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Recently, Mary Ann Reid, author and creator of the acclaimed Marry Your Baby Daddy Day, an all expenses paid wedding event for unmarried parents, decided to take the time to create an adventure that would frighten the faint of heart.
“My life has been really turned upside down for several years now and I am putting it back together,” Mary Ann confides. “I wanted to do something else besides reading the self help books because ‘a good scare is better than good advice”.
That ‘something else’ that Mary Anne is referring to led her to grab her passport and explore the depths of the beautiful country of Belize during a solo vacation where she challenged herself by facing her fears and diving into the unknown, on more levels than one.
“During one of my feeble attempts to meditate I started to envision water and swimming,” Mary Ann recalls. “Someone told me this means ‘feminine energy’ and that my intuition is provoking it. The water just seemed safe as a place to cocoon and cover myself from life’s blows. I have been really, really down after the last traumatic event and I was ready for a good, healthy scare.”
After receiving a random email about a driving trip in The Maldives, Mary Ann’s curiosity got the best of her and she researched the qualifications to become a diver. She quickly learned that she had to become certified to participate in scuba diving which tickled her because she had never swam in any depth of water that would cause her to stand on her tippy toes to see above it. She recognized it as a challenge that would take her focus off of her recent life transitions and she decided that a solo trip to Belize for her birthday would be the perfect gift to rejuvenate herself. Before she knew it she was on a plane coasting over the Gulf of Mexico about to experience a thrill of a lifetime.
For some women, the thought of traveling alone seems horrific, but Mary Ann believes this trip was unparalleled with any other life experience.
“I was nervous since I have had nothing but drama lately, but that shed quickly and I was able to be my authentic self again,” Mary Ann shares. She soon found herself zip lining, becoming a certified scuba diver, eating alone and sharing stories with kindred spirits. Bogged down by the demands she placed on herself, her time spent rediscovering her majesty in Belize was actually the antidote to her heavy heart.
As she returns to New York, ready for whatever may come her way, humming the tune to Billy Joel’s ‘Don’t Ask Me Why’, Mary Ann is now more certain about her place in the world.
“You have to walk out in the world like you belong in it,” she asserts. “Step into it. Walk straight, give people eye contact, smile, take a seat at the bar and order your favorite drink—let people stare and marvel at you. Embrace you.”