We’re only about ten days into the new year and already I’m not feelin’ so new! This isn’t a bad thing really.
I think what happened is that I didn’t take any real time for myself over the holidays. I was very consumed, as a lot of you lovely entrepreneurial types are, with getting prepared for the new year. I wanted to “feel” new and look new with new posts and updated social media sites and new gigs lined up and so on and so on. I feel like I accomplished a lot, but what I didn’t do was take time for myself. I didn’t take time to renew.
Release. Renew. Repeat.
During Christmas dinner at my flat, while seated around a candle-lit table graced with other expat friends who couldn’t make it home, our conversation turned to travel. With a bit of wistful angst, Bettie Ally mentioned that she just wanted to hop on a bus and go somewhere. We encouraged her emphatically as this is something all six women in attendance wanted to do or had done recently. As we sipped Ally’s fresh basil and OJ holiday cocktail and munched on our potluck meal of fresh Italian Mozzarella from MozzarellArt, a baked chicken I was quite proud of, veggies and homemade Khachapuri from my Georgian friend, we threw out ideas to her: “What about Poland and seeing Auschwitz…” (a bit far for a day trip and incredibly intense); “Austria is close and pretty cool…” (she had already been)…”How about Budapest?”
Budapest made her brown eyes light up. That was the place for our fashionista Bettie and her soul searching. Later, after all the dishes were done, guests had gone home and candles were blown out, I messaged her about her travel plans. She mentioned she had just booked her bus ticket and was leaving out the next day on the overnight bus.
I wanted to jump into her backpack and go with her. I wistfully read and re-read her message under the covers of my bed and thought, “I should just ask if her if I can go, too.” I didn’t ask her. As I rolled over to sleep, I promised myself, “Next time.”
I’ve been in Prague for almost at year and a half now and I haven’t exactly made “next time” happen yet. On my birthday, I make myself go to some random city outside of Prague; and I’ve been to Croatia to see a dear friend and jaunted to Paris when my brother had a gig there. These trips count. But, there’s a stretch I know I’m not doing. In some ways, I’m a little nervous to travel alone and in other ways I’m a little nervous to make plans and I’m more than a little nervous to take time for myself. This little bit of allotta nervousness ain’t gonna get me anywhere. What it does get me is more working-working-working time at my laptop, where I’m comfortable, trying to be new.
If you’re like me, and in some ways I hope you are so I’m not alone in this, we need to stop this nervousness madness and take a risk and take real time for ourselves that will not only get us to Poland or Budapest or Chicago or New York or across town to that new restaurant we’ve been meaning to try. We need to renew our thinking, our habits, our dreams and desires. We need to stretch beyond our comfort zones so that we can be the well-rounded, fearless Betties we’re meant to be in 2017 and beyond. I wish you luck and please do the same for me!
Peppur (aka ♥ Ms. Bettie ♥)
Peppur Chambers is the creator of Brown Betties Prague & LA and conducts Be Your Own Bettie (BYOB) empowerment workshops for women as the enchanting “Ms. Bettie”. Learn more about Brown Betties here. Sign up for a BYOB workshop in Prague, here. #BeYourOwnBettie
Main photo above by Kailey J. Flynn Photography