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Guest Stories

Featured Guest: Winter Minisee

We hosted Winter Minisee at Getaway Shenandoah outside of DC earlier this year. She took some time to unplug, destress, and recharge beforeher fall semester at Howard University began. Here’s what she had to say about her experience.

As an activist and student, it is often hard for me to sit and find time for myself. There is something so powerful about self-centered allocated time that often goes un-prioritized, especially in the lives of Black women. I am a third-year student at Howard University and this fall marked our first semester back on campus since the beginning of the pandemic. I left campus as a freshman and returned as a junior. One thing the pandemic provided was unprecedented time alone. Heading back into the hustle and bustle of campus life, I was worried about how I would maintain my new life tempo because I feared returning to the no sleep & caffeine flow I was accustomed to. 

When Getaway offered to allow me a few days to rest ahead of my semester, I was so excited. I used the time to journal, cook, and share special moments with a loved one. We hiked, ate, played We’re Not Really Strangers, and made s’mores by firelight. I woke up to Buffalo wandering the fields behind our cabin and fell asleep under the stars. I felt at peace falling asleep to the sounds of nature and the breath of my lover as opposed to the light of my cell phone or laptop screen. It was a blessing to be able to unplug and focus on the present moment instead of homework assignments, responding to emails, and the other things that tend to normally occupy my mind. 

During my stay, I reflected a lot on the power of rest, the importance of self-care, and the shamelessness of indulgence. Black women are often told that their value is equated to their output and productivity, with no regard to their well-being and humanity. It reinforced how much of a luxury it was to rest, something not many people, especially Black and Indigenous people, are afforded. Rest in today’s world is a privilege when it should be a human right. 

Moving forward, I vow to find time for myself to rest. To indulge in self-care. To find personal liberation in this lifetime, outside of death. 

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