A Saturday in May: Life Updates

Much like last May, this month has been a whirlwind so far.

I’m currently at my apartment drinking mimosas made with my favorite champagne in the world (at least, out of those I’ve discovered so far…) while cooking myself a big Southern breakfast.

And all of the sudden, I feel like writing again.

Finally.

Taking time off

Before my latest trip to Europe in April, I’d planned to take a break from social media and blogging while I was abroad. Believe me, I know that full-time bloggers around the world make the dream work in all kinds of exotic locales… and I’m raising my glass to them. However, for those of us who balance work and travel, things are a bit different. When you only have a short amount of time to see a large amount of things in multiple new cities and countries, there isn’t always time left to locate Wifi and hang out in a cafe for a few hours to write blog and social media posts. Not to mention the fact that I tend to travel pretty light on these shorter trips, so I didn’t even bring my laptop on this last adventure.

Planned hiatus aside, I thought I would be refreshed and renewed and would hit the ground running with new blog and social media content and new photos as soon as I got back home.

Unfortunately, this was one of those times where life was trying to teach me the lesson I’m most hard-headed about learning:

Plans don’t always go as planned.

My first two weeks back in the U.S., we were as busy at work as we’ve been since I started the job last year, I was working later than usual and the stress was getting pretty serious. Simultaneously, we had a death in my family, and we hosted visitation and the funeral on my birthday and the day after, so I cancelled everything as far as celebrations go.

And (unsurprisingly), in the midst of all of that, I couldn’t write at all.

I started multiple drafts of posts… and I scrapped all of them.

Full scale writer’s block.

Death is a difficult thing for people to talk about, and I’m no exception to that rule. There were so many ways I tried to skim over what was really going on in my life in order to explain it to people and try to get back to writing during these past few weeks. But death is something we all deal with, so I’m not sure why we are afraid to say what is really going on when it happens. My family member lived a fascinating, long life, and it was great getting to reminisce about him and share stories with others during the two days we hosted his visitation and funeral. I’m thankful we had that time to remember his life and remember the things he loved: the things that made him who he was as a person.

I’m also thankful for another valuable lesson I was reminded of during these first weeks of May:

Sometimes, you have to tell the truth like it is, even if it feels uncomfortable.

Because sometimes, honesty is the only way to move forward.

What now?

My favorite- and least favorite- question in the world. Things have died down a bit at work (for which I’m very grateful) so I am personally recognizing the birthday I missed by doing two things. First, I’m taking this Saturday staycation day to myself to get back into doing the things I love (namely: writing, mimosas and time outside). Second, I’m getting back to the drawing board, as difficult as that may be for me, to brainstorm ideas for what is next… both on this blog and in my life.

So what exactly is next?

Summer in Nashville.

After quite a bit of personal debate at this time last year, I decided to stay in Nashville. And although this goes against my character in some ways, I’m sitting here one year later with no plans to leave in the immediate future.

Who am I?

Y’all know I love to plan, and generally have 14 different versions of what could be next in my life (ranked in order of priority). But I had a bit of a crisis recently that caused me to address a belief I’ve held a long time… and ultimately, I had to defeat that belief. In a nutshell, I’d always planned to get through a master’s degree by age 30. This may be because I was born and raised in the South, or because I live here now, or for some other combination of reasons… but I always thought I needed to explore and make mistakes in my 20s but settle into a career (and a permanent location) by the time I reached 30. Since most of the careers I’m interested in long-term would require me to go back to school at some point, I always thought I should get the school thing done by age 30.

Yet, here I sit at age just-turned-27, with no entrance exams completed and no intention of taking any exams (or sending off any applications for that matter) this year at all.

Guess what? As it turns out, it doesn’t really matter when you go back to school. (Shocking, I know.)

Despite growing up with every acquaintance – and even some strangers – telling me that I had to get back to school in my 20s or life would get in the way and I’d never go back, I’ve realized there actually isn’t a rule that says you have to get a master’s degree by age 30. In the grand scheme of things, what is the real difference between 30 and 31? or 32 and 33? If you want to do something in your life, you’ll do it. Plain and simple. Don’t let someone else’s idea of the way a life timeline should look influence the way you think about your own.

So, here we are.

Sitting on the Nashville apartment balcony, writing again (!) with a mimosa in hand.

Right now, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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