Saying Yes to The Big Easy

Traveling is good. It can stretch you out of your comfort zone and as a result, invite change. Transformation.

When I got on the plane for New Orleans, I felt a rush: I’m in an airplane. I’m going somewhere. I’m going to experience something new.

When a friend of mine told me that she was going there for a conference and asked if I wanted to meet her there, I hesitated for a moment. New Orleans? Isn’t that one of the most extroverted cities in the United States? I don’t know…

“Sure! Why not!” I said a moment later.

Who am I to say no to an opportunity like that? Sometimes an introvert has to push her anxiety aside to go meet life. Give it a big hug (and you know how I appreciate a good hug).

Was I transformed? No, not like in past trips I’ve taken. But it’s a fascinating part of the world. The only other southern state I’ve been to is Kentucky and I do so appreciate Southern hospitality, Sugar. Delicious food, sultry (I prefer this word as opposed to soaking, which I was) weather, local architecture…it’s good for the body, mind and soul to be out of your regular routine and shake things up a bit.

However, I could have done without the rowdy crowd mentality and the activity of drinking-likker-in-the-streets: “HELLO LADIES!!! YOU’RE CHINESE, AREN’T YOU!!!” Uh, no, we’re not, but we’re not going to stop and tell you that. We weren’t even on Bourbon Street, which we studiously tried to avoid.

As the plane took off on the connecting flight home, I gazed down at the twinkling city lights below. So pretty… I wanted to turn to a traveling companion and say just that; I wanted to share that experience with someone. And when I looked out and up at the stars, I wanted to have someone to look at those stars with me.

Crap. Now I was sad.

It happens.

Sometimes you just have to accept that your emotions have a life of their own. Respect them, and they’ll respect you. The more you try and fight what you don’t want to feel, the more you betray yourself. Emotions are constantly flowing throughout you in varying degrees. So go with the flow, I say. (But please seek help if you’re feeling entirely overwhelmed.)

Perhaps I was wrong after all. I’ve had a delayed, mini-transformation, because today, I was gloriously happy. But that’s another story.

I’m Leaving You – Part 2

Good night, sweet desk.

Good night, sweet desk.

Last night, I cleaned my work desk for the very last time.  Some might argue that it’s the first time I’ve ever cleaned my desk.  Details, details.

If you’ve read I’m Leaving You – Part 1, then you know my plan of leaving my job with hardly any plan at all.  I would say I’m still in denial, but you know what…I don’t think I am.  I was lucky enough to leave on my own terms and I had the opportunity to say all my farewells and thank yous to all the fantastic people I’ve met and worked with.

Months ago, when I first made the concrete decision to leave, I burst into tears.  I was overcome with the realization of how much my identity was tied to my workplace, and I wondered how I was going to do without some of the best co-workers and friends I’ve ever known.  As the weeks flew by, I began to feel more at home with my decision.  Having that time allowed me to appreciate the people around me all the more, knowing that I was incredibly lucky to be in the presence of such…greatness.  I did my best to tell them, although I cloaked some of it in what I call my sense of humor.  If I had the money (and a business plan), I would steal some of them away and create an empire by investing in their brain power and creativity.  We would be unstoppable.

I’ll be having a farewell dinner with some of my girlfriends in a few days.  This is where I’m truly in denial, because I refuse to think about it.  In fact, I’ll stop right now.  Can’t go on.