My last post I mentioned being the lucky winner of a 250-word essay contest for an all-inclusive Girl’s Gone North weekend. The weekend was focused around women reconnecting with friends and finding their inner cool factor without the added stress of men being around.
My weekend ultimately involved throwing a group of women together who sort of knew each other. For 40 hours we drank steadily while sharing totally inappropriate but hilarious fun facts about the skeletons in our closet, laughing to the wee hours of the morning and then repeating. Dinner conversations were as intense as who could shout “Penis” loudest in a crowded restaurant. Yearbooks of our past fed plenty of on-going conversation about the good old days. Ambitious morning work-outs involved lifting our coffee cups and eventually a few stragglers making their way to a morning yoga class or the fitness center, followed by some relaxing by the fireplace we never quite could get going. It turns out our rustic, outdoor survival skills have long since disappeared. But, these skills have been replaced with more important skills such as opening boxed wine (tell me again, just how many degrees does it take to open a box?) and a palette so complex Almond Champagne compliments dark chocolate and Doritos.
I had a brief respite during a two-hour session by the Minnesota Monthly team makeover for a friend and I. My ultimate goal was to walk away with eyebrows. This probably seems like a simple request. But, as a life-long blond with a few colorless pieces of hair approximately in the spot of brows, this was important to me. Make-up artist Ashley Kilcher from Roe Wolfe made it happen. And, more importantly, this morning in mere seconds, I was able to replicate the easy maneuver. As for the wardrobe, I pushed myself enough to know what doesn’t work and am grateful that few photos were taken and none would be shared. The experience confirmed that I’ll never be a fashion queen. But, I think I can achieve a Polished Tomboy look, complete with a new hairdo from Justine from Root, that will take me far in North Woods Wisconsin and be true to who I am on the inside.
I’m not sure if this equates transformation. But, in some respects I think the experiences encountered this weekend trump that. At the keynote presentation Saturday afternoon, Lori started off by asking the question, what if you realized that what you had to offer the world was good enough. That if in fact, you as a person, was enough. It stuck with me. In part because everyday, especially as a female, I am reminded of my inadequacies. The pressure to make more money, find balance, be happy (what does that even mean?!?!), lose weight, grow professionally, all while being the perfect wife, procreating and being an engaged citizen in my community. Because, according to these messages, it is the only way I’ll be a full, realized human being. Let’s be real. It isn’t going to happen.
Instead, this weekend the sexy six on Friday night and fabulous five on Saturday night celebrated our flaws. We wore sweatpants and ordered French fries with dinner. We exposed our past, laughed about our insecurities and faced up to some of the difficulties we’ve encountered or are encountering in life. We also celebrated our successes. And, at the end of the day, flaws and all, we came to the undeniable reality that we are in fact not only good enough, but frankly awesome.
I’ve been betrayed, let down and disappointed by more people in my life than I care to mention. But, the women this weekend reminded me that occasionally in life, your path intersects with amazing people. People you can count on. Trust. Share your life with and most importantly, not be judged.
I didn’t need to win a contest to know how blessed I am to have such amazing women in my life. But, I’m glad I won. And, I hope this brief check-out of our daily lives reminded them not only how amazing they are, but how thankful I am that they’ve come into my life. So today, I am grateful for them and Bluefin Bay for making this Girls Gone North weekend happen.