Allow me to pick your brain. What does the word retreat mean?
It’s safe to say that most of you are probably thinking, ” Well duh, retreat has multiple meanings. It depends on how you choose to use it.” A typical answer for an English major or teacher. Of course you’re correct.
Next question.Which type of retreat did we have?
Oooo. Now you have to think lol. Good for you. I’ll give you a clue. Within these eight days, did you struggle, had a personal epiphany, become more appreciative, meet up with any or all insecurities, have many questions with no answers or many answers but felt lost without the knowing the questions, had a visit from vulnerability or felt energetically inspired? Wait a minute that was another question. Oh well, just think about it. No pressure but help yourself by being mindful of your answer.
As a verb, retreat means a form of withdrawal , retire, or draw back, especially for shelter or seclusion with or without army/enemy association. As a noun, retreat means a place of refuge, seclusion, or privacy.
I’ll respond in a Meagan-like way. I am all about positivity more so now than I have ever been in my entire life. Whether it may be about the positivity I give or receive, I am choosing it. Within eight simple yet remarkable days, I am understanding that positivity is about a connection. During these eight days, not only have I connected with my classmates, teacher and myself but I have connected on a new level, which in itself is uniquely awesome (for me). I didn’t even second guess whether I would enjoy this course with Dr. Zamora. That was an automatic hell yea and of course. Everything is starting to feel like it’s falling into place (slowly) and this feels like I’m reaching new heights of shooting star amazement.
If someone asked me what I believe in….my answer may shock you but remember it’s a Meagan-like response. At this time my answer may be that I believe in almost everything. Admitting this- is all about taking a huge chance in life. I choose to live by faith and if that means taking chances here and there, then dammit I got to do it. I choose to grow in grace which means my mannerisms approaching life and what it represents. I choose to walk in love. The concept of walking in love does not necessarily have to do with my involvement with another person. I perceive this as a profound affection for “positively connecting” with the idea of acceptance, gratitude, resilience, family/friends, sun/moon, culture and etc.
Our course is titled Writer’s Retreat but truthfully I disagree. This retreat was exactly that, a retreat. We retreated from the hybrid version of our mundane lives with COVID. We retreated from the stress of our personal burdens. We retreated from the inner voice that tries to pull us back into the dark shadows of despair and anxiety. We chose to withdraw because we deserved a break.
We found a retreat that accepted all of us…the activist, the adventurer, the nurturing teachers, the youthful minds, the poetic souls, the passionate voices, the ones searching, the organizer, the researcher, the friendly-fellows, the optimist, the motivators and the mentors (not necessarily me). Our retreat was our bubble of sanity for the few hours. Our retreat was our time to inhale and exhale. Our retreat was our safe space to cry and release. Our retreat helped us recognize our own essential capabilities. Our retreat presented us with the opportunity to discover who we would like to be, where we would like to go, when we choose to begin, what we may need along the way, why we need this journey and more importantly, not to focus on how it should be accomplished.
For my fellow writers, I write this for me and you. I am not thanking you because I have to. I thank you because you were being you. I thank you for lending me your ears. i thank you for lending me your heart. I thank you for lending me your strength to find my own. I thank you for your consistent positivity. I thank you for allowing me to be Meagan in my semi-preachy ramble. Lol.
Unfortunately, our time during this particular retreat has come to an end. Luckily, the journey to our own personal retreat has just begun.
We may not look like what we are… but we are who we are. We are writers. We are inspiration. We are spiritual connectors. We are beautiful butterflies. And we are all enough.
I wish you constant joy, patience and positivity.
Your fellow retreater, writer and friend,