Guest Blog: Saying “Yes” to the experience


Hello Ladies and Gentlepeople!! It has been too long since one of us posted on our blog.  I know you have been anxiously awaiting our next post (uhhhmmmhmmm).  But anyway, the first post in a long long while comes from my friend Ms. Alicia Simon who I have begged to blog for us for a long while.  She has a wonderful blog that you can find in our blog roll, Eternally Summer.  Please visit it and let us know what you think about her wonderful experience of saying “Yes” to way more than just a dress.  Enjoy!! ReFleKtionary!!!

 

I have always been one of those people who lived in a box, experiencing my life through television and a series of “have to’s”. When it was time for me to go to work, I would always take the same route, eat the same lunch at the same place, and take the same route home—no deviation. I found relief in this. I felt “safe” this way.

 

There was a day, yes, one day, where I felt a change had to be made. Coming up to my 30th birthday, everything seemed to be caving in on me—even the walls of the home I always seemed so safe behind. I thought, “30, my goodness.” I sat and reminisced about all the things I knew I would be when I was 30: wife, mother, millionaire, and mogul. Where was that woman? Where the hell are my millions and my man? After a temper tantrum that was rivaled only by my then two-year-old niece, I calmed.  At that moment I knew I had to say GOODBYE to that woman I had created all those years before.  She didn’t exist. I didn’t recognize her. I had to start living for the woman I had become, regardless of what I thought of her.

 

In less than a month from that decision, I moved. Simply packed my things and moved “home”. My family is from Antigua & Barbuda and I thought it would be a sensible and “safe” first step, a place where I wouldn’t feel completely out of my element.

 

Antigua is what you would call ASmall Place. Incidentally, that is the name of Jamaica Kincaid’s book about our country.  Reading a book about Antigua by a woman who disliked it enough to change her name to Jamaica always baffled me…I digress.

 

I moved. You would think that after this epiphany I would tell you a story of finding my path and discovering I could be the woman I wanted to be at twenty—but it isn’t. For the year and a half, I began to build a life for myself that was very much like the life I built back home. The only difference was that it was on a tropical island and I had a cat named Bijou.  Once again, I stayed in my home watching television, dreaming of grandeur and take the same route back to my home.

 

One day, I was on my way home and I literally met a crossroad. I also met roadwork that completely blocked my usual road and I had to make a decision—left or right. I had never taken either route, as I knew this one route, this one route before me was the quickest way home. I knew every ditch, hole and encumbrance on that one road and truly wanted to get on it. “I think I can squeeze through without going into the gutter or hitting that tractor, I think.” If I hit it what would be the cost? Then it hit me, what is the cost. There was my eureka in the bathtub moment, take that Archimedes!

 

What is the cost? What is the cost of inaction, inactivity, the cost of living a safe life, and worst of all—a life without memory? I decided that I would live that life, but I couldn’t see how. What was my first step?  Turn left. This arbitrary decision led me onto the rockiest, bumpiest, most disgraceful road in existence. Not only was the road horrible—and why weren’t they fixing this road instead of my road—but it took me far out of my way. It was 15 minutes before I found a road I recognized. Trying so hard to find my way, I was forced to look. I looked at the beautiful landscape, the buildings, the people, the animals. I took it all in, just in case I had to come this way again and I thought.  I thought of making more lefts and saying “yes” to finding my way out. “Yes” to living this life, “yes” to opportunity.   After making a ten-minute ride into a thirty-minute one, my house was finally in sight. I trudged up the terrible hill and wanted nothing more than to get inside. To do what? Who knows. Right then I received a phone call, “Do you want to go to the movies?” they asked.  No, my mind said, right away. I asked, “What time?”  She said, “Oh, we were going to meet in like 15 minutes. You live right around the corner, so I thought I’d call.” My mind said, “How dare you invite me at the last minute”. I was geared up to give her a piece of my mind, opened my mouth and said, “Yes, sounds like fun.” I reversed back down the hill and went to the movie theatre and had a wonderful time.

 

In no time, I was saying, “yes” to everything. I went to parties and events by myself, I was on catamarans, snorkeled, went hashing with a group of people I didn’t know and was on a ferry to another island to meet with someone I had only spoken to on the phone. I was even growing my own tea and vegetables, as I’ve always dreamt. I was, dare I say, living .

 

I found the experience is less about where you travel than the experience of travelling—the experience of living the hell out of this life. You can be a woman who has never left New York, but has explored every nook and cranny of it—from the Bronx to the Battery. Does that still make you a travelling womanist? Hell yeah. Some folks have gone to every continent and experienced them from a hotel room or the safety of a resort. That’s not a traveling womanist . It’s all about exploring the breadth and the width of a thing—of yourself.

 

I guess you’d like to know where this epiphany landed me. How did everything turn out? Did this discovery lead her to her millions or her husband? Nope, not yet. However, I’m on my way to a more authentic life than I could have ever imagined back in the day. Also, when I do meet that husband and those babies, I’ll have a hell of a story to tell them.

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~ by travelling womanists on December 6, 2011.

2 Responses to “Guest Blog: Saying “Yes” to the experience”

  1. Thanks I needed that. Was contemplating some things and this came at the exact time i needed it.

  2. She’s also my cousin.

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