I believe in vegging out.
For my 28th birthday, N and I went to Chicago for the first time. We were so excited because we had gotten an awesome deal through the Hyatt-thanks to my cousin who was working there at the time-and were considering moving there after N graduated dental school. The day we flew out of Nashville I was so excited to land in O’hare, (I had been through once before and remember it being so big), but found out a little too soon that we were going to land in Midway. I was immediately pissed off at N for booking the flight to midway and not O’hare. “Why didn’t you tell me it was Midway? I booked the rental car out of O’hare!” I demanded in my usual you-are-a-child,-must-I-do-everything-in-this-relationship tone. His simple, calm response was “I thought you knew, you were sitting right next to me when I booked the flight.” I rolled my eyes and headed to look at the magazines and obsess over whether we’d get a rental car or not.
In Midway, the lady at the car rental booth said there was no way to transfer the reservation, but that they could rent us a car for a decent price. I asked her to look up how much it would be for an economy car. Her reply, after a few minutes of letting the computer search, was “we don’t have an economy, but we have one convertible left. It’s a Toyota Solara and we can give it to you for the same price.” I looked at N for a quick OMG and said “yes, we’ll take it” as smoothly as possible.
Even though we stayed at an amazing hotel which at the time we could never have afforded, even though we drove around a red convertible which at the time we could not have afforded, I spent a lot of the trip annoyed at the little things. It was easy to stay negative and I did for most of the trip. Not only did I have a miserable time the first two days, I forced N to as well. Upon my return to Nashville that July, I was so ashamed of my behavior, but had no clue what was wrong with me nor did I know how to fix it. I just knew that I was irritated because all my expectations were shattered one by one.
You see as a child I went on two vacations with my family. Out of the two, I remember one being fun, relaxing, and exciting; the other was filled with drama. Going on vacations was not my forte. I didn’t know that you make compromises and let things go and allow room for sleeping in and set an agenda each day and then embrace the little blessings that get tossed your way that weren’t part of your plan like the red convertible. I didn’t know that you don’t have to plan every day out and ensure each activity gets checked off your list. I didn’t know that if I loosened my grip on my expectations and agenda that I could look up and feel the sun watching over me, leading me to my next activity.
On the third day in Chicago, I suggested we go to Grant park and walk around. It was a gorgeous day with the delicious wind cooling us off at just the right intervals. Once we got there and took a few pictures to post on our Myspace accounts, N suggested we take a nap under the trees. I laid down my mom’s brown shawl that I borrowed and we laid down on top of it right there with the sun lulling us to sleep. It was a glimpse into the most important skill I would learn from N.
Six years ago when I moved in with a boy, I never thought I would learn to unplug and veg-out just like him. I vividly remember watching N on Sundays sprawled on the couch for hours while I ran around making myself crazy preparing for the week. It used to drive me crazy. How could he be so chill every Sunday, while I was going so insane trying to get everything done? N has this amazing ability to be okay with letting go and relaxing even if the house is a bit messy. This ability translates into some seriously relaxing vacations for him. It took me six years to gain this ability and trust me I still have to explicitly to remind myself to chill.
It wasn’t until this past summer when we were in the Bahamas for the week that I realized I had finally gotten to this place where I can take the positive and let go of the rest. This year we chose to go to my mom’s time share in Grand Bahama Island called Taino Beach Resort. This resort was cozy, had one restaurant on property, with wi-fi in the lobby only, and a beach that was somehow mostly empty. At first glance, it didn’t seem like much especially compared to our last vacation–Hawaii. I came here with my usual expectations for fresh seafood and in hopes of eating some authentic Bahamian food. We were there for 6 days, 7 nights. Here’s how we spent the first three: Day 1- Beach till dinner, Ferry ride to Lucaya Marketplace for dinner; Day 2- Breakfast at Taino Restaurant, reading on the beach, sleeping on the beach, dinner at Simply Native (local authentic Bahamian food); Day 3 Torrential Down Pours–twist!–we woke up, ate breakfast and discussed our options:
N: What do you want to do today?
Me: I don’t know, what do you want to do?
N: Honestly, I’m cool chillin’ inside watching some TV, napping and waiting the rain out.
Me (calmly): Actually, that sounds good. (This was not the me at 28, but this is the me at 32.)
I would like to say that it was all N, but the truth is I have done my work in breaking away from the cycle. This trip was eye-opening because not only did I completely unplug from the world electronically–I couldn’t be reached via email, phone, or Facebook–but I also spent an entire rainy day chillin’ on the bed or couch reading and sleeping intermittently. I am not someone who unwinds easily at the end of the day so the fact that I was able to for multiple consecutive days seems like a miracle in some ways, but the truth is, ever since the summer of 2008 in Chicago and maybe even the first Sunday when I saw N completely vegged out on the couch, I have been thirsty for this ability. I believe in vegging out because it grounds me and allows me to feel insurmountable.