Some people make New Year Resolutions; I make New Year Reservations. On one way flights. To Oahu. I was sulking into an Oreo milkshake, as is common after a breakup, when a friend invited me to fly out to Hawaii and live with her and her family for a few weeks. Within 15 minutes, I had my flight booked. I figured if I’m going to sulk about my 2017 starting off in the dumpster, I might as well do it from Hawaii.
I’ve officially visited the West Coast (best coast)! I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to explore more than just the airport on my layover to my Hawaiian Hiatus, so I headed out of SeaTac Airport to the waterfront and Pikes Place.
Currently sitting in a coffee shop in Seattle, on a layover on my way to Hawaii, approximately 36 hours after finishing a trip to Atlanta. Stay tuned for the next few weeks of my life, when I hope to be able to reflect, write, and reflect from another continent. I’m embracing the nomad life, and I can’t wait to share my adventures, packing lists, real talk, and curiosities with you. As always, D:C will get into it, but follow me on Instagram (@guidettenc), Snapchat (@guidetteee), and Twitter (@guidettenc) for random and frequent updates.
My quarter-life crisis happened a year ago. I was 25, unhappy in a city I had been sure would be my place to shine. I was desperate to finish my Masters degree as quickly as possible, which is basically how I spent every day of my life at the time; desperately waiting for the next step. On weekdays, I would go to work and wait for 4:30 when I could slip out. And then I would count the minutes until my grad class was over and I could go to bed. Just to wake up the next day… repeat, repeat, aching for the weekend. When the weekend would arrive, I usually spent my Friday nights watching Netflix until I passed out as early as possible, just wanting to get to Saturday. So that I could get through Saturday. So that I could get through Sunday. So that… well, you get it. I wasn’t getting to anything, I was just waiting for each day to tick by.
I think anyone who reads for pleasure can understand the impact a great book can have. I can’t be the only person who has deemed some written words as life-changing. The first book I ever read that profoundly hit me was Milan Kundera’s “The Unbearable Lightness of Being.” It resonated with me on a raw level; the novel version of a Bright Eyes song. It still sits with me. Since then, “Eat, Pray, Love” helped me through a breakup and reminding me to live my life for myself, and this year, I’ve stumbled upon two literary works that have definitely changed my year and potentially my life. (I know, I’m so dramatic.)
I said we’re gonna talk about the stuff no one else wants to talk about – the muddy struggle of an obstacle course of challenges that is life sometimes. So, where do I even begin? My deteriorating love life? My up-in-the-air excuse for a professional career? Or we could review the mental-health battles I overcame this year, after a rough few years of figuring that *ish out.
I was having coffee with a good friend of mine this past Sunday (how suburban and house-wife-ish of me) and we got into a pretty intense conversation about women and society and accomplishments and achievements and fulfillment. You know, the usual… Given that she has just gone through a pretty turbulent year and I’m revving up to a similarly challenging one, we had a lot to commiserate about. Two points that she made really stuck out to me, though.
When a friend of mine dared me to play hooky with her last Tuesday – Thursday and jet off to Nashville for no other reason than the fact that flights were cheap, I jumped at the chance. Neither of us had any desire to see the Country Music Hall of Fame or catch a show… you’ll have to read another blog for that info. Our goals were simple: 48 hours of beer, dive bars, and biscuits. I also mandated lots of coffee and at least two Instagram photo ops.
Part of this whole freelancer, design-my-own-life, make-my-own-schedule thing I’m embracing (despite occasional crippling anxiety that I’m ruining my life) is that I am able to travel. When a friend of mine who works an unconventional schedule in hospitality mentioned she had Wednesday and Thursday of next week off from work, I immediately took to Google Flights to see what the least expensive flights from Orlando to, well, anywhere, would be for those two days. Our luck landed us with 48 hours in Nashville, Tennessee. Since our flight is on the budget airline Frontier, I’m taking on one of my most ambitious packing attempts yet – 48 hours in just a large purse.
I’m currently sitting in my office for the morning – a local coffee shop, where I’ve claimed a small table and spread my iced latte and ultra-fine-point Sharpie pens and textbook on. I debated writing about my most recent life change because most of the I-quit-my-job-and-never-looked-back-and-am-living-my-dream-life articles I read are from exactly that perfect, ideal perspective. The author reflects back on a moment where they stood up for their self worth and look-how-well-it-turned-out-for-me!