Cleveland Rocks

On Friday, I went to happy hour with my coworkers from my former job. I missed them so much, and it was great to spend a few hours catching up. At one point, one of the girls mentioned her boyfriend's band—End of an Era, check them out!—who I've seen perform before was wrapping up a pretty cool touring opportunity this past weekend. They'd spent a couple of weeks opening for a U.K. band called Pop Will Eat Itself, and three of the members of End of an Era (including said boyfriend in question) were actually filling in as band members of PWEI during their American voyage. Anyway, J really wanted to be there for her guy's last show on this tour, but there was this little matter of the state of Pennsylvania standing between them. Their closing show was at the historic Agora Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio, a solid seven hours away from North Jersey.

She asked—jokingly at first, I'm sure—if I wanted to ride to Ohio with her Sunday night, catch the show, and head back Monday. I don't think she was expecting me to say yes, but I totally did.

I had Monday and Tuesday off from work—happy holidays to any Jewish readers celebrating, if that's even an appropriate sentiment to share; I apologize for my ignorance if it isn't—and have been pondering the whole purpose of life lately. I'm not exaggerating though. See, I know work is a necessity. I've mentioned that before: I know I have to work to live, but whatever combination of science and magic that put me on this earth certainly could not have intended for me waste away in an office with bad florescent lighting for the majority of my existence, with little else of merit to speak of. What I'm trying to say is, no one is put on this earth to be a real estate lawyer, SEO strategist, web content writer, or bank teller. That's just what we do while we while away the days. But what is the purpose of life if not to experience it?
I was already over budget for the month of September. I'm not entirely positive how I'm going to pay the bills in a month or two. Since I got my financial act together a few years ago, I have never been careless with money—a BBW or Ulta sale here and there notwithstanding. We would have to drive there (in her little Toyota, which is luckily fabulous on gas), get lodging for the night, purchase tickets to the show, and spend a little money on a drink or snack here and there to round out the whole experience. I had a to-do list a mile long and planned to use Sunday and Monday to get a lot done, including a 14-mile training run on my road to the marathon. I considered all that—and I mean it, I really thought it all through—and I still said yes.

What is the purpose of life if not to experience it?
On this adventure, I set foot in Ohio for the first time ever (a step forward in my goal to see all 50 states), saw Lake Eerie (and possibly the firs Great Lake I've ever seen, if I'm not mistaken) for the first time ever, stayed in an Airbnb for the first time ever, went to the historic Agora Theatre for the first time ever, and didn't torture myself for shirking responsibilities for the first time ever. After 14 hours in a car over two days, five hours spent standing and screaming on a ballroom floor, and 15 late-night, hunger-struck minutes waiting for Rally's (also for the first time ever) in a city that apparently always sleeps (I mean really Cleveland, I know it was a Sunday, but the place was a ghost town by 7 p.m. My suburban NJ town is more poppin' on a Sunday evening!), I'm still glad I went and would do it again.
This adventure was a small one in the grand scheme of things—like, say, compared to my brother's solo European travels or my fabulous blog friends' epic adventures—but an adventure nonetheless. And when life is usually by default so lacking in adventure and spur-of-the-moment dismissal of tasks and to dos, yet heavy with contemplation and obligation, every little step toward a life of reckless calculated (hey, I'm still me) abandon counts for something. Because what is the purpose of life if not to experience it—every little bit of it?

Linking up with my lady Kels for the return of the Secret Blogger Club.
The Blonder Side of Life

Comments

  1. I totally agree that we aren't defined by our career titles and no one is specifically here to be just a title, there has to be more to this life. As someone who has no clue what career they want to be in, I am thankful I am not defined by that because it would be a mess right now. ha!
    Linds @ Not A Mom

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  2. I hope there's a balance where you can enjoy your job, even as something like an SEO strategist, but I totally agree that there's more to life and getting the most out of it is important! My family's big into travel and my sisters and I are starting to make a pattern of taking big trips whenever our schedules give us a big enough gap to fit it in. For me, that seems to be when I'm between jobs, which certainly isn't convenient financially, but so far it's been ok. I spend way too much, do something amazing, and then figure it out when I get back. So what if I spend a few weeks stressed out, trying to fix my finances? I've seen another part of the world!!! I do still want to work on getting the most out of my day-to-day life, though, because I feel like all too frequently those fly by without any real significance or importance.

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  3. I think it's awesome that you said yes to this trip - the memories of this will last you a lifetime!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  4. I adore you and your spontaneous spirit. Always do this, and next time drive south. We can meet halfway!

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  5. what a fun trip! and you're right... we have to experience life if we want to truly live it! :)
    i went to Cleveland for a business trip last year & loved exploring & seeing Lake Erie! :)

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  6. I love that you said yes and took a spontaneous trip!!! That is what life is all about sometimes!

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  7. I'm glad you went. Money is important but so is enjoying life while you have the opportunity to do it and experiences like this will stay with you for a long, long time.

    Cleveland is on my list of places to go, mostly for the Rock and Roll HOF.

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  8. yay for knocking states off your list!! i love that you were spontaneous. i do not have a very good spontaneous bone in my body.. i have it in theory, but i have never actually done anything spontaneous. i like to plan, and my money is normally already tied up in other things. that's different from you and your fiscally responsible-ness, because you are smart and budget etc etc whereas i like to plan things and spend money for the future and then that doesn't leave room for fun spontaneous things. you inspire me - you are right. what's the point of life if we aren't experiencing it?

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  9. I am from cleveland it it does rock and Lake Erie is wonderful P:)

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  10. Sometimes spontaneous trips are the best! It sure sounds like it was worth it! :)

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  11. Ah what a great trip! I'm glad you were able to check off so many new things. I know you needed something like this right now, and I'm SO proud of you for actually doing it. I'm sure you weighed the options carefully because duh, you're you, and even though I'm sure your logical brain was screaming at you, it does sound like you made the best decision. Also I feel less bad about asking you to drive however many hours to Wilmington, so here's that. And also, see you in TWO WEEKS!!!
    Oh and j just feel it necessary to say for the millionth time that I agree with your work philosophy so hard. I constantly feel like I have to choose between being career-oriented and well-rounded and that I can't be both. I can totally be both! Of course I want to like what I do from 9-5 and kick ass at it (who doesn't?) but I want to do other things outside of those hours too.

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  12. I need to be more spontaneous like this! I'm definitely a planner and have to have everything just so. I almost never regret it when I decide to be spontaneous. It sounds like such a fun weekend!

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  13. hell yes for spontaneity! that's the spice of life. pre-child, i did stuff like that all the time...one long weekend we were bored so we were like, hey - let's go to chicago! so we packed up some stuff, jumped in the car and drove the 9 hours to chicago without even a hotel booked! we arrived and booked the first one that was available and it was an amazing trip!

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  14. i love random, spontaneous trips. those are the best kind!! sometimes that's just what the soul needs!

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  15. Sounds like it was an awesome trip full of firsts! I've never been to Ohio. Have never had a reason to go. Still, road trips anywhere are reason enough for me!

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  16. Awwww... how fun! It's great when you meet people you connect with at a job and stay in touch with them even when life takes you in different directions. :) I'm with you... it was an adventure nonetheless!

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  17. "What is the purpose of life if not to experience it?" I could not agree with that statement more! Which is why I always try to fit in as much fun as I can when I can. This sounds like such a fun road trip! I'm actually trying airbnb for the first time in a few weeks- how did it go?

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