I’m currently laying in a tub filled with hot water and frothy bubbles that smell like caramel apples. I usually play music or watch a movie on my laptop while it precariously balances on the toilet, angled just so I can see the screen while I soak.
Tonight, though, I’ve opted for silence. The only sounds in my house are my gas heater chugging along to keep the house warm on this perfect Autumn evening, and my dog chewing on god-only-knows-what-she’s-found-now.
No sound and no light. Only a candle flickering warmly, and the light of my cracked iPhone screen. In this dark little cave I’ve built for myself, I can’t help but think of a phrase that’s been reoccurring in my life, lately.
“Let it soak.”
Usually, this just pertains to dishes I don’t want to wash, but it’s felt more applicable in recent weeks. Maybe it’s the turning of the seasons; Maybe it’s all the astrological happenings; Maybe it’s the political mayhem; Maybe it’s just my obsession with bath bombs. But sometimes, the only solution to problems is to drown them in warm, sudsy water.
Leave it till it softens.
Scrape the burnt-on, charred bits later.
But damn if that doesn’t pertain to… like… everything.
The political climate in this country is tense, to say the absolute least. I won’t weigh in with my opinion at the moment, because that isn’t the purpose of this particular entry. But no matter which side you’re on, I know you’ve faced judgement; I know you’ve been called crazy; I know you’ve had at least one argument; I know your blood has boiled; I know you feel like you don’t recognize people anymore – maybe even people you consider your closest.
Astrologically, we’ve recently experienced Mercury Retrograde and the Autumnal Equinox, along with a lunar eclipse, a solar eclipse, new moons, and full moons. Seasons are changing, hurricanes are attacking, there are weird heat waves occurring, and everything just feels vaguely pressurized.
The only way I’ve been able to maintain my sanity, personally, is to let it soak. Don’t ignore it. Don’t pretend like it isn’t happening. But definitely don’t react immediately. Stop. Pause. Breathe. Soak. Compose. Then react. State your intentions and your point clearly. Be flexible but hold your ground. Be open minded but don’t allow yourself to be trampled. Be your own advocate. Fight for yourself like you’d fight for a lost child or a beaten animal. Give love throughout.
I’m not really sure what my ultimate point is. I don’t feel like I have any grand, eloquent advice to bestow.
All I know is how much I feel like I’ve grown over the past year and a half that I’ve been living the life of a Mountain Witch. I’ve taken steps recently to regain control of the spiral I felt thrown into. I don’t think I was ever in danger of drowning, but I definitely wasn’t steering the ship. I am, now.
Because I had to let myself soak.
I needed that time to feel sorry for myself, to feel lost, to find the new path that suited me best, and to make a plan. I feel more complete than I ever have. I don’t know how I ever felt ready for a family or marriage before, because I only now feel like I’m ready to be myself, wholly, and unashamedly – which is a key element in being a partner. How can a partner fulfill you if you can’t fulfill yourself? (Spoiler alert: they can’t.)
Yesterday, I was asked by a well-intentioned family friend “are you ever gonna get married?” And without hesitation, I said “No.”
If I had taken a moment to gather my thoughts, I would have said “only if I find someone worth marrying” (which I added to the conversation after my knee-jerk reaction), but I was surprised to hear “no” come out of my mouth, and even more surprised that I wasn’t scared of it like I would have been even a year ago.
I’ve never thought I was a half to a whole. I never thought I was incomplete. But only now, after the life I’ve lived, the lessons I’ve learned, and the countless bubble baths in which I have soaked: I know I am completely me.
And I am not afraid.