There really aren't many "rules" to our Venting Weekend. Aside from a few basics:
1. Don't steal the towels.
2. Keep an open mind.
3. Remember that there are no facades and no reason to be someone you aren't.
Of course, none of these rules are written, nor were they ever spoken. I think it's just my basic understanding of how to make the most of the weekend. And I have to say, yet another Venting Weekend went down in history as one of the best.
I mean, five days of some very fun, very CRAZY moments. Laughing until we had tears running down our cheeks. Talking about things we probably wouldn't bring up with anyone else. Shedding tears that we didn't realize we had in us for things we never realized we wanted to let out. Acceptance of the things we cannot change. Validation from others that we are good moms, good wives, good sisters, good daughters, and good friends.
Not that I am complaining about being a woman, because I certainly am not but we discovered via simultaneous texts from several husbands that men all think almost EXACTLY alike. Women are certainly much more complex creatures. Men? Basic. Not to be offensive. But seriously, I'm sure the men all thought we were having a slumber party and pillow fights. Ummmm. Yeah, we were doing something like that.
In the end we all hugged each other through more tears (not to make it sound like we were emotional wrecks because we weren't) and we promised that the next great Vent would be held in Hawaii. I came home with my heart full and even more thankful than ever for the blessings I have in my life and for the friends, near and far, that help me realize those blessings. I learned to let loose a little more. To love and let myself be loved a little more. And to be less of a critic of myself.
It sounds very deep, like all of a sudden I am a newfound person. I'm not. I will probably lapse back into that tough, self-critical, hard-a$$ that I usually am. But if I do that it will be because that's who I am, and not because that's who I think other people want me to be. But I know in my heart that women all push themselves harder than they should because they look at other women and think "if she can do it, so can I". And while I know that we do this and I know we don't have to, I also know it's probably our inherent nature to do so.
Actually I am stronger than I ever thought I would be, I love more than I ever thought I could, and I work harder than I probably have to. And I am ok with all of that.