Sunday, October 17, 2021

The hair-raising adventures of a woman on the road to self-discovery

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Last month I took my mom’s advice and for the first time ever walked across the country alone. We took a nice three-day trip to California, sharing fun-filled road trips across the state, visiting family, and visiting the Golden Gate Bridge. In the middle of the Golden State, my friend Katie and I decided we wanted to grab a bite to eat at a local sandwich shop. As we approached the intersection, Katie asked if I could do some, um, remote work while we waited for the food to cook.

I checked my email. First she emailed saying that she wished I could work remotely, and the next day I emailed her, saying that I would never work remotely again. Thanks to some old school nudging, I decided to sit down and talk to my mom about my decision. She offered to drive with me while I stopped by a Starbucks, and she even suggested that I call her daily and use the drive time to answer emails. I briefly considered her suggestion, because for once, it sounded feasible. But then I remembered that my childhood habit of going to my own remote spaces to do my own thing really deserves to be called a special thing, and I just wasn’t ready to give it up.

I figured the biggest adjustment I could make was to finally get an Xbox one. I’m a sucker for video games, and truth be told, I didn’t feel more than just a little bit guilty spending my own money on it. I tried to spend it only when I needed it, like when I needed to walk some remote miles.

So I got a little sneaky, spending it all on Xbox, but also on breakfast. I also had $100 leftover and decided to give $50 to Mama Gail’s during the trip to help out with our bellies. Actually, since I’m the type of person that does what seems to be in order, I gave my mom $50 and also paid for breakfast at every other stop along the way. You’d think this would have made me feel particularly good at the end of the trip, but unfortunately, eating breakfast in airports was never a good idea. Instead, I went through the day feeling stressed, irritated, exhausted, and stressed, irritated, exhausted.

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