Lounging in my hotel room just moments before packing to fly back home, I’m left with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. The trip to the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, while nourishing my need for information and connections (new post on all of that shortly), didn’t charge my battery the same way I imagined as I embarked on the journey.
I envisioned the height of healthy when I pictured my kid-free moments on the road filled with demanding ashtanga yoga sessions each day, lots of intense meditation and raw food wherever I could find it.
Thankfully some of my original intention actually materialized. I did a lot of meaningful meditation and while I appreciate the trajectory it gave me, like following an arrow ripping through the air toward destiny, I wasn’t aware that’s what I needed the most. Not sweat-filled asanas invigorating my being with breath and movement. Apparently I needed the mental workout even more this time.
Instead of the wheat grass dreams of my trip, I stumbled on some of the most comforting foods (and restaurants) I could not have imagined. During one walk in Philly I found myself staring at Eric Ripert‘s restaurant, 10 Arts Bistro & Lounge, where Top Chef’s Jennifer Carroll is Chef, and made reservations without delay.
Friday night I wined and dined myself like the best date of my life, and in the end it was the best move I made. The fact that I cherished every single moment, immersed in my newly signed copy of Chaz Bono’s book while savoring the most delectable meal summed up this life lesson – I can enjoy it by myself.
Although the eating dinner by yourself is important, I’ve never had a problem with that. As a former flight attendant, I’ve experienced the most amazing venues all by my lonesome and never felt a tinge of discomfort. It’s taking myself out to celebrate that has changed. In the past I thought I needed to celebrate with someone, as if that made my victory more real. Like it didn’t really count unless someone else recognized it and saw it as special.
As I sat and looked around the beautiful space at dinner I felt for the first time that all I truly needed was my own gratitude for what I accomplished, no matter how big or how small. No other pat on the back was necessary, nor would anything from the outside ever feel as special as the recognition I could provide myself for a good well done. It may sound utterly simple (or egocentric) to the rest of you, but this was seriously a revelation for me.
Beyond self-love or even self-care, I felt genuine pride really flow through me. For the first time I gladly accepted that feeling and no one else needed to see it or even know it.