I've had the great fortune to take several recent trips away from Baltimore. The first saw Will and I up in New England, visiting with our families, celebrating two weddings, spending quality time in my favorite city on Earth, and eating and drinking ourselves to an early bedtime on more than one occasion. This past weekend, we joined our friend's family and friends at a hunting lodge perched on the side of a mountain in rural PA. We – once again – ate and drank ourselves silly, roasted weenies by the creek, held on for dear life on midnight truck rides, and organized an exceptionally "punny" corn-hole tournament (corn-ament, duh).
And I needed it.
I wound up reading many pieces of writing about the value of taking a vacation before I left to take my own. I'd nod my head along as I read arguments for the benefits for your body, creativity, soul, and so on. It all felt like common sense to me, stuff people should already know and allow themselves. But at the same time, the examples given of the excuses people make to not take time off from work rang truer for me than I'd have imagined. Feeling guilt for doing something for myself, worrying about the world falling to pieces if I weren't to stay tied to my phone and a wifi connection, convincing myself that my coworkers would judge me for taking off for so long, worrying my job would be in jeopardy when I returned. It sucked. I kept telling myself, "dude, you've only been working 'adult' jobs for less than two years. How did you get like this?"
Seriously, how did we get like this? Because guess what, guys, all those feelings are fucking BULL SHIT. And all those benefits of taking a real vacation are THE OPPOSITE OF BULL SHIT.
I spent time with the people I love most in the world. I laughed so hard I cried, LOTS (slam a trumper, anyone?). I got to spend my days doing and seeing the things I love from home that I miss like a limb when I'm in Baltimore. I got to spend two freakin' WEEKS hanging out with my boyfriend, all day, every day. I danced my ass off at my uncle's wedding, and I got to celebrate a love that has shown me the way my whole life. I ate all the sandwiches from all the restaurants I dream of when my tummy starts to rumble at work. I got so sore from playing multiple games of cornhole that I messed up my whole back. And I felt ALIVE. I had a bat fly directly at my face at the mountain, and it was fucking FUN. I drew, and I took pictures, I read, and I wrote, and I came back more ready to commit to working hard at my job than I've been able to muster in a while. And now I'm going to keep kicking ass and I'm going to think of all that awesome stuff that happened that makes me smile and I'm going to start putting money in a jar for the next vacation.
How awesome is that? GO TAKE A VACATION IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY.
Here are some more of my favorite moments. It should be noted that I did try to abandon my phone as often as possible (hallelujah!)
P.S. It should be mentioned that I have only ever had really fabulous bosses, whom I thank endlessly for the opportunities they've extended me. Shout out to DP, GSR, and BB!