GUEST POST BY GENEVIEVE V GEORGET
I knew this girl once who just didn’t show up for work one day.
Her office was right down the hall from me, and she went home one evening, on a seemingly normal day…and just didn’t come back to work the next morning.
A couple of months later, I saw her again in that same hallway. She told me that day that she had cracked. Fallen apart and just couldn’t do it anymore. Couldn’t do work. Couldn’t do family. Couldn’t do life.
I remember how surprised I felt at the time hearing her story. This was a girl who was successful…had a beautiful family…was well liked by her friends…and spent every day looking like she walked out of magazine. I had never so much as seen a hair out of place and yet – here she was – reminding me that nail polish and pretty shoes could only cover up so much.
Somewhere between walking through her office door that night and waking up the next morning…she had crumbled. Succumbed to the unrelenting pressure around her to be…to do…to give. And it ended up stealing a piece of her.
I remember about a year and a half ago, standing at my kitchen counter with my head in my hands. The kids were screaming upstairs…half of our dinner was burnt on the stove…and I had just missed a meeting because my brain was too scrambled to remember what day of the week it was. My floor was covered in puzzle pieces…my bed was covered in laundry waiting to be folded…and my daughter was covered in a chocolate mess from the recent Oreo cookie that was stolen from under my nose.
While the anarchy swirled around me…I thought of her. I thought of that moment when the ground gave out beneath her. I thought of the million little things that contributed to her suffocation. And I thought about what a miracle it was that this didn’t happen to me on a weekly basis.
My life, for a good number of years, had been one of very intense focus. Nearly every moment had been spent trying not to drown in the tidal wave of learning how to be a photographer, a business owner and a parent all at once. Most of the time, I was treading water. It’s tiring…but you develop stamina. And the knowledge that it wouldn’t always be like that tends to keep you afloat. But there had been a handful of times when the current was too much. When the mere force of it all pulled me under and left me gasping for air. They were scary moments. They were moments that still take my breath away just thinking about them.
But right now – I feel like I am finally starting to keep my head above water. I may even be starting to get a glimpse of dry land. Or in other words…a place of rest. I’m not quite in a position where I can feel the sand between my toes yet…but I do feel like there are potential moments in which I can swim to shore every now and then. At least for a break. It takes a bit more work…but the change of scenery is worth it.
And sometimes I wonder if swimming to shore sooner would have kept me from sinking in the first place? If I had taken the extra effort to give myself a break…would it have saved me the energy of coming back up for air?
I have no idea. And frankly, I think at this point…it doesn’t really matter.
But if I could do it all over again, I would have taken the time sooner. I would have would come up for air sooner. I would have sought dry land sooner.
I came in contact with a group of amazing women back in October who believe in just that; that taking the time to breathe and reboot is necessary for our inner most well-being. That putting our selves at the top of our to-do list (I know, madness!) is not only possible…but essential. I love everything they stand for and everything they believe in. I love the movement they are trying to create and the people they are trying to nurture along the way.
In less than three months, I will be joining them for a week in Belize as I have been given the absolute privilege of documenting their retreat. We will rest…we will relax…we will play in the jungle. And more importantly, we will return home as better versions of our selves for having done so. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited and fortunate I feel for the opportunity.
Because even when we are chasing our dreams…even when we are reaching for the life we always wanted…even when the entire world is at the tip of our fingers…sometimes the water gets rough.
If you’re feeling tempted to join us in paradise…I encourage you to read more about it here (use promo code ‘ILOVEME’ to get a personal hour long portrait session at the retreat photographed by me!)…we’re going to have the adventure of a lifetime!
About Genevieve V Georget
Genevieve V Georget is a full-time writer and photographer living in Ottawa, Ontario Canada with her husband and two children. Read more of her beautiful, vulnerable, and honest work on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Genevieve will be joining Reset Retreat in February!