Lying there, I feel my skin getting tanner. It’s 82 degrees Fahrenheit, the sun is out, the waves are crashing against the sand, and the gentle breeze brushes against the coconut trees.
As someone with the stereotypical “Type A” personality (obsessively organized, always needing a plan, etc.) I never really understood the appeal of going on vacation.
The idea of going to Cancun with 20 other people this past spring break seemed overwhelming. I thought I’d have to be in charge of a cornucopia of things such as booking flights, finding a hotel, ordering shuttles and more; however, I got lucky because for the first time in years, I finally didn’t have to be responsible for anything or anyone. We got an all-inclusive deal, so once we were there, everything was all taken care of: room service, bars, and restaurants were all paid for. I could go to the beach and pool whenever I wanted without anyone pestering me about a meeting or assignment and best of all, I was able to wake up whenever I wanted as well. It was the ideal scenario to simply relax. Slowly I became a “Type B” person and if anything, my main catch phrase for the week was I don’t know, let’s just play it by ear.
Everything was perfect.
Being in Cancun, I felt fresh. I felt like “Type B Elaine” was a completely different person. She didn’t let things get to her. She didn’t have to worry about what other people thought of her because of what she was doing or not doing.
Coming back to the bustling city of Boston where everyone has something to do all the time, it’s hard to readjust. But that’s not the scary part. The scary part is now that I’m back, I’m beginning to readjust. I’m readjusting back into the mold that society has confined me to. Here in Boston, I’m expected to always have a plan. People here know me to be the “Type A” person who always needs a schedule, structure, and stability. So that leaves me to plan majority of the events and to be a leader. Is it wrong though that I don’t want to be the leader all the time?
In Cancun, I didn’t feel the pressure that comes with leading people and being in charge of spearheading certain events. True, I do enjoy being kept busy, but maybe not all the time. I think if there’s one thing I learned from taking this vacation, it’s the importance of balance. If you allow yourself to slip too much into leisure during break you risk becoming a lethargic vegetable, but by never taking a break, you may become an uptight maniac. I’m still trying to understand how to achieve the balance of the two, but it’s definitely not an easy task when immersed in a community of go-getters.
Being ambitious is a great thing. Having responsibilities is an important thing. But when it comes to the process of doing so, or even just having certain opinions or ways of doing things that may not fit the status quo, it’s hard to not feel trapped. When the memory of Cancun and spring break is at the forefront of one’s mind, it’s hard to not live in the past. It actually felt like freedom; a freedom from the confinement of society’s expectations.
Is nostalgia supposed to be this dramatic? As my tan lines fade away and skin begins cracking from the icy cold Boston air, I’m forced to be okay with the change. Cancun is something of the past now; a pleasant, distant memory.
No one talks about post Spring Break, just the joys of the trip itself. No one warned me about the difficulties of readjusting after coming back from a week of bliss. But here I am, attempting to readjust; pushed to come back to reality, and that’s okay because I know that this trip won’t be the last.