Remember that show on Nickelodeon called “Hey Arnold!” and that weezy kid that lurks creepily behind Helga?
I’m the weezy kid.
My body has finally decided to call it quits on me. First it was the post-race pain in my hips, knees, ankles and pretty much every other joint you could imagine. Now it’s my upper respiratory system divorcing my body and saying “Nope, we’re not going to take your abuse anymore. We’re rebelling. Going on strike. Abandoning ship.” But not before it wreaks havoc on my vacation, my state of mind and my overall outlook towards this sunny week in Marco Island, Florida.
We all know I’m bad at vacations. I’m blogged about them before, and that fact has, unfortunately, remained the same. It’s probably your quickest way to make me go insane – just keep me away from my normal routine for more than 4-5 days and I’m more than likely to go AWOL in pursuit of something resembling normality. Add a 13.1 mile race, a whirlwind 48 hours in Orlando, six family members in one condo and an overwhelming desire to hack up a lung, and you’ve got an anxious, twitchy and snotty-nosed 20-something dying for her escape.
I know, I know. I can tell that you already know where this is going. You’re leaving sunny, gorgeous, beautiful Florida and VACATION for a snowstorm-bound, bitter cold Ohio? Yes. Yes, I am. You can call me crazy, you can call me ungrateful, or unappreciative. But you’d be wrong about all of them. Except maybe the crazy party – but that’s another blog (or novel). The truth is, I’ve set up my lifestyle to allow myself to do what I want, when I want to do it, without any consequence to anyone other than myself. I know, it’s that strange thing called independence, and I preach about it as a single woman all too often. I’m pretty proud of it, to be honest with you. But after much evaluation, I’ve decided it’s probably going to be my ultimate downfall. The difficult part comes from realizing that my so-called fabulous lifestyle geared towards independence and a no-bullshit attitude towards asking for permission is really all I’ve got. Without the ability to choose completely on my own, I feel stripped down, naked and completely vulnerable. Vulnerable to what?! Yeah, I don’t know. But whatever it is, I can’t handle it. Not yet, at least. It makes me feel completely helpless, unable to break free from some sort of invisible straight jacket strapped on me by no one other than myself.
I need my job. I need my gym, my grocery store, my dinners, my dog, my bedtimes, my choice. Selfish, right? Yeah, I know that too, thanks. And I know your next thought is, but that’s always going to be there – enjoy vacation while you can! I know this too. I’m telling you – I’ve thought it all through. But it doesn’t change the fact that I’ve been gone for almost a week already, I’m sitting here sweating out a fever and wondering when the BCS game will be over so I can go to sleep in the living room on my air mattress. There’s only so long I can do it before the creature of habit that lives deep inside my soul starts screeching like nails on a chalkboard.
I should also note that this has absolutely nothing to do with my family and everything to do with me. Most of the time, there’s no one I’d rather spend time with than my parents. But before them, I like to spend time with myself. And I’m at the point where, mentally and physically, I want nothing more than to go home and nurse myself back to health in the easiest way I know how – by following my typical routine.
I also miss my dog.
Things I’ll miss about being on vacation? Watching my grandma cheat at solitaire and claiming she’s won (apparently you can still cheat when competing with yourself). My dad using a lawn chair as a recliner in the living room. The 30 second pauses it takes for my grandma to process what we’ve already talked about. Watching my grandpa watch my brother and my dad set up his most recent electronic purchases. Listening to my mom and dad discuss every single decision they make as a joint choice, blatantly telling them they have freedom of choice, but then secretly admiring tiny bits of their relationship. Watching my family virtually send out an Amber Alert because my brother couldn’t find the Burberry t-shirt that is apparently made of gold and personally hand-woven by Jesus himself (ok, so I won’t miss that part).
But in the meantime, I’m sweating like I’m going through menopause, gagging like I’ve been smoking for 50 years and…yes, still waiting for this BCS game to be over so I can go to bed in the living room (though I publicly hope Cam Newton goes down in flames).
I need to go home.