Leaving the apartment. Breaking from work. Visiting old friends. Napping in hammock. Hugging my family.
Vacation is good.
The one drawback was it was a tiny bit difficult to fully enjoy the above (spanning 4 days), given that it was bookended by 6-8 hours of driving (each way). That part was a tad exhausting. Next time I solo trip that far upstate I will probably book a flight way in advance & rent a car to move about if need be.
All totally worth it though.
1) Seeing familiar faces, some of which were years in between visits, was so welcome (as were the compliments & smiles thrown my way upon being received at their doorsteps);
2) By and large, everyone I connected with over the weekend is t h r i v i n g.
When I would make plans with these people in my early 20’s, the only times I wouldn’t be drinking was if we were going out to brunch…following a night of drinking (rural/upstate brunches were not so trendy as to have adopted the ‘boozy’ qualifier, at least not during my tenure up there). Everything in my world revolved around drinking — including my friends.
Don’t get me wrong. I valued all these individuals highly — and that has never changed. But I used to also highly value the concept that socialization couldn’t take place or be enjoyable without binge-drinking. What was especially deceiving was that in that environment (undergraduate university)…many peers seemed to prescribe to that school of thought, too. But where they were only picking up electives in ethanol, I was majoring in mixers with a concentration in chasers. It was the worst program ever and I learned nothing.
Now, in our mid-to-late 20’s, we bond over: VIP concert areas; day hikes; home ownership deeds; careers; job markets; healthy living; mindful discussions; quality time with quality company. Maybe my favorite part is that while I don’t drink…I can still comfortably be around other people who do (two of said friends are in the process of getting Buffalo’s first liquor distillery in nearly 100 years — since Prohibition — off the ground). It’s empowering as hell.
It was great to see people who were eager to see me. It was inspiring to see people who are making moves, making a difference, making a life for themselves. Adulthood is the most absurd. Because being that I was really without responsibility or accountability for 4 days, I was an observer to the lives of my hosts, and their time/life management practices that coincided with my visit.
Everyone is busy. Everyone is living. Everyone is busy living. All we can do is support one another from afar, and proactively make a point to physically see each other on some sort of regular basis lest that connection starts to fade — even if that means making small sacrifices to get there.
In a highly digitized world, you’ll never replace true face-to-face. Make sure you do more than tell people that you love them — show them.
Shout out to Emily for holding it down while I was away.
Comment if you’d like to see more from her in the future!
What great concepts & voice. Thanks again Em!