Hey Good People,
I do apologize. It’s been a while since my last post. Sarah had to get on my tail. And hey, to be honest, sometimes we need a little push from our friends. Sometimes we need to hear from our closest friends “you should do that” or “you deserve this” because let’s face it, sometimes we don’t know what we need.
This past July 4th holiday, I had another friend of mines encourage me do something for myself. I had just gotten back literally the day before in the wee hours of the morning (I think around 1 AM). I traveled with my dad and his wife to my cousin’s wedding in the Dominican Republic. I’d had no cell service (only wifi) but I wasn’t complaining. The wedding was beautiful. The weather was amazing, and after getting over my initial jitters, everything turned out excellent.
Well, the day before we were to return home, I get a wifi call from a relative crying that she’d gotten my car towed. Not only that, she was afraid that I wouldn’t trust her again because of it. Of course I was upset but, me being me, I didn’t get too upset because I let her use it and well, what kind of person would I be to just blow up on someone who’s crying? I’ve been manipulated for so long I automatically take fault and feel guilty for something I didn’t even do. But I digress.
Upon returning home, I stayed over my dad’s house for the night, my house keys being with my car keys with the relative who has fallen asleep by the time we land. Rightfully so, it is 1 AM. So, come the next morning, my dad and I, take this family member to work and also have to babysit because they waited to late to get their child to day care. I get a ride to the impound and not only do I have to pay for the tow, I have to also pay for the other tickets that this same family member got on another car that they never paid for. Over $400 dollars later, I ride off the lot and thank God, my dad treats me and the little one to breakfast, because who knows when I last ate.
Later that day I pick up the relative from work, she pays me half for the tow, and drop her and the little one off. (He’s really no trouble. He’s amazing might I add). I go straight home and pass out. The next morning I sit in bed, exhausted, depleted and feeling not like myself. I won’t say depression exactly, because I do deal with that a lot, but it was something else. I felt like I didn’t have control over my life anymore. With a birthday right around the corner, it seemed as though I hadn’t done anything to celebrate how far I’d come since a year ago.
Talking to a friend of my on the phone explaining these feelings, he finally asked me: “Where do you want to go?” “Canada, Toronto” I say. “Well, go to Canada!” He says, all matter of fact-like. “Yeah, OK.” I’m thinking. I’d just came from an out of country trip and I just came off $400, and here I am about to go on another trip?
He looked up some hotels and found one, right in the heart of Toronto. I checked it out. It looked nice, but really? Go to Canada? Solo? Hmmm. The more and more I thought about it, the more and more I could see it. I could feel it. The exhilaration, the feelings of freedom. I had no responsibilities. No engagements, no one to answer to. I first thought about who I could ask to go with me, but honestly, I knew I was meant to do this alone.
I went on a walk up my street, trying to clear my mind. Was I really going to do this? Upon returning home, after looking at the hotel listings and the area surrounding it, I’d say probably close to 100 times, I booked it. Sure did. Pulled out my sad little credit card and booked it. I. Booked. It. This is a huge deal for me. I’m making the moves, I’m calling the shots. I’m doing what I want to do. No one else’s trip. No one I have to answer to. Just me. For so long I’ve heard people say “oh, you don’t need all that, it’s just you,” or “girl, what you complaining for, it’s just you” so damn it, that’s right: It’s just Me.
I’ve never unpacked and packed so fast in my life. I sent out a quick text to a couple family members on how long I’d be gone and the address of the hotel. I was on the road and down 90 east highway within 2 hours. The sun on my back as I rode and jammed out to some of the most inspirational tunes. Lizzo, Eve, Jessie J, just to name a few.
And I did it! Passed through the border, and hit Toronto running. I checked out the art museum of Ontario, Queen’s Quay, an amazing vegan spot Planta, and a chill-ass jazz club, The Reservoir Lounge. I did what I wanted, didn’t have to ask anyone if they wanted to do something or how long they wanted to stay, and I even talked to some local people who gave me ideas of where to go. I was in control. Those two nights in Toronto were the most time I’d spent alone in a long time. I actually asked myself what I wanted, and I did it without regret.
So I encourage you, whatever it is that you’ve been wanting to do for yourself, do it. Be it a trip, a spa day, or even reading a book that’s been on your list for a while; do it. You deserve to do something you want to do and not feel guilty for it. Other people do what they want to make them feel better. And you, like me, may be one of those people that are always doing for said people. I’m not saying you should never do for others, but sometimes, and a lot more than that, you have to do for yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Fill yours to the brim, and let it overflow. That way, you’ll have more than enough for yourself and for others.