Since I’ve began this blog, I’ve always written some sort of monumental post on or around my birthday to reflect on the previous year because I like to see how far I’ve come, how much I’ve changed, and how much I’ve grown. It’s never a dull journey to get to where I am and thankfully, I have these blog posts to serve as a reminder that life doesn’t get any easier with age.
I just turned 25 about 2 weeks ago. A quarter-century old. A quarter-life crisis to come. Again, to no surprise, I have a laundry list of events that have happened in that previous year.
In the span of 1 year, I had 2 different jobs, lived in 2 different apartments in New York City, and broke up, got back together, then broke up (again) with my boyfriend.
When I turned 25, I was job-less, boyfriend-less, and at the border of a mental breakdown. It only seemed appropriate to take a trip to escape the realities of the environment that I was currently in.
On November 20th 2015, the Friday before my birthday, I was let go from my job – A “promising” position at a startup company that I had only recently started working at in September after being at a large Publishing company prior.
Clearly, it wasn’t a great fit for me.
The night that I got let go, after experiencing hours of complete and utter shock, I had decided that I needed to get away. I needed to travel. I needed to escape.
Please note, to fully comprehend what led to my course of action in taking this trip, I must summarize the events that took place prior. The following situations were brewing in the months leading up to my trip:
- I left a stable job
- I started a new job
- I reconnected with my ex-boyfriend
- I disconnected from my ex-boyfriend
- I got into a 2-month long argument with my sister
- I reconnected (again) with my ex-boyfriend in the wake of the Paris attacks
- I re-disconnected with my ex-boyfriend
- I got let go from my job
- I turned 25
A person can only withstand so much before they reach their tipping point. And for me, I was just about there.
On November 21st, the day after getting let go, I spent 6 hours booking one-way flights from New Jersey, to Denver, to Los Angeles, then back home to New York City.
I left on Friday, November 28th, the day after Thanksgiving and just returned a few days ago, this past Thursday morning.
It wasn’t a long trip, but it was enough. 6 days in Denver and Los Angeles. It was exactly the right amount of time that I needed to process exactly what had happened in the past few months.
When I arrived at Denver International Airport, I hit the ground running, as I typically do when I travel. Whenever I’m in a different place, I always want to do anything and everything in order to take complete advantage of the time that I have wherever I may be. And boy, did I do that. To summarize the events in Colorado, this is what I was able to accomplish in 4 days (And these are only the events that I’m at liberty to disclose):
- Barhop in Denver
- Watch the Colorado Avalanche hockey team spank the Winnipeg Jets
- Climb the Flatirons at 7,000+ feet elevation
- Shop in Boulder
- Bar hop in Boulder
- Befriend the entire staff of Tahona Tequila Bar
- Play pool for upwards of 3 hours at Sundown Saloon
When I said goodbye to my friends on Monday, I was sad to go, but overwhelmed with excitement for the second part of my trip to Los Angeles. And here is a summary of the events that happened during my 3 days in California:
- Went to Anaheim Packing House for food & drinks and bar hopped in Fullerton with my cousin whom I haven’t seen in 7 years
- Ran/hiked Griffith Park and visited the Griffith Observatory
- Visited the Last Bookstore in Downtown LA
- Got dinner at Playa Provisions and drinks at Blind Barber with a friend from college whom I also haven’t seen in about 6-7 years
- Got lunch at Gjelina in Venice with another friend from my hometown
- Walked the entire Venice Beach boardwalk and watched the sunset
- Visited Santa Monica Pier at night
In the time that it took for me to emotionally breakdown, I was inadvertently able to revive myself through this trip.
Looking back, although this trip was much needed and an extremely pivotal point in my upcoming year(s) of growth, I must say that I am most grateful for the fact that it was such a safe and successful journey. On my last day in Los Angeles, the San Bernardino shooting also happened. I was an hour-distance from San Bernardino, California. I had no idea that was happening at the time, but I am now aware that I could have been and I thank God that I wasn’t.
You never know what’s going to happen in life. In a second, everything can change. Good things happen, bad things happen. You can never fully prepare for the obstacles that are thrown in your way. The best you can do is get through it and hopefully come out stronger.
At 25, I’m still alive. I’m still breathing. I’m still healthy. I still have much more living to do and I know I will come out of this stronger than ever.