Last night, I was sitting at my desk after everyone had left, researching my big Tuscany trip in August. After doing a little math, I realized that if I skipped my last day of classes of my last MBA semester, it would allow me to extend my vacation by four days…definitely worth considering. But it wasn’t until I started adding up those days that I began to perspire, panic, and palpitate. Was I really going to be gone for twelve days? Is that possible? Do people DO that? What the sam heck was I going to do for that long? How was work going to survive without me? I can barely take a day off as it is!
It was in this moment of frenzy that I realized something…this was exactly why I needed to go away for twelve days to Italy. I am so stressed out at the very idea of vacation. My ego is getting in the way…the answers to the above questions are: Yes, you’re going to be gone for twelve days. Yes, it’s entirely possible, people do it all the time. You’re going to look at frescos, the David, drink a surprising amount of wine, read a few books, and tour a city that speaks, without threat of exaggeration, a language you might have heard in the Sopranos once or twice…and I don’t remember Tony using nice words. This is a reality show waiting to happen. And yes, work is going to survive…they managed just fine without you since ’76. You’re really not that important.
At the end of our lives, it’s about these memories… the journeys we took, the friendships we’ve fostered, the paths we travelled, the choices we made. As a friend just wrote to me: had any of those choices been altered, they would have closed doors that I instead chose to walk through…
I’ve made choices that have led me to be stressed out for an entire decade. I chose to go back to school, and spend my evenings pouring over CSM models. I chose to enter a cutthroat industry. I chose to live in a city whose state “bird” is the finger. So stepping away, even for twelve days, is a precursor for my future plans of leaving all of this behind. This is a big deal for me. So, it’s okay if I’m nervous. But it’s time to go create some more memories. The one who dies with the deepest laugh lines wins.