I’m about 6 weeks into my new job and tonight I am online searching for vacation rentals in Delray Beach, Florida.
Or maybe Boca Raton.
I’m going to walk you through how I got here. Because isolation has led me to an interesting place.
It is the last day in March 2021. It has been a year to the date that I worked my last pairing, a redeye flight to Toronto, Ontario.
I was then furloughed for 10 months before I got a hit on a job application.
About 3 months ago I got offered a job with my provincial health care organization to track positive cases and exposures related to the current pandemic. I didn’t actually start working until mid-February (about 2.5 months after my initial offer of employment). Just another added frustration in months of frustrations that have been forced upon me in the last year.
2020; what a nightmare … that continues to live on.
My Province has been fairly locked down since Christmas, so the daily cases weren’t high the first few weeks of my training.
Less cases meant more downtime at work. At first, we had to do team cases and /or were paired off to do cases. Then came heaps of extra learning about virus tracking and other pandemics. But truthfully, I also used some of that free time to cruise YouTube on the side. YouTube is a rabbit hole and that landed me on videos about venomous reptiles and hillbilly Floridan’s.
YouTube suggested this for me, and they were not wrong. Old me would have pretended not to like this type of redneck shit but I’m invested. These YouTubers are fascinating.
I have historically not been that interested in travelling in the United States; in particular with the past government. But things change, I have changed. And if I could be boating and beer drinking and hillbillying right now — ummmmmm, sign me the fuck up.
It is hard to really sum up how much growth and development has happened for me in the last year — mostly because I have barely caught up to myself. I haven’t ever forced myself to slow down and really take a look, my life has mostly been one messy shit storm of bad decisions to the next. Fun. But doesn’t really let you dig deep and figure things out. I have never really slowed down enough to deal with any of the traumas. I just worked, and worked and fucked around knowing all this time that no one was going to fix me but myself, but I still refused to dive in. Who has time for that shit?
I just always figured things would turn out how they were supposed to but if I learned anything in the last year it is that things can blow up and your life can change at the blink of an eye. I have also learned that in order to really truly get what I want — I need to do the damn work. I just need to fucking start, get out there, and do.
Watching some of these Floridians online made me realize some things that I never really spent time focusing on before. Which when I type that sounds just damn foolish. But when you see people being genuine at their core and living their authentic self without giving a fuck — and you are in the place of growth and forging a new you — that shit hits hard.
I have been to some places. I have meet the dopest people. I have friends in all sorts of beautiful places and walks of life and I cherish those people and those friendships for exactly what they are. But when you realize you haven’t been truthful to yourself — it makes you questions the journey. I have just realized my lack of truth to myself and that years of people pleasing led me to a life wading in this grey area. What I want for myself and the judgement that others were placing on me and my ideas — that shit wasn’t lining up.
I was always so concerned that if my ideas didn’t line up with other people’s ideals I would be left to walk alone and I am tired of walking alone.
Believe it or not: I am scared. Scared of trying new things. Scared of rejection. Scared of being alone. Scared of not being alone. Scared of losing myself. Just scared.
Yes, me — someone who has lived on 4 continents is scared to try new things. I don’t ever want to appear like I can’t do something. I have a massive fear of failure and looking bad. So much so that I have pigeonholed my life to make it easy to not have to do that. I realized that I have taken on some very judgmental behaviors because of my fear. Because making fun of everything and refusing to commit to anything — lets you please everyone around you. How bizarre that I developed that mindset?
This new development — ya, I forced on myself because 2020. It fucked me up. It fucked me up because for the first time in a long time I am at a place of growth where I realize how important it is to speak my truth, and to say no to things I do not want to do, and if that costs me friendships, those people where never friends.
Seeing youtubers just living their lonesome truths is just downright inspiring.
The pandemic has made me realize I want more and the only person that has ever stop that from happening is me, my life decisions, and my fear of standing out. But spending all this time watching people online has just made me see we are all kind of the same – floating through life trying to figure it out. It has really made me see through peoples tattoos and piercings and strange hair and made me see through people need to look and be just like what society tells them to look like. It’s made me see through all their fronts that I used to take as absolutes.
I take the opinions of others to heart. I listen to other people’s opinion and take that as the truth and that, friends, that shit fucks you up.
Being isolated for so long has forced me into dealing with mental health issues, anxiety issues, it has had me face addiction issue head on. It forced me to look at myself and my friendships and relationships in a different manner. Personal growth and development are inevitable in a time of isolation and lack of stimulation. It forces you to pay attention and to deal with yourself. As someone who has heavily leaned into narcotics in the past, the last place I wanted to end up at the end of all of this was with another round of nonstop avoidance of my life. And that people, in some moments, has been a really difficult choice.
I sat for months working through turmoil myself — until I finally found someone that I could talk to about how to show up as me today instead of the me from 10 years ago.
How to allow myself to be who I am and not who I was. How to really shut the door to a different chapter, how to clear out space for whatever adventure life brings next — and hopefully soon I will learn all the tools to stop being so scared.
I am so far removed from where I was and this down time has allowed me to crack open a vault of feelings that I never dealt with. Your girl has been reliving some heavy trauma this last year
But you know what is sexy as fuck? Dealing with your shit and working on yourself.
And today Friends — I just needed a fucking debrief.
Because if there is something I never did enough of in my life so far it is taking care of myself.
Lately it has just made me wonder how many other people are out there avoiding and not going after their dream and just kind of sliding by afraid to define who they really are —
I certainly know that this last year wasn’t just an annoyance for me but a wakeup call forcing me to redirect.
The truth is — I may not get my job back. I may have to have a new career. I may want other things now that align with the person I want to be. I may want a million other things — what I do know though is that it all starts with me.
So, friends — why did watching an eccentric dude, completely tattooed, and modified resonate with me? Because he is real. He is just insanely in love with himself and his passion. But not in the way that you think makes someone full of themselves – just in the authentic excitement someone has, their passion that radiates through the screen. He treats his partner like a queen and that respect – that is the kind of humans I want to align myself with. That is exactly where I need to start — that genuine love for myself. I get to figure out me again. I get a chance to have passion and adventures and really figure out the things that I like that keep my soul soaring, my cheeks hurting from smiling so much and the people I want to hug the most.
Now if you were thinking I was going to be a crazy fuck and end this post with a trip to Florida — to go see some ‘gators because personal growth. Well, you wouldn’t be wrong – it is now number one on my list for border re-openings.
I’m booking the tickets, baby, I’m ready for the ride.