Las Vegas Reminded Me To Live Before I Die
Sin City. I stared at my phone debating whether or not I was going to make a commitment for this trip. I wanted to go. I wanted to have fun. But my bank account shot me the side eye whenever I considered anything outside of paying bills and the occasional weekday jaunt that I could excuse as “networking” “for work.” I needed a break from the daily grind. My energy was depleted as was my creativity. Months spent doing 12-hour shifts that turned into 12-hour drives across the country had left me spent. But I couldn’t seem to convince myself that I deserved a moment of respite. Chalk it up to the game, I told myself. I’d kick back and enjoy life when I reached a point where I wasn’t constantly checking my balance.
But something told me just to go. And so I did. I packed the same 13-year-old car that I had traveled from North Carolina to L.A. in just two months prior, and headed back east towards the Nevada state line. I bumped Views From the 6 and then Lemonade as I sped down the endless highway. I drove past mountains so postcard perfect that at one point I did a little wreckless move by trying to catch a pic for the snap—the app that I vowed never to succumb to as I never felt that my daily habits were worth documenting, and I still don’t. But that weekend, I did. I was free. I was on a mission to decommission from the life that was no longer fueling me, and I was determined to make the most of whatever it turned out to be.
It started off rocky. I couldn’t check into my hotel since I wasn’t the person to book the room, so I slipped off my “mom” panties and into a lacy thong and a sundress in the public bathroom of the Palazzo. I painted my toes and my face in the bathroom mirror while Latina attendants rapidly fired off in Spanish beside me. I called my best friend, who was in town for a friend’s birthday, and through drunken slurs determined her location and my next destination. I checked my bags, and decided not to be annoyed for the rest of the day. It wasn’t the ideal start to my trip, but it definitely was a memorable one.
I rolled into bed around 5:30 a.m. the next morning—a night of drinking, partying, and slot machine watching (I certainly didn’t have the money to lose) lay behind me, along with my desire to go to the club without being in the VIP section. (Hey, a girl can only stand in stiletto boots for so long before her feet cry out for her.) I woke up earlier than expected, ate later than anticipated, and with just as little sleep as the night before, hopped on a helicopter for a late night ride over the city thanks to the kindness of my friend-boss. I was way up. I was blessed. And then I was in VIP at a Big Sean concert next to notable industry heads. And all I could think was damn—this is how I’d rather be living.
And then it was morning again. I was drained. I wanted to rest but adventure awaited in the form of ATV rides through the Nevada sand dunes. I pressed my weary eyes closed and remembered that if I ever wanted to be a superstar, this would be my life, and that gave me the last shot of energy that I needed to not flip my vehicle over like another group member did. I rode fearfully at first, then fearlessly as I realized that the ATV didn’t control me, I controlled it. And that if I just got out of my feelings and tapped into my confidence there was nothing that could stop me from winning (in this case, making it the whole hour without being the poster child for wreckless driving).Stop making excuses for choosing to put you first. Click To Tweet
After filling up at some local Mexican spot, I hit the road for a sunset drive back through the mountains. Windows down. Podcasts blasting. Soaking up the desert rays before they disappeared into a cloudless sky. As the L.A. lights welcomed me home, I smiled to myself. It wasn’t the weekend that I expected, but it was worth it. It was worth remembering that you have to keep living even when life makes you feel like you shouldn’t. It was a reminder to stop making excuses for choosing to put me—and my desires—first, and that whatever you want, the universe will find a way to give it to you if you go after it diligently. My trip to Sin City was a reminder that when I die I want people to speak about all the things that I did while living, and sitting at home wishing I had lived isn’t one of them.