I’ve spent the beginning of 2021 away from urban life…and am really loving the change.

I never thought I’d enjoy being away from the hustle and bustle of a city, but honestly in 2020 there wasn’t much of that in my life, anyway.

What I had in 2020 was the security blanket of my apartment.

Being isolated from the world, I was able to protect myself and family from COVID-19. I was able to create a bubble to contain us and my family complied.

We realized we had developed fears of what used to be normal but became extraordinary.

Going out for walks, getting groceries from a store, window shopping, meeting others, just literally stepping outside. All of that had become foreign quickly, over a span of a few weeks in the Spring of 2020.

Wearing masks was like putting on shoes…but unlike shoes, masks would give me acne. Shoes just give me smelly feet!

I didn’t realize that I had created a comfort zone of avoidance for myself…

By nature, I’m a social butterfly.

I love to entertain. My calendar is usually filled to the brim with people to meet and places to go. My son and I used to spend our days enjoying the gifts of friendship and family in person and could never get enough.

In 2020 that was substituted with online zoom game nights, book clubs, social gatherings, concerts, dances…I really utilized zoom to the brim…I maximized my love of technology and became a huge fan of video games. I see how it has connected my son to the world of his friends and beyond. It is definitely an outlet I didn’t respect enough before…new salute to the video game designers out there.

As a result, when my brother decided to spend the winter in a rural setting and asked us to join him, I quietly resisted.

I didn’t know then that my hesitancy stemmed from my peaceful abode of isolation.

Two weeks before he left, I decided it was unfair not to provide the opportunity for my son to have fun in the sun (and to honor my brother’s graciousness).

I’ve always thought of my son’s needs and this was not a time for me to move away from that. If anything, it was even more important to honor his needs now.

So I told my clinic I needed to take off time, give myself a well deserved vacation after one year and take off.

If any of you know me, I am a pack rat.

I have a shitload of stuff that I love and things I believe I need to live well. Considering what I would need to take with me for one month made my head spin.

My singular goal was to bring my sitar with me.

But I had to bring all our books, tech stuff for both remote learning and my telemedicine practice, books, journals, painting easel with canvases and paints, my essential oils (that alone weigh a couple of pounds), toiletries to smell and feel good, my meditation cushion, 4 bags of Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, new year’s cards, food (really didn’t know what we were going to find)…clothes! OMG.

…of course my sitar couldn’t fit…

I dragged my feet all day to pack and get myself ready to leave.

I was also feeling the newness of my bisexuality and really wanted to have some silence to enjoy it, so I was a bit resentful. Deep within.

Fast forward to now, almost 2 weeks since we arrived and I am so grateful to my brother.

This place is like a slice of heaven.

A new kind of safety bubble has developed.

Natural bounty all around, clean and crisp air. Stars that I can see in the sky. Trees that I can hug. Woods we can walk through in our backyard. No traffic! Free parking everywhere! Basketball my son can play 24 hours a day, if he chooses and places to run wild, literally in the backyard.

And the hugest change-no masks!!!!

We can walk around and be FREE! My acne has had time to settle down and my feet aren’t so smelly…(well, that may or may not be true).

Why this long drawn out story?

To make a few points.

We are the only ones who stand in our own ways.

Comfort zones need to be tested.

(Sure, I’m a cusp between Cancer and Gemini, so my home-bodiness of the Cancer within makes leaving anywhere extremely difficult, but once I do, it takes a few minutes to create a new sense of home).

Being open to change brings avenues for growth.

I have learned that nature is something I missed.

Now I am that crazy woman who talks to cats…but is talking to trees instead.

My latest love is named May. She’s probably 1,000 years old. Has deep roots and powerful messages. And I hug her. Every day.

She’s a tree in our front yard.

Today her message was really relevant and important to me.

I have been extremely upset about what happened in Washington at the Capitol Building yesterday.

Unable to make sense of the chaos, anger, violence, extremism and felt powerless with a mix of fear.

I don’t do well feeling those emotions. Many of us don’t.

So, I spent yesterday being angry and in shock. Today I spent the day carrying on that energy and didn’t know what to do with it. I wasn’t sure if I could counsel others if I was stuck myself.

I have been wondering what exactly it is I’m upset about. I realize it’s always the same thing that aggravates me. The lack of humanity and kindness.

My inspirations in life are love, hope, gratitude, human connection.

Which is why I love being a doctor.

I decided it was okay to feel this way and still see patients. I am human first. Doctor second. If others are upset, as I expected they would be, it would only make me more relatable if I was, too. So I didn’t hide it.

And I continued to burn within all day.

I needed a change but didn’t know where to start. I have a long list of things I do for myself but didn’t know which one was going to be first.

I thought it was going to be a bubble bath.

But it turned out it was May.

I went out on an errand and then noticed the bright stars in the sky, the clean and crisp air on my face and then saw May.

My tree.

I went to her, spoke out loud to her, hugged her and heard her message.

“I’ve been here a long time. Been through a lot of warring and losses. I have made it because my roots are deep and I stand tall. You need to remember things will happen around you. You will be affected by it but it doesn’t need to take you away from why you are here. Remember your purpose and also this-the world will continue to exist after you are gone. But your roots will remain”. That was when I woke up from my reverie of feeling dis-empowered. My power is the word. What I am doing here and do every day. My mission-spread love. Mission being accomplished…daily.

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