Up Up Up

The best part about finding my old iPod was seeing all the different phases of music I went through before settling on my current one. Regina Spektor dominated (as she still does, to be honest), rock music played a much larger role in my life than I ever thought (I think it was all a part of my “angsty” teen phase), and Chance the Rapper was only there because of his first mixtape “Acid Rap”. But there was also just so much fun in there. I was obsessed with a YouTuber called Pogo who made these awesome songs/remixes of Disney movies. Hard to explain. Just click here. Likewise, I had so much music about being a boss ass bitch.

It was a beautiful, lovely surprise. It came at the perfect moment too. No, this is not a tragic tale today (I’m shocked too). It was a nice cherry on this cool vacation I’ve had. I have a friend who always wants to go on these extravagant trips to Europe or to music festivals. I realized, recently, why those things freak me out and why we differ. Vacation for me means my mind gets to focus, wholeheartedly, on the simple pleasures I often don’t have time to focus on. Between being an auntie, a provider for my family, a mentor to random people and the like, I don’t always get a chance to do these things without thinking about my upcoming responsibilities. No, my responsibilities did not evaporate in the last few days. They did, however, get pushed aside as I am gearing up for a major life shift.

I have moved across the country from one frozen tundra to another in Wisconsin. Coming here a few days early before work gave me time to focus on those pleasures I was talking about. I got to see random movies I’ve been meaning to see. I finally got to read a few of my books. I spent a significant amount of time being OCD and setting up  my first apartment. I tell you, it’s the best vacation I have ever had. It was 5 days of bliss because in the midst of that I still chatted with my family and friends and mentally rested.

Stranger, figure out what you like and do it. Do not fall into the trap that so many in my generation fall into.

Just because others are doing something, or are doing something in a particular way, does not mean you too have to do that thing or you have to engage with something in the same manner.

If I had “vacationed” in the manner that most do and gone to Europe before this job, I would have been a mess. For sure. I’m not ready for that yet. I’m not counting out extravagance. I simply think, sometimes, it’s ok to not want something yet.

At this stage in my life, I am a “staycation”, road trip to see the tallest monuments in the midwest, fly to spend a weekend with a friend sitting at a coffee shop catching up sort of vacationer. That may very well change and that is ok. But I’m also perfectly happy to not be there yet.

Tomorrow I start the next chapter in my journalism journey. I begin working for a cool organization in a very random but incredibly interesting (thus far) town in the middle of Wisconsin. If you told me a month ago that this is where I would end up or that I would be this excited, I would have called you a “liar, liar plants for hire.” But I am so excited.

Sometimes I think people look to those who are positive or excited and try to take advantage of them and their supposed naivety. I’ve had this happen. However, that isn’t really stopping me (nor will it ever) from being openly excited to tackle something new and big.

Be kind, smile and remember that many people, at their core, just want to be happy and want those they care about to be safe and happy too. The world has hardened us all in such a way that many choose to not only conceal their hearts but they are determined to hide them so stealthily that not even Sherlock Holmes could find it.

I am smarter now (hopefully) so I can usually spot those who wish to crush my spirit or my weirdly positive attitude (yeah, even I know it’s weird). I put up preventative measures in those cases. Y’all have been exposed to my darker, more manic sides, but in the real world outside of the screen, I still think that people are good and that God has a carefully constructed plan.

It’s for this reason that although I know it will be difficult at this new job (every new job has a steep learning curve) I am ready to learn from those around me and improve my skills to be the best reporter I can be. I’m ready to make some mistakes, learn from them and keep moving forward. Best of all, I feel confident that I have a community of journalists, friends and family to help emotionally protect me along the way.

Ok, I’m done being all sappy now. Wish me luck, fam.

-M

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