Week three started on a train from New York City to Union Station in Washington, DC, where Dana Theus, my right hand at OwningPink.com, greeted us with a warm hug. She and Lauren, Owning Pink’s Editor-in-Pink, had never met, but we connected, all of us in a group hug in the middle of a fancy train station.
After dinner and a good night’s sleep, we all went home with Pinkies- me with Dana, Lauren with Fred Kraziese, and Jayne with Laurie Erdman. After weeks of hotels and rental cars, it was like coming home.
The next day, Jayne, Dana and I went to the mall in DC, since Jayne had never seen the Washington Monument, the White House, or the Capitol building. We filmed more clips for the documentary Jayne is making about learning to love yourself -- I rode the merry-go-round while speaking into a microphone about how sometimes life feels like you’re going in circles. Dana and I sat in front of the Capitol and talked to the camera about power -- not just the DC kind, but the kind we’re helping people discover at Owning Pink. I stood in front of a bronze sculpture of an empty coat and cried while talking about how I have taken off my white coat to be the real me. And Jayne just kept on filming…
That night, I we shared dinner and then I did a book signing talk at the Borders at Tyson’s Corner, where I met more Pinkies -- Beth Ann Wilson and Elizabeth Buie, in addition to a whole group of new people. The following day, Fred gave me one of his killer massages before we had to take off for Baltimore, where I did an impromptu women’s workshop in the intimate setting of the metaphysical bookstore Breathe Books, where Owning Pink blogger Heather, Sister Goddess Natasha, and many new friends gathered in a circle to laugh, cry, share a group hug, join together in a meditation, and talk about coochies, sex, and loving our bodies, just the way they are.
Then, as we were checking out of our hotel in Baltimore, ready to leave for Dulles International Airport to complete the first leg of the book tour and return to the Bay area to reconnect with our families, recharge, and find our grounding, I saw a mural painted on the wall of a building right across the street from our hotel. When we had checked in, it had been pouring and I hadn’t noticed it. But in big colorful letters, the mural said, “Everybody deserves to go home.” (See above!)
And so we had a travel day, all of us digesting what has happened so far, reflecting on our experiences and our feelings, laughing about the mistakes and reveling in the triumphs. Even as excited as we were to go home, we even found ourselves getting a bit misty and wistful that this part of our journey had come to an end.
Jayne said, “I never get to enjoy a trip until it’s over.” I raised an eyebrow and she said, “Well, you know how you always get stressed out about the travel? And then, even if you’re on a cruise in the Caribbean, you worry about getting sunburned or seasick or drinking the water and winding up with a bug. But then, when you get home and look at the pictures, you remember how much fun you really had, and you get to enjoy the memories for a long time after it’s over.”
Jayne swears that she will start to realize how much fun we had now that this part of the trip is over. After almost three full weeks away from our homes, our lives, our jobs, and our families, I wonder how long it will take us to digest all that has happened. Will we look back longingly, once we have time to process? Will we be laughing and joking about this trip for years to come? Is it possible to move forward into the next part of the journey with more presence? Can we have more fun in the moment, rather than getting so obsessively focused on details that we fail to enjoy what’s happening?
Lauren said, “I think the worst is over, and it’s all downhill from here.” And I think she’s right. On the east coast leg of our trip, everything was so new. We were far from home, in another time zone, doing things we’ve never done before, navigating crazy new experiences, and really getting to know each other. When you’re doing that, it’s easy to forget how much fun you’re having.
Regena Thomashauer of Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts likes to give us tools to process our experiences. One of her tools is called “Favorite Frames" which are snapshots of what we’ve experienced that help us digest what just happened. So here are my favorite frames of the book tour so far:
And now, my plane is about to land in San Francisco, where my hubby and daughter will be waiting for me, and all I can think, as tears well up in my eyes, is “There’s no place like home.” (*Clicks heels*) This weekend I’m doing a book signing at Book Passage and an event at S Factor San Francisco, and Monday, I’m speaking at Sonoma State University. So my book tour is far from done. But for five nights, I will be sleeping in my own bed, drinking the green juice my husband made for me, reading my daughter bedtime stories, digesting what just happened, and finding my center, so I can go back out into the world and keep on keeping on….
But for now, I’m going to just be right here, right now, where we’re about to be rolling down the runway, on solid ground once again in the city that I love.
Landing on my home turf, smiling,
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