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Rosebud Diaries: (Re)treat Yo’ Self

“Friendship is not about whom you’ve known the longest. It’s about who came and never left your side”

This week, at Rosebud meeting, we all shared our favorite quotes. In the spirit of quotes, I’ve decided to start off my blog post with a quote that shows how I feel about my fellow Rosebuds whom I’ve known for a total of eight weeks.

Throughout the first few weeks of Rosebud semester, each conversation with another Helene included an excited “When is your retreat? You’re going to love it so much!” Upon further questions, no one revealed a single detail, and, as I know now, for good reason. The magic of Rosebud Retreat is almost impossible to capture in words, and the surprise is a part of what makes it so special.

We met up at the all too familiar EVK turnout and piled into our carpools for the drive out to Mercy’s grandmother’s beach house in Ventura. Lucky for me, I got shotgun and the aux cord, and somehow we ended up singing (screaming) to our favorite Christmas carols. During a particularly impassioned rendition of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You,” we were swept up in the holiday spirit, and managed to convince Kylie to stop at a pumpkin patch on the side of the highway for some fall-themed fun.

Two hours later, I walked into my dream home: on the beach, with amazing kitchen, and decorated in the brightest, happiest way possible. You could tell that every quote on the wall and book on the coffee table had been hand-picked with love. We had a few hours before dinner (shoutout to TuckMama for cooking for us as we frolicked on the beach), and we all headed out to the beach to let the ocean turn us into giggling 5 year-olds again. There’s something about being out of the city that just clears my head, and it was so nice to enjoy some much needed down time just relaxing.

For the sake of preserving tradition, I’m not going to reveal much else about what we did that night, but there were belly laughs, uncontrollable sobs, and hugs that conveyed more emotion and support that words could. We laughed at Sujin’s animated stories and impressions of people, smiled tearfully at Haley’s description of her incredible grandmother, and empathized with one another in every way possible.

Having an extended period of time dedicated to getting to know each other on very personal levels allowed us to develop relationships beyond sharing moments from our week at Rosebud meeting. I believe that the best relationships are built on allowing oneself to be honest and vulnerable with others, and Rosebud Retreat accomplished just that. We all went to sleep both physically and emotionally spent, but feeling so connected with one another.

So thank you, Fall ‘16, for accepting -- no, loving -- my flawed self completely, for being a constant source of support, and for inspiring me to be my best self every day. Helenes love to you all!

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