To move back. To withdraw. To change one’s decisions or plans. To enter a quiet or secluded place.
I spent this past weekend at a creative retreat. I’ll admit to being a little more intimidated by it than I needed to be. Essentially, it meant that I booked myself into a cozy cottage for the weekend and gave myself an excuse to spend all my time working on creative projects.
I’ve never attended a retreat of any kind before so I didn’t know what to expect or what progress I would come out of this weekend with. I thought I might have some time to refocus in on the poetry I’ve been neglecting for awhile now and that did happen. But as it turns out, this weekend was more about working on the most important creative project in my life: me.
I have a hard time defining exactly who I am. I’m the person that freezes when asked to tell a little bit about themselves or even worse… share a fun fact. In those moments, there is nothing interesting, let alone “fun” about me. It’s gotten a lot easier over the past few years as I have narrowed down my interests, have become more grounded and accepting of my body and have stopped letting outside opinions matter so much. Exploring personality theory has also been an important step in gathering the language to define who I am and what my values are.
Looking back, I like the term retreat and how many ways it fits this context so well. To withdraw physically to a quiet place undisturbed allows you to take another step back. To withdraw and confront the soul. Confront the mind. Confront the heart. When your focus is undivided, there’s nothing to hide behind, no pressing matter that pulls your attention away. The truth has no shield and nowhere left to run.
I’ll be honest with you: I have a lot of ugly truths. A lot of flaws that I don’t particularly care for but they’re mine and a part of who I am. I have a lot of beautiful truths in me too, many of which the world hasn’t seen bloom yet. Strengths that I often underestimate.
One truth though is this: it all comes back to is writing. The thing that started it all and will continue to keep presenting itself over and over as if to say, pay attention, this is important. That is why I’m writing this. This is me accepting that writing is my truth that I don’t want to hide from anymore and hoping that maybe it’ll help me discover new ones along the way.