It was my 35th Birthday last week that for a while I thought I was really looking forward to it. I’ve always enjoyed going big for my birthday and having a big celebration. For my 30th, we hosted a nice cocktail party and headed to Greece the next day. Three years ago I spent it in Italy drinking all the fine Italian wine, last year I spoiled myself with 11 days in Hawaii followed by a boat party when I got back. If you catch my drift, I like to celebrate my birthday and feel the same way about celebrating those who are close to me.
This year, was a little funny because although we’d been planning a vacation for my birthday, things changed- I also lost my corporate salary at the beginning of July and while we are very lucky not to be in a financial emergency, it’s been a big adjustment. When I started to plan and think about my birthday trip, I was really aiming for the South Pacific. And while I, we, have savings and had been planning for this, it just didn’t seem smart to spent a lot of money on a vacation given my current income (which is none, ha!). But again, given the big life change, mentally and emotionally I wasn’t feeling ready to dish out money for a vacation knowing I (personally) don’t have a way to replace it or earn it back in a given timeline.
Eventually I stepped out of my funk and with my husband’s encouragement we decided on Tulum, Mexico since I’ve been wanting to go for quite a few years now, we had plenty of miles to redeem for flights, and what’s not to love about Mexico?
When we got serious about booking, I decided I wanted to be home with my people (my parents, my husband, my best friend and my dogs) for my actual birthday, So we planned to be home the day before my birthday, spend my actual birthday low key with my close people, and then on Saturday have Claudchella- which is another theme party I’ve always wanted to have.
Everything seem to fall in to place and make sense until about 2 weeks before the trip. I really cannot explain exactly what it is what is/was going on with me, but I was beyond emotional. I am not an emotional person, so this was not only foreign but very unsettling. I started to feel lack of motivation in preparing for the trip- me not excited to plan my outfits, pack, and narrow in on what I wanted to do while away; that’s just not like me. Everything was overwhelming to me, even the smallest things. Then I started thinking a lot about Ursulla (my family dog that passed last year, early September), and that had me in a whole new funk and depression.
A few days before leaving, I called my best friend and told her I was thinking about cancelling Claudchella- she agreed that I didn’t seem hyped as I usually do when planning parties, or my vacation for that matter. She suggested I wait until I got to Mexico to see how I felt and decide then.
Two days before the trip and I still hadn’t packed and even up until the day before I thought about cancelling the whole thing. Geesh, who am I?
Nothing felt right to me. And to this moment I can’t pin point exactly what that was. We had a 7am flight, it was 9pm and I still hadn’t packed (although, I have to be honest and say I had planned outfits for the trip weeks before this, so while not packed, they were planned and set aside). My husband again was very supportive (bless his patience) and I used my reason vs. my emotions, packed and went.
I’m so glad I pulled myself together and got there. I had an amazing time in Tulum, which I will tell you about later. But what I do want to tell you now is that the moment we arrived in Tulum I felt a huge weight was lifted. I don’t know what that weight was, but I felt relief. Maybe it was relief from the every day life, or self pressure of figuring out what my next career move is, I don’t really know; but I was relieved, relaxed and ready to enjoy some time away.
Quickly after that I noticed, everywhere I looked, several blogger/influencers in full hair/makeup/dress doing photo shoots. Now, this is NOTHING against any of them or any of you that enjoy spending time shooting, I actually enjoy photography a lot, especially when I travel. But immediately I realized who I wasn’t.
I bought the domain for my blog almost four years ago, wrote my first post over a year ago, and finally consistently started putting out posts and content on social media just three months ago. In this time, there’s no denying I’ve doubted and questioned what my presence in this environment is, is it worth it, am I or will I ever be good at it, is it just noise or is there real content to it, does it matter?
Seeing all those bloggers/influencers shooting their content quickly made me realize I wasn’t one of those people. Again, nothing against them or wrong with it, but simply not me. This was MY vacation. No part of it was sponsored or paid for or free. Our hotel was beautiful sitting right on the Mexican Caribbean Sea with crystal blue waters; gorgeous and comfortable day beds and cabanas for us to enjoy, delicious restaurant with amazing margaritas- and the weather hot and humid AF, but just my speed! I am not one of those people that will get a full face of make up, hair, and dress in this environment when I could simply be in the moment enjoying. And this doesn’t mean I’m not committed to my blog venture or social media content, but I am not willing to risk wasting time in my vacation when I could simply be.
As I am realizing this I thought, well the blog is over and I should shut down the social media accounts as well because I simply do not have what it takes to make it as a blogger if I’m not willing to put my vacation second before my content.
Instead of acting on impulse, I simply cancelled my scheduled posts for the week and went off the grid for most of it. I took pictures of moments or things that went organically with our vacation without imposing on any of it- frankly similar to how I’ve always taken pictures in our trips. If I came back, I wanted to come back with a clear mind and purpose and decide if I thought/think that it can still work even thought I’m not willing to make my vacations 100% or even 50% about content creation.
Spoiler alert, I’m back and I haven’t quit yet. In that week, I also reminded myself that I started writing for me. No I don’t have thousands of followers, or even hundreds- but I do enjoy writing, a lot. And I enjoy writing for me. If every now and then someone reads one of my posts and likes it, or can hopefully get something out of it, well that’s a cherry on top <3.
I still don’t know exactly what was up with me the few weeks leading up to my birthday- but I do know as long as I continue to do the things that feed my soul then I’m on the right path. And while yes, social media and blog post consistency is important, and key especially when starting out- I can’t let that take over me being present, in whatever that moment may be. I invite you all to put your phones down for a solid 4 hours- be present, enjoy the moment. If you use your phone for pictures, then put it on airplane mode so you can still use it while not getting alerts.
Taking just a few days off to reconnect with myself and enjoy the simplest moments was so energizing! It’s amazing how different we see and experience things when we don’t have a motive behind them other than just being.
PS Tulum travel post coming soon 🙂