I’ve been somewhat selfishly enjoying life a bit lately. It’s interesting how I can consider doing things for myself to be selfish, but I can be my own monster. I feel guilty for it sometimes. The truth is, I’m at that point where I need to take care of myself or I can’t effectively take care of anyone else.
I realized that I’ve spent too much time waiting for other people and that came to a stop. Seriously, if I waited for someone else to go out and do things, I would never leave the house. What a boring life that is. I’ve sat on the sidelines of life long enough.
Is it strange for a woman to go off on her own? It shouldn’t be. I’ve gotten some strange feedback from people who seem amazed that a woman can wander off and go camping, hiking, kayaking or just travel all on her own.
Since the beginning of May, I’ve gone hiking so many times I can’t even remember. I’ve gone on actual camping trips twice. I kayaked, camped and hiked on Memorial Day Weekend. I drove far enough away from home that I wouldn’t run into anyone who knew me.
I posted numerous photographs from the places I’ve been on my Facebook. I even created separate album for the various parks and nature preserves I visited. I wanted to give organized examples of these places to my friends so that they can get an idea of what it is like in order to plan their own trips. I consider myself a test subject in a lot of ways.
The question that I keep hearing over and over is “You went by yourself?”
Yes. The reaction I usually get are disbelief and amazement. Almost like I did a really cool magic trick and they can’t believe it. I honestly don’t know if I should be insulted or not. I’m not exactly a wilting flower. Or dainty.
When I disappeared over Memorial Day Weekend, I even left my dogs at home. I didn’t want to take care of them with the heat that was expected or while I was out on the river. I hiked and kayaked and didn’t worry about anyone but myself. It was amazing.
I obtained my own firewood. I can build a fire like nobody’s business. I can also set up my own tent and make my own meals. I know how to read a map. I can pump my own gas and pay for it. I’m so damned capable of these things. I don’t need anyone else’s help for the things that I want to go and do.
I was shuttled to the spot on the river where I wanted to start my trip. I set off on my own and even rescued a drunk who rolled their kayak. You shouldn’t fear drowning in two feet of water. Stand up. I glided along and enjoyed the fresh air and the sunshine. For a moment, I forgot all about the problems that waited for me at home.
One of the greatest lessons that I’ve learned in life over the past few years is that you need to get out and do things even if it means that you travel alone. Otherwise, you will miss out on a lot of life. Don’t wait for anyone or anything. Just go.
“Don’t wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul.” There’s much debate on who actually made that statement, but I repeat it to myself a lot.
I am capable and so are you.
There should be no stigma attached to a woman doing for herself, no matter what it is. You certainly shouldn’t limit yourself based on that attitude. Sure it can feel weird, different or even scary at first, but I assure you that you will have no regrets.