Friday, May 22, 2009

What I would not do......

I guess you’ve wondered where I’ve been
I’ve gone to find the love within……..*

Well, kinda. I know I’ve been MIA lately but with good reason (I swear). First, work. I think there is a culture in corporate America these days where your gratefulness for having a job in these tough times translates to you taking whatever BS that come your way. I can count on one hand how many days in the past 3 weeks or so where I’ve left the office before 6:30. And I get here at 9. Okay 9-ish but you get the point. Long hours at the J-O-B equals no time for M-O-I. My work/life balance has been wayyyy off kilter lately so I decided to something about it, which leads me to my second M.I.A. reason.

Two months ago one of my sisters asked me to join her on a trip for her 30th birthday. Between work and a commitment to another trip 2 weeks after hers, I declined. I thought about how great it would be to be with my sisters on vacay – something we’ve never done before. But work was beginning to get extremely stressful and I rationalized that I was being a responsible adult by saying no. Two trips in two weeks? Who does that?? No, no, no. I’m not going.

A couple of weeks ago, I cried myself to sleep on a Friday night. Work was getting the best of me. I was too tired to go out. I damn near burned my kitchen down because I fell asleep while cooking – something I never ever do (thank the Lord for good pots). As the tears dried into my pillow and I drifted off to sleep, I lamented that this is not the life I wanted or envisioned for myself. The next morning, I awoke to the double chirp emanating from my phone, notifying me that I have a text message. It was a message from my sister, asking me if I could reconsider coming on the trip because someone backed out. I sat up in bed and thought of the night before. I responded: “Lemme see if I can find a cheap ticket. I’ll be there.” I hopped out of bed and grabbed Carrie B. from her perch and fired my baby up. After about 15 minutes of searching the web, and comparison shopping I found a great deal. I dug in my purse looking for my credit card, and just as I was about to enter those 16 digits I damn near know by heart, I hesitated. Is this too frivolous? I just paid for my June trip. Is this being fiscally responsible in these economic times? Can I really afford to do this?? All of these thoughts crept into my mind, and I couldn’t bring myself to give Carrie B. my info to transmit to JetBlue. I sat all day thinking, weighing the pros and cons, actually afraid to do it (that’s what she said). Finally, around midnight, I took a dose of Fuk-itall, and purchased my ticket. Puerto Rico, here I come!

Now if I’m going to be honest (and if I can’t be honest on my blog what’s the point?), I’ve never had a strong desire to go back to Puerto Rico. I went once over 10 years ago. I took a cruise with my family and that’s where the ship began our 7 day sea adventure. Coming from VA, I got to Puerto Rico before my family. I did the responsible (read: broke college student) thing, and went directly to the cruise ship, checked in, and wandered a street fair by the pier. While that couple of hours were fun, I didn’t think I needed to see anymore of Puerto Rico. Let’s face it. I’m from New York City. I used to teach in the Bronx. Misguided people think I’m half Puerto Rican. I’ve encountered more Puerto Ricans in my lifetime that the average American. Why should I go to Puerto Rico when it seems to be in my back yard, so to speak? Yeah, I know that’s slightly ignorant but it’s the truth.

This is one experience where I’m glad my ignorance and fears didn’t win over. TE AMO PUERTO RICO!!!! The people, the beaches, the food, the beaches – I had a really good time. So much so, I’m trying to go again – within the next year (I'm counting on you guys to hold me to that...hahaha). Three days just wasn’t enough. In the midst of being there with 15 people (including my 3 sisters), I found the time to be very introspective. There is something quite magical about clear blue waters crashing on smooth sandy beaches that makes you (well, me) honestly examine my journey in life. I came back rejuvenated, refreshed, renewed. And slightly tanned. Only slightly, because I was cough cough sick on Monday and couldn’t justify coming into work on Tuesday looking like a browner sun kissed version of myself. This week found me back on the work grind with pressing deadlines, paperwork, meetings, and more damn paperwork. But I haven’t slept on tear stained pillows since I’ve returned.

