Are your pretend bags packed? Because, you guys, we are hopping on a jet plane (also pretend but shhhhhhhhh..) and LEAVING TOWN. I have joined forces with our Bec, and we are taking you on a fancy virtual week-long retreat and holy dooly, it starts now. EVERY DAY will be a NEW VIRTUAL RETREAT DAY for FIVE DAYS STRAIGHT. It’s a SHINDIG. A SISTERHOOD shindig. Okay, I know, I’m overdoing the shouty caps but can I just, in my defense, say: No one is the boss of me!!!!!! I’M ON HOLIDAAAAAAAAYYYYYYSSSSSS!!!! Goodbye dishes and problems and work and sadness and perpetually picking up stuff from the floor. You no longer exist to me! YEHAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!
But listen, I’m desperate for a long shower and to find some pants, so I’m going to hand you over to Bec who is right next to me, shooing me out of the room, totally pumped to get this ball rolling.
Au revoir, sweet friends! Enjoy your first day! I’ll see you all in a little bit!
Well, HELLO there. It’s Bec. So nice to be back.
So, a person who shall remain nameless (*cough cough* JOEL) said that if he found a sisterhood going on in his living room, he would be not be impressed.
Well, my friend. Your day has come. Prepare to be blinded by the sisterhood in all its glory. And it’s happenin’ here – right smack-bang in the middle of your lounge room, buddy. Let me warn you now: it’s gonna look all civilised and how-di-doo at the beginning – all shiny hair flicks and heels and perfectly applied lippy and fancy cocktails with funky lounge music – but it will shockingly quickly descend into hair braiding and mutual “ohmygod ME TOO!” cackling and tears and heart-to-hearts and raucous laughter while heels are kicked off and Roxette and Belinda Carlisle start blaring from the speakers. (Because: Darlin’ leave a light on for meeee!)
So. Consider yourself warned. You now have permission to make your feeble excuses and get the hell out of here.
Okay. With that first item checked off our to do list, let us begin proceedings.
Ladies, let me heartily welcome you to the SISTERHOOD SHINDIG. Don’t forget to take your shoes off when you enter.
Before you can plop yourselves down in one of those heavenly couches, however, we have a few more To Do List items to attend to. This tent is about making sure women know they are okay just as they are, you see. And there are two things I want to eliminate from this sisterhood before it even warms up. The first one is make-up. I know, I know – I love make-up too. And no, this has nothing to do with any breast cancer campaigns.
Actions speak louder than words though, right? So, behold: us without make-up. (Feel free to post your own makeup-free selfies to the Red Tent Facebook or Instagram feeds with the hashtag #redtentdayone — come join in the fun.)
The other thing I want us to discard at the door is that little nagging woman on your shoulder. You know who I mean – the one whispering in your ear all the time, telling you how you aren’t good enough. How that woman you met as you walked in has legs way better than yours, and she’s ten years your senior. How that other chick’s self-confidence, and humour, and wit, just outshines your personality completely and you may as well go home now. The one telling you that you’re a bad mother because this is the third night this week your children are being babysat by Peppa Pig. The one making you put off all those things in your heart because you’re not intelligent, inspiring, or capable enough.
THAT woman. SHE is 100 per-bloody-cent, most certainly, irrefutably, not. freaking. invited.
And just to make sure she is really and truly not in attendance, I have designed a cunning activity to start off events. Because you see, the thing about that woman is that she’s like a cockroach – she only comes out in the dark. In the gloomy recesses of your mind, where your absolute innermost tell-nobody guilty secrets are – that is where she lives, and breeds, and plots ways to remind you of your guilt or shame or inadequacy at every chance she gets. But if you switch on the light and air that secret – she’s vanished. Into thin air. Powerless.
So today, we’re starting our shindig with a confessional. A little bit of truth-telling. Add one or two of your own in the comments section at the end and share them with us.
BEC: I know on the outside, to strangers, I can pack an intimidating punch – various uni degrees, second language, slim, smiley, blah blah blah – but on the inside, I feel about 16. I have no idea about money, or tax, or insurance, or other Grown Up stuff. I struggle to remember which day the bins go out. If I only had to cook for myself, I would be hitting up vegemite toast with a Nesquik three times a day. I feel like I am totally faking being an adult.
NIA (a fellow Red Tenter and real-life friend of Bec’s): If I meet locals who I am pretty sure I won’t see again, then I lie about how long I have lived here in Austria. I still say 4-6 months (as a reason why my German is not up to scratch). It has now been FOUR YEARS! Needless to say, I tend to receive compliments these days – ‘Wow, you have come so far already!’ – which I smile and accept graciously.
RACH: I have issues with intimacy that are sky-high. I can be a little passive aggressive. I’ve slapped Joel once which actually makes me maybe not so passive. I hold grudges and I take things too personally and I’m very moody and I tend to overshare. Too much?
RENAE (a fellow Red Tenter and real-life friend of Rach’s): I was out on a run once and suddenly needed to empty my bladder………it was a do now or wet your pants moment. I snuck into someone’s yard, hid behind the bushes and emptied. I believe I wasn’t caught out……….I hope!
BEC: Since stopping breastfeeding, I have zero boobs. Literally. I really belong in the tween trainer bra department, because the AA cups just ain’t gettin’ enough lovin’. The boobs themselves look like an old man’s knees. Two thin wrinkles – you couldn’t even call them a fat roll, because that would imply some sort of cushy filling. Needless to say I own many a padded bra. VERY padded. When I hang them out on the washing line to dry, I hide them amongst the towels so the neighbours don’t see my prosthetic boob supply.
NIA: I have been known to eat a whole BIG bar of dark chocolate in one day, then feel so guilty I go out and buy another one so my husband does not know that I scoffed the ENTIRE original one. We’ve been together 10 years!
RACH: If we’re talking boobs, just call me grocery bags.
RENAE: I have big, ugly, alien like growths all over my scalp. Well they are really just cysts but they look and feel weird and sometimes I have to put my hair a certain way to ensure they aren’t on show!
See? Wasn’t that like a breath of fresh air? Now it’s over to you guys. PLEASE keep the ball rolling! Share some of your secrets and let us get over this facade of perfect syndrome.
Tomorrow, Rach will be back to begin our awesome virtual retreat (think books and movies and cooking classes and napping on fluffy beds and spa days and ALL THE GOOD THINGS). Now is the time to invite your friends along if they are not already Red Tenters. Share this post and let’s get this ball rolling! Enjoy your day lounging about inside, sisters. See you back here tomorrow morning.