I'm a month way from turning 23 and my travel series: Becoming 23 is not going as planned.
At the start of 2019, I had dates and locations tucked away for what I thought was going to be a life-changing docu-series on my life, however, a different series has molded my 22nd journey around the sun.
ADULTIN' Series has been a project that I've been working on for the past year, and while it has been the biggest blessing, it has simultaneously been a giant pain in my ass.
I am fortunate enough to be blessed with co-creators, or sisters, to tread these waters with, but that does not make this whole thing less hard. While Malique and Paulette carry 66% of the weight of this project collectively, we were all 100% tired.
Between working in corporate, running this series and ACTUALLY adulting, my mind, body, and soul were (literally) crying for some well-deserved rest and relaxation.
Earlier this year, my lovely friend Jaeda inquired about going on a girls cruise with other hard-working women who deserve a break. At the time, I was anticipating traveling all year for Becoming 23, so of course I had to add this to my list.
This was my opportunity to connect on a deeper level with a friend while experiencing my very first cruise - and I can pay monthly! What a concept!
In the time that I agreed to go on the trip and the trip actually taking place, I crowdfunded $12,000 for our web-series, wrote episodes, directed a few, casted, edited, costume designed, had photoshoots, created social media promotions, devised social strategy, employed a team and a whole bunch of other tiny details no one tells you about when you want to be a producer. Not to mention I was doing all of this for the first time in my life while working at Viacom 5 days a week for 40+ hours! What an even larger concept!
The craziest concept of them all is that I didn't think I needed a break. As the time got closer to purchase my plane ticket to Miami to go on the cruise, I was beginning to fill myself with doubt.
"My bosses will need me at work, I can't go"
"I can't afford the plane ticket, I can't go"
"I won't get paid while I'm away, I can't go"
I called Jaeda, probably a month away from the trip, in complete honesty and told her: "I can't go".
Her response, in short, was: "Well you're going. See you on the 26th."
So I went.
What was I worried about? I made up a million excuses about why I felt I didn't deserve a break, when in all actuality, it was precisely what the doctor ordered.
Not only was I blessed with the fabulous company that was Jaeda and Evana, I was on a boat with limited access to the internet.
Meaning limited access to work.
Meaning limited access to meetings and calls.
Meaning limited access to the anxiety filled feeling of being needed by any person at any moment.
If there was anything I needed, it was zip lining in Jamaica and laying on the beach in Grand Cayman for hours.
What's interesting about the cruise is that I wasn't particularly pressed to visit either island. This could be due to my extremely high standards after living on the beautiful island of St. Croix for majority of my life, but who knows.
I was pleasantly surprised with what both islands had to offer in the little time I spent there and I'm very grateful for the experience.
While the cruise was fabulous, I realized that being on a boat for a week is cool, but I like to deep dive when I get to a new place and you can't really do that on a cruise. It's a very temporary experience that feels like forever.
Maybe it won't be my last cruise for real. I may need another one of these when I just want to escape, but hopefully it won't be during the middle of a hurricane.
After the cruise, my mind felt totally at peace, like the ocean. I was able to jump start a new routine. One that promotes healthy habits, affirmations and flossing every night. This restart has me prepared to tackle all of the work I plan to get myself into.
I also learned that I need to pace myself. This journey is truly a marathon and I can't get the longevity I desire if I burn out in the first half!
I realized that I am creative, but, in order for me to be the highest version of my creative self, I need to give my body what it needs. And sometimes that's in the form of my phone being off, sand in my braids, sun on my skin and tequila at 10 AM.
Vacation is over and I am back to work. Like, work-work. Work that requires me to clock in at 10 PM.
This post is a reflection of that. I hope that you all take some time for yourself and remember that even though we have to work all summer, we still deserve a vacation.
+ My absolute thoughts and prayers are with those affected by Hurricane Dorian - especially those living in the Bahamas. Relief is on the way.
Traveling is something I had always seen myself doing, but never thought I'd have the finances to do so. I've since realized that traveling is possible and I will share those journeys here.