*This is one of my favorite songs of all time. I can listen to it daily and never tire of it. But his ponytail mullet is killing me in this video. Hahahahahahahahaa


rashad said...

I didn't know until I was 20, that Bobby Caldwell was not black.

And would you choose Puerto Rico over Miami?

£ said...

ok first of all. I could have written this blog word for word. though it wouldn't be nearly as good. I don't like to complain much but my stress levels have been HIGH. I try to keep it breezy because i know that we all have something. Anyway, I say all that to say i feel you girl.

Second, I'm glad you decided to go, i know yall had a great time. i'm trying to plan a vacay for myself, and puerto rico is on my short list. Every time i go i love it more. I too am the pondering the fiscal consequences but i really could use a vacation. ..Out of the country. And away from people.

Third, i absolutely LOVE that bobby caldwell song. like forreally real. I remember the first time i found out he was white. I think i was 14 and i was in disbelief for about 24 hours. "My friends wonder what is wrong with me..." Ain't that the truth? Dang Bobby. Sing it! Definitely one of my all time favorites.

makeba said...

Aye! Crying yourself to sleep. Is it the close to mid 30's crisis or something. A few weeks ago I sat at my desk and cried because of the dislike and stress of my job. Now I have NEVER cried for hating a job so much and doing so now was such a scary moment for me. Are we at a place in life where we are constantly viewing and rethinking our purpose, feeling like we are not where we want to be. While I didn't have a Puerto Rico to rejuvenate me I had Church...went to Church not because I was doing so on my own but forced to go due to a death and the topic....what's your life purpose? How fitting was it for me to go to Church that day. Lord knows the few days prior sitting at my desk saying those very words over and over in my head....Question? So what do we do about it? It feels good knowing there are others out there who feel like me.

Jazzbrew said...

We're in similar places and rolling with similar solutions. Work has been kicking my ass but I'm going to Myrtle Beach for sun, sand, golf and cold chillin. Hopefully my results will be similar to yours.

Glad to hear you're doing well.

Janelle said...

Rashad: I'm not quite sure if I ever knew he was white but maybe I did, because when I opened the link on youtube I wasn't shocked. LOL

Hmmm..that's a tough one. You KNOW I love Miami but I'm glad I've experienced Puerto Rico.

Lex: first, see that's why you're a friend in my head. I too try to keep it breezy but sometimes the cracks in the facade are more than I can handle.
Second, you would have written it beautifully.
Third, Take the vacay. You will regret it if you don't (and take me with you...I wanna go back to Puerto Rico!!!)
Fourth, regarding Bobby Caldwell, refer back to my first point and my comment to Rashad. LOL

Makeba: Okay, girl you're about to get a new blog name. Introspective Thinker. I.T. for short. I know you and your job are not a marriage made in heaven right now but you are definitely in the right field. Just have to find your niche. And yes part of this does have to do with us getting older.

Jazzbrew: Heyyyy there!!! I hope you have a fantastic time in Myrtle Beach, and return rejuvenated.

Chubbs said...

oh my @ ponytail mullet.

I feel your pain in the first para about jobs sucking the life out of you and you being expected to sit there and take it b/c you're lucky to have a job. It's happening in the non-profit world as well--I can attest to that.

And on a higher, brighter note--your sister knew you needed to get away...and I think it was smart of you to say "fuckitall" and go for it. Just listening to your words makes me think I need to do the same very soon. Some sand would do me good.

Thanks for posting this!

Quel said...

I didn't know until today that Bobby Caldwell was not black.

Janelle said...

Chubbs: you are so welcome!! And thanks for commenting!! TAKE THE VACAY!!! Even if its a weekend jaunt, take it!!! Leave this concrete jungle for a tropical oasis!!!

Quel: Welcome!!! They say we learn something new everyday. Glad I could be of assistance. LOL

LovinMe4Me said...

WOW, I love this song and I thought he was black too.

I know I'm late with the post, HOWEVER...I know you're story all to well.