There once was a young lady....let's call her Susie. For as long as Susie could remember she had been deemed the "safe" friend in any group of friends she ever associated herself with. Now let me clear on what I mean by "safe"; Susie was by no means a risk taker..she did the things she knew she was supposed to do: went to school, studied moderately hard, didn't go uncontrollably wild and crazy at the few parties she attended and was just considered a home body. This led Susie to believe that she was just average..not as extraordinary as her counterparts who were always out and about..and in her mind, living.
So I'm sure you realized it already, and maybe you can even relate; but I am Susie. It's now 2017, I am 27..going on 28 (and just that much closer to 30..ugh). Although I completely realize how blessed I truly am to even be alive, have a blossoming career at such a young age, and a family who loves me; I just feel like I'm not living to my fullest potential. I often hear people say "Life is too short", "You only live once", yadda, yadda, yadda. But how can I live my life AND feel alive in every sense of the word?? When you're a person who stays home all the time but yearns for a good time, you really start to feel down on your luck and then that leads to self-pity (if you've read my other posts you know that I am shutting down all pity parties in my life). Anyway, I decided last summer that along with doing the simple things that make me happy, I would take risks and do something different!...
1. I went on my first "Adult" trip out of the country without my mother. Not sure if it's a thing, but I'm a bit of a Mama's Girl. My mother is the strongest woman I know and my most influential role model. She raised me solo dolo and sacrificed more than I know. I wouldn't be anywhere near as successful and well-rounded as I am without her love, support, and PUSH! However, up until last summer I had never done anything "adult-ish" without her. I've never gone on Spring Break trips to Mexico or Panama City Beach like other college students, and I didn't have a wild and crazy 21st birthday party (not that I wanted one). Venturing beyond American borders is something I have wanted to do for years, but I just had this constant inner battle on whether I should or not. I don't know if I was scared to do something without her (since I've always been such a Mama's Girl) or if I was just nervous to admit that I was grown and COULD actually pick up and go on trips without permission. Either way, I went to Punta Cana with a group of my classmates and just sitting on the plane with the intention of going to an island without my mother or any other immediate family member was an adrenaline rush!
2. I went to Toronto....and I played mas in my first carnival! I must have been feeling really frisky last summer because by August, I went on not one, but two trips out of the country without immediate family members..WHOO! Anyway, since high school I've always wanted to play mas in a carnival (dress up in a themed costume and dance in the street for hours) so I decided to just do it! I booked a ticket to Canada and went to Caribana!! Was it uncomfortable parading around the streets of Toronto in a bikini costume?...Yes! However, the experience was beyond exhilarating; being confident enough to go completely sober surrounded by people who weren't anywhere near sober, was one for the books. To top it all off, I saw Drake in concert at his annual OVO Fest. Absolutely amazing!!
3. I drove to Atlanta hours before a blizzard was supposed to hit. Now at this point we have established that I am not a risk-taker. Danger and Janae are like oil and water, we don't mix. I planned a weekend trip to Atlanta, only to be alerted days before the trip that a blizzard was projected to hit Atlanta on the Saturday I was supposed to drive there. I was terrified to drive to Atlanta, but I didn't want to cancel the trip and then find out that the storm somehow missed Atlanta. Long story short, I drove to Atlanta the night before the storm was supposed to hit. I figured I could get there safely (even though Georgia had been declared a state of emergency), and if I was snowed in at least i could spend the weekend in a nice hotel. Of course it dangerous and undoubtedly foolish; but I did it anyway! As luck would have it, the storm hit, it snowed, but none of it stuck so I went on to have a great weekend with my friends. Who knew the one time I would do something like this it would turn out to be ok. [But be clear, I probably won't do this again. Once was enough.]
You may be thinking, "Janae, you only did three new things and you want us to believe you're some new and improved thrill-seeker?" The answer to that would be no. No matter how small some of the things I did may seem to others, they were milestones to me. Over the years, I've become so riddled by fear that I have stopped myself from doing things that the average person does without giving it a second thought. Does me exploring adulthood mean I won't still be traveling with my mother? No it doesn't! She gets me and I get her; that makes for the best traveling companion. It's just nice finally identifying as an adult and doing adult things. I'm not going to become some crazed daredevil, but I think I'm well past due for a bit of fun and I'm going to love every minute of it!