California: tacos, old friends & a new perspective

What I’ve learned is that when you get the wind knocked out of you, the best thing to do is get away from it all.

On the last day of August, I was told by my manager that I wouldn’t get a fixed contract as a copywriter after all and that my time at the company had come to an end. I was back at square one, starting over once again. Less than 24 hours later,  I was waiting at Brussels Airport, ready for my flight to Los Angeles.

We had planned our trip to California months ago and we were very excited to see our friends and family. I had just hoped that somehow I would have had my life figured out by the time we would get to California. I was determined to get a fixed contract and come back to the company after my vacation. I was disappointed that once again things didn’t go as I planned.

I am still that kind of person. The controlling type that wants things to go as she planned and will be very upset when she doesn’t get her way. I am the kind of woman that enjoys making Three-Year Plans. I still haven’t learned that life really doesn’t work that way.

Nothing forces you to take a look at your life like a 12-hour flight oversees, and nothing sets you free like acknowledging the truth.

Soulfood

We arrived in Los Angeles and I was ready to let go of all the disappointment. After all there were hugs and kisses waiting for us. We stayed at my mother-in-law’s house for two weeks. We ate all the Mexican food we could get or hands on. My mother-in-law made pupupas, sopes and salsa verde. Some nights we would visit the taco trucks.

There is nothing like spending your days eating the best food there is. There was no need to go on tourist trips since we both had seen it all before. We spend our vacation doing exactly what we wanted to do, which was spending time with friends and family.

Insight

California did something to me. It forced me to take a step back and see things from a different perspective. I saw my friends that were struggling in their own way. One of them was struggling to finish college. Another one had just temporarily stopped going to college because of her eating disorder. Then there were the friends that were spending most of their days working in stores or restaurants, not really sure what they wanted to do with their lives.

Heck, aren’t we all figuring out how to do all of this? Many of my friends were dealing with issues like debt, family and mental health. Problems that were far more complex than the things I was worrying about. I guess I forgot that most of us don’t really know what we are doing. More importantly, we don’t even know what we want to do with the short time we have on this little planet.

I am figuring out who I want to become. California brought me a little bit closer. Missed opportunities and failure has certainly brought me closer.

The termination of my contract was really a blessing in disguise. It gave me the opportunity to go and think about what it is I really want to do with my life and it gave me the opportunity to find something even better.

You can always find the good in failure. It is the freedom of starting over.

Jitske

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