Tap, tap, tap… is this thing still on?
Is anyone still out there?
On the off chance that there are still people reading this ol’ blog of mine, here is my open letter to you about where I’ve been, what’s been going on and why I’ve neglected my beloved blog for so long.
The last time I updated the site, I was in a transition period in my life- I’d recently started my position as an international travel consultant, I was on my way into moving into a new place of my own, and things as I’d come to know it for the past 4 years were just generally changing. It was no longer “life on my own terms” – I had rent and a work schedule to now follow. I stopped updating my blog because in many ways I felt like a fraud- like a big, fat, liar. Here I was preaching about living life on your own terms, yet I couldn’t even do that myself.
I excitedly took the reins of my new job and was enjoying learning a different aspect of the travel industry – it was like a sneak peek behind the scenes of how all things travel actually work! I was excited to put my own travel experiences to good use to help others make their travel dreams a reality. I was eager and excited. At the same time, it was also mentally draining. For about 3 months I was unable to do anything remotely mentally strenuous after a day at work, or on my days off because it was just too much. Every bit of brainpower went to my day-to-day in the office. But things were great –immediately I started to see some of the perks of the job. Within a month and a half of being there, I attended my first gala evening – an annual event put on to honour the best of the best in the company. It was an open bar at a conference center in a swanky hotel in the city… all paid for by the company. What wasn’t to like?
I was picking things up and excelling in my job – my first 3 months I was the highest transferring consultant in my “month of newbies” (aka the others who had started the same month as me). But by month 4 (August), I hit a personal low. My boyfriend had gotten injured in May and was essentially bedridden and living with his parents an hour away. There were personal issues going on with my family that were really bringing me down – things I won’t air all over the internet. I took my first big debit at work – for getting caught making a silly mistake by not properly stating the cancellation penalties. It cost me $400 and the client was a rude nightmare. And then there was the issue that I was simply missing out on so much due to having to be at work all the time. You see – the agency I was working at was in a mall. Shortly after I started, the mall received its “tourist destination” designation. This meant we were open for every public holiday. Canada Day, Civic Long Weekend, Labour Day, New Years Eve… you name it… if others had it off, we were open. I was suffering from FOMO badly.
Then the conference came around and I was spoilt with a work conference at Beaches Turks and Caicos and was like “hey, maybe things aren’t so bad.” I had a new outlook on my job, and was excited again. We were coming into busy season and I was excited to make money – which my coworkers had kept telling me was easy to come by in the fall and winter months, since so many Canadians are dying to get away.
Around this time, due to the family issues going on – I also signed the papers to the condo I was living in – and before I knew it… I was a homeowner… with a mortgage of my very own. WHAT?! How did this happen?
My relationship felt strained – while my boyfriend was getting better physically –little by little – we were still separated by an hour drive. I had started to shut myself off from everyone but him, yet he still felt so far.
By the time Christmas rolled around I was in a very negative headspace. I remember one night in particular where I just came home from work, drank a bottle of wine by myself and ended up having a total breakdown on the phone to my boyfriend.
Something I’ve kept pretty quiet for a number of years is that I have suffered from bouts of what seems like depression. It’s never been professionally diagnosed – nor have I sought out professional help for it. It’s come and gone in mild bouts, and it had been quite a number of years since I’d felt this low. I spoke to a couple friends who have suffered with their own variety of depression and anxiety type issues – and things started to feel a bit better – as if I weren’t so alone.
My boyfriend and I had a trip planned for Jamaica in February for our second anniversary, and it turned out to be amazing. We got out of the cold (during what happened to be the coldest week of the winter), and got to reconnect. It was exactly what I needed.
I returned to work and immediately planned a trip to NYC in March with my colleague and newfound friend, and that same week found out I was accepted on a FAM trip with Celebrity Cruises to the Southern Caribbean in April. Both trips mentally kept me going as I had new places to look forward to experiencing.
Both trips ended up being incredible. But by the time I returned, and reality set in, the black dog was waiting for me. The depression hit hard and fast. It was unrelenting this time. I shut myself off completely to everyone but my boyfriend, and even then I found myself picking fights with him over stupid things. I would dread waking up in the morning knowing that I would have to go into work. Nothing excited me about the job anymore. I started resenting it. It was taking me away from my friends and family and I couldn’t attend anything. I even missed one of my best friends bachelorettes because I simply couldn’t get my work schedule to accommodate it. The final straw was when I found myself simply not caring anymore. People would sit in front of me and I used to get so excited to find out where they wanted to go and try to help them piece their trip together – now I found I just didn’t care. I would count down the hours until I could leave.
There was one week in particular this past May where everything came to a head. I felt like Jekyll and Hyde. I couldn’t keep it together. One day in particular, I walked into the back room of the office before starting my shift and broke down bawling. Four of my co-workers tried comforting me, asking what was wrong and I just couldn’t pull myself together.
It was at this time that I realized it wasn’t worth it anymore. I’d been thinking about seriously leaving since I came back from the cruise – but I was scared. I had a mortgage now. I couldn’t just quit and not have another job lined up. But this time it was different. I finally realized it wasn’t worth it. No amount of money (and it honestly wasn’t even that much) was worth being that unhappy. My sanity was worth more. I made the decision that I would finish out the fiscal year – the end of June.
So… here I am. It’s July. I’m unemployed… with a mortgage… and yet I feel like a burden has been lifted. People keep asking me what I’m going to do. And the truth is I don’t know. Others tell me I’m being irresponsible. To them, I want to say fuck you. I do know that I am excited to get back to writing. And have so many things to write about in regards to trips I’ve taken over the last year and a half. Heck, maybe I’ll even finish writing about my experience with Nomad Adventure Tours – like I left off.
I figured if there is anyone still out there reading this thing – it may be worth being completely honest with everything that has gone on in the last while. And if I’ve lost my readers forever, that’s okay too. I plan to bring back The Mellyboo Project to life in whatever incarnation it naturally takes…and best of all, I’m doing it for me.