The Reawakening: Part 10

I’m a few months into being laid off and a lot of people have been asking…

“What are you gonna do? Have you found work yet?”

The truth is, I have been idling. Don’t get me wrong, the engine is running, but it’s kind of like I’m at the starting line waiting to take off. Other people that were laid off or left CMT around the same time I did have found work, and that’s awesome. In the back of my mind, I think to myself, “Should I have jumped right back into the workforce as fast as possible?” But then I remember the plan. The plan was to actually enjoy the time off with a kind severance from CMT because it’s so rare to be in your mid-30s with time and freedom to pursue other interests… and travel.

I went to Missouri to volunteer at a Christian sports camp where I worked when I was a wee little college student. I’ve been to Florida a few times for time at the beach, time with my family, and this.  I also went with my parents and 2 oldest nieces to the Bahamas. That never would have happened if I was still working at CMT.

I’ve been kayaking, hiking, dog-sitting, rewatching A Different World, so many things that have reminded me how much fun life can be. I needed a reminder. I was in a routine, and I love routines so that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I was living the cliche of “going through the motions.” Now it’s impossible to go through those same motions.

So what’s next? I’m excited about the idea of pursuing a couple different opportunities. I know I prefer to stay away from the traditional form of making money: going to a job, clocking in, clocking out, wearing a uniform. In the next few weeks I’ll be brainstorming and writing down a plan to make the rest of this year as good and exciting as the summer has been.

Thanks for following along on the journey!

-Out of the Wilderness

Vacationing in the Bahamas…WITHOUT a GoPro

For anyone who knows me, it’ll probably be a surprise that on my recent trip to Atlantis in the Bahamas, I made a specific decision not use my GoPro. It’s part of an overarching theme I’ve been clinging to lately, to be in the moment without trying to preserve it in any other way than old-fashioned memories.

You know, the brain. The original data bank.

I could have put together a quick highlight video similar to a few I’ve done in the past, like a trip to Orlando to see my brother’s family, Disney vacations, or a recent beach workout video.

But I’m currently of the mindset that if you’re not here with us, then you wouldn’t get it anyway. So the camera stayed in my bag untouched for entirety of the trip. And honestly, it’s been so nice not to be carrying it around looking for the best angle, trying to record the unforgettable moments, repeating actions that were missed, hoping certain fish do things that are more entertaining than just snorkeling and watching them swim around their little homes. It’s being in the moment. It’s knowing that anything I see can be special because it happened once, I got to see it, and no one else ever will. It’s a part of history that will be talked about, exaggerated on, acted out, or thought of fondly, but like the barracuda I swam near today or the sand castles my nieces and I built today, there aren’t any pictures. No video.

Just great memories.

Do you want to see sharks? Do you want to see the colorful fish at Cove Beach? How about someone you know kissing a dolphin? Then go do it! Make some memories that you’ll be sad to forget when you’re old!

-Out of the Wilderness

Atlantis: Go with the flow

Holla if you hear me flow.
It’s another day here at the fabulous Atlantis resort in the Bahamas, and even when it rains, it’s great. You always hear that it would be a major let down if it rained while you’re on a tropical vacation. I can tell you here at Atlantis, it’s not true. The rain hasn’t slowed us down a bit. Unless you were simply hoping for a dark tan, you’re out riding water rides, floating down the river rapids, or swimming in the ocean or pools. There are plenty of indoor activities, too. Ok, I know this is sounding like a paid advertisement for Atlantis so I’ll move on. Today’s theme was “Go with the flow.”

We conquered 3 water rides that we hadn’t tried yet. We built sand castles. We performed our best running-into-the-water-and-doing-a-flip routines. We went down the rapid river ride. It rained and we were cold, but it was fun. We bought groceries at the nearby Atlantis market (a lot closer than the first market I went to). Our evening included watching American Pharoah win the Belmont Stakes and solidifying his place in history by winning the Triple Crown. Today there were a ton of people watching horse racing that watch horse racing exactly one time a year. I am one of those. All of us here on this trip are one of those.

Go horses!
-Out of the Wilderness

Atlantis: Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Keep the Faith.
We’re already on the second day of our trip to Atlantis in the Bahamas and our theme for the day is “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” It’s a tough one because there’s a ride called the Leap of Faith. It takes a leap of faith to say yes, to walk up the stairs without turning around, and to not make up a reason why you can’t do it. You might be worried as you climb up the steps leading to the slide entrance. But our theme was to not worry. As Michael Jackson once sang, keep the faith. Faith that if the ride were dangerous, no one would do it. Right? Plus, the entire trip down this particular slide takes all of 3 seconds. Anyone can do anything for 3 seconds. 

Bahemian Rhapsody.
So I should back track a little. We’re on Day 2 but it was about 2 months ago that I kind of invited myself on this trip. It originally was my Dad, Mom, and my sister’s oldest 2 daughters. Without a day job, I thought there was no better time to tagalong. After a few days of consideration, I was “in”. How can I turn down a chance to visit another beach, especially with my fun family? So a couple of things I should confirm for you: Yes, the Bahamians have accents. Yes, the accent sounds awesome. Yes, things cost a lot of money, a box of name brand Cheerios is about $8.

Hey, mon.
Throughout the whole trip my nieces have been saying, “Hey, mon!” to each other, along with a made up song that includes belting out commands and adding “mon!” to the end. It’s amazing. Something like, “Get out my face, mon,” or “Put on your shoes, mon,” or “Let’s eat some food, mon,” anything with 4 syllables, I guess. Of course, I cannot not think of this scene from the Cosby Show every time one of us says, “Hey, mon!”

Better be startin’ somethin’.
From the moment we arrived, we were already startin’ to have fun checking out the water rides, swimming and playing on the Atlantis Beach, talking with an island accent, and for me, meandering through the casino. We’re all looking forward to more beach fun!
-Out of the Wilderness