Some are born with the gift of gab, but I was born with the gift of wanderlust. Travel is ingrained in my blood.
My travel bug has always remained present, but it became more difficult to take on the extra expense once I transitioned into the world of adulting. Without hesitation, I made it a point to gain fewer possessions and more experiences the minute that I landed my first salary paying position, taking advantage of every holiday and every day of PTO. That meant taking every possible opportunity to travel, which was undoubtedly amazing.
As I write this, I'm more ready to see the inside of my own poorly decorated plaid-clad living room than any other exotic destination. I'm dehydrated. Oversocialized. Broke. And more than ever, I'm realizing it's time to make the necessary changes. I write to you humbled, once and for all.
I can't tell you if rock bottom was sleeping in a Motel 6 bed with four other women while on "vacation," or sleeping in the airport in order to save money while awaiting the departure of my cheap flight, which was scheduled a day after everyone else's. I only know that if this is rock bottom, I've hit it. And God, I'm ready to listen.
Although ESSENCE had been planned many months in advance, the final details hadn't been solidified just before arriving, admittedly leaving me with several opportunities to bow out. Despite my gut telling me to do so, I ignored it and in the end, I found myself paying rent late while leaving the festival with a literal dollar to my name.
For the past few years, it was fun to live on the edge and push the boundaries of my bank account. When I got laid off a couple of years ago, I had clearly forgotten how to humble myself and revert back to the days of penny pinching.
However, the exhaustion of trying to pull this trip out of my ass as a magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat has forced me to reevaluate what I consider fun and this just ain't it.
The realization that I have to find fun outside of my wanderlust is not an easy one, because it leaves me feeling as though I've regressed far too much for my liking. Every day since being laid off, it feels as though I'm living in limbo and a continuous state of uncertainty. This feeling comes despite knowing how miserable I was in my previous paid position and my bold decision to pursue Master's in Human Sexuality and fulfill my true passion. Yet, it's one that I can't shake.
There's this anxiety surrounding my almost-permanently zeroed out bank account (and that's being generous) that makes a part of me wonder if I'm destined to live this struggle life for the rest of my days.
Traveling was the only thing that allowed me to escape all the scary changes that were happening in my life, and helped me avoid making any further changes.
The reality is that I haven't had a saving account since I've been out in the world alone, (New York will do that to you) and off the strength of that alone, it's safe to say I've been living my best life on borrowed time. I quit my serving job because it was another soul-sucking job that I could live without and deep down, I know that the only option for me is being the boss. With these realities and desires in mind, I have to figure out a way to reframe thoughts that I might have somehow failed myself and my bank account, and will continue to if I do not learn the art of balance.
Traveling went from being my identity to my security blanket because I made all of these decisions in an effort to better myself without truly understanding that it would take a certain level of commitment, patience, and responsibility.
After all, if I'm too broke when I get back from my trip, I can't possibly invest in my brand. If I can never do that, then I can never fail. So what I can't afford to do is continue to budget vacation based on the overused logic of capturing experiences.
There's this irrational fear that if I don't book the flight, it might never happen and it forces me to believe that it's my mind's way of vocalizing my subconscious fear of failing at everything I set out to do when I gave up my old life. What if everything I thought I would be by escaping miserable jobs turns out to actually be nothing?
With all this in mind, I'm currently trying to talk myself down from the ledge and convince myself that my decision to temporarily settle down doesn't mean never traveling again, and it certainly doesn't make me any less spontaneous. It only means that I'm taking control of my fear and accepting accountability for creating the future that I so badly want.
For me, that future looks like being able to travel first class like a boss because I will, in fact, be the boss. I'm grateful that my ESSENCE Fest trip was filled with empowering women doing exactly what I want to be doing, some of which who started off as broke as I am today.
This lifestyle change will not be easy for me, because it feels like I'll be waiting forever to reap the benefits of delayed gratification. But, it's the major key to unlocking the real life that I want and doing so forever...instead of for the moment and #travelgoals.
Originally published on July 24, 2018
Featured image by Getty Images
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Motor City native, Atlanta living. Sagittarius. Writer. Sexpert. Into all things magical, mystical, and unknown. I'll try anything at least once but you knew that the moment I revealed that I was a Sag.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
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Watching Angela “Blac Chyna” White’s transformation in real-time has truly been a sight to see. It wasn’t that long ago that she announced that she was reversing her cosmetic surgeries in an effort to go back to who she was before the world came to know her as Blac Chyna. In previous interviews, she stated that she was dissolving her facial and lip fillers, removing her breast implants, and getting a butt reduction, as well as removing the dimple piercings that enhanced her fame and controversial tattoos.
In a recent Tamron Hall interview, the mother of two said that she has “fully recovered” from the procedures. She is also celebrating one year of sobriety and opened up about being worried about how her new journey would be received by others.
“I’ve been in the entertainment industry for so long, right, and of course, like, you know, coming out, I’m like young, I’m gonna do wild things as we all have,” she said.
“...I feel like by me being vocal and showing everybody you can change your life and things can get better, like through myself, that right there is an accomplishment, and that’s a part of freedom, too.”
But as she started on her journey, many people have shown her grace, which is something she’s grateful for. “And then the fact that people have been showing me grace, it’s like amazing,” she said. “And I feel like when I did it, I just did it. It was more so like spiritual thing and I feel like people see that, and I’ve always been like my authentic self, so what you see is kinda what you get with me, and that’s just kinda what it is.”
Chyna, who recently received an honorary doctorate from Sacramento Theology Seminary and Bible College, has also repaired her relationship with her mom, Tokyo Toni. The social media celebrity surprised her daughter on the Tamron Hall Show. Prior to the sentimental surprise, Chyna dished on the reconciliation and having a better understanding of her mom.
“I must say, some of the things I have to take accountability for because, like my actions. As a mother, you don’t want to see your daughter doing certain things ‘cause it’s like it doesn’t matter what my past was or what we’re going through, I didn’t raise you that way,” she admitted. “So, it’s like, okay, maybe I was a little bit wrong. Maybe I was acting out a little bit. But I feel like as we grow older, I kinda see more, and I understand more.”
Chyna will be starring in season two of Fox's reality competition show Special Forces: World's Toughest Test.
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Feature image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images