard for everything in my life. I deserve to reap the rewards that are coming my way. I deserve to preserve through the hardships. I deserve clarity. I can’t help others if I never help myself too.
I know I would have been able to survive with the weight, but I shouldn’t have to. It’s okay for me to refresh. To cleanse myself of what no longer serves me. I don’t always have to fill my bottle up to the brim just to explode. I can break the cycle.
You can, too.
Have you felt like the pressure is too much? Like you may need to get away even if it’s only away from your house? What about the responsibilities that are expected of you? Are they bearing down too much weight on you?
Do you know how to unwind and become anew?
Are you like me and bottle up your emotions?
Let me start by saying this: you have the power to make this year yours. It’s not too late. I don’t know what troubles have befallen on you. And I am aware of the terrible events our world is going through. But your life isn’t out of your control. You are in control of yourself. Only you.
And you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Maybe start small. Listen to some affirmations in the morning. Pick a time to sit down and meditate. If you don’t know how, find some guided meditations on YouTube. This one is my favorite right now. Even separating yourself from a stressful situation for a couple minutes and taking in a few deep breaths helps. Unplug from technology for an hour or even just twenty minutes. What’s something you used to do that helped you pass the time and you genuinely enjoyed it? Catch up on your to-be-read pile. Color or paint. Hang out with friends and be present.
I know silence can get loud and scary. But there will come a time when you need to sit and feel those feelings you’ve buried away. Or maybe the silence will give you some solace. You won’t know until you try. It’s okay to fall. It’s okay to stay down for a while. But you gotta get back up and try again. It’s okay to get dirty.
You just gotta clean yourself up when you can. One day you will learn how to become anew.
So, reader, I encourage you to find some time to refresh yourself. Find a way for you to unwind and not let the bottle tap out. Just know I believe in you, and I’m proud of you.
About the Author
Selina Wells is an aspiring author and Southern California native. She uses her life experiences of growing up fast in a small California town and her passion of escaping into the pages of others to propel her own creative expressions. Her work “That Girl” can be found in the creative arts journal Beyond Thought. When she isn’t reading and writing, she is chasing after her two year old son with her husband, Alan. Currently, Selina is working on her first novel. Follow her journey on Instagram @thatgirl_selinas