Halloween and Happiness

Layla and I crossed the California state line on Halloween.  Needles was the first town we came to, a tiny place with a literal Welcome Wagon and not much else.

I’d spent a hot minute on the phone with my mom and cousins a few miles earlier and seeing them in their costumes didn’t help how I was feeling.  I wasn’t homesick, exactly, though this was a holiday I hated to miss.  Restless, maybe.  They were about to do something fun, which has always been the point of Halloween in my book.  And what was I going to do?

I didn’t know.  I had packed my short dress and Gryffindor tie because I was hoping for a party, but Needles wasn’t that sort of town.  In fact, I wasn’t going to run into “that sort of town” until I hit LA.  And while I could drive there within the day, that would mean bypassing Calico, San Bernardino, and Pasadena.  I didn’t want to do that, but I also didn’t want to spend Halloween night alone in a hotel room.

Then I saw the sign: Las Vegas.  I could spend Halloween in Vegas.  I opened the Hotels.com app on my phone, found a cheap place to stay, and that was it.

“Man,” I thought, once I’d booked, “I’m really going to miss this ‘doing what I want when I want it’ thing.”

Since I had made it to California, I was starting to think of the end of the trip.  But just as soon as I thought that, something else occurred to me.

Why?  What’s stopping me from doing whatever I want when I want it once I get home?  It won’t be the same, sure, but…I can still do things on a whim for no reason except that it will make me happy.

Looking over my SnapChat story the next day made me smile.  I stayed at the Las Vegas Hostel, which only charged me $20 for the night and included free breakfast and a pool. It was also within walking distance of some of downtown Vegas and Fremont St. At The Writer’s Block, I bought a book I’d been looking for and talked to the bookseller about bars I should go to. He recommended Atomic Liquors, a bit of a dive, and Oddfellows, which had a lot of energy. I also tried Commonwealth, which probably had the best drinks and fell between the two atmospheres, so is a good place to go if you’re looking for balance.  I also did just a little bit of gambling and got my photo taken with the Chippendales.  All of these things showed up in my SnapChat story and were a reminder of the fun I’d had the night before.

That’s what I want from my life: I want to do things that make me happy and take lots of pictures so that I can look back and continue feeling that way.  And I want it to be an everyday occurrence.  I want to be able to look at my SnapChat story at any given moment and think, “Oh yeah, that was great.”

That will look a little different each day.  On Halloween, I would have been bored and even upset if I’d sat in my pajamas watching TV.  Today, that was exactly what I wanted to do.  And that, I’ve decided, is a perfectly acceptable reason to do something.

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Categories: Travel Blog, Tuesday Update | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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