This weekend I completed my goal of staying alone in a hotel room. I understand that this goal may mystify some of you, so let me explain why I found the concept of being alone in a hotel room for a night so important as to list it as one of my 21 goals.
I have stayed in hotel rooms with my family ever since I was a kid, and those times have remained with me to this day, because of how memorable they were. We would oftentimes stop in a hotel for the night halfway through our trip to visit friends in Minnesota or family in Colorado, and it was always the highlight of the trip to me. My sisters, parents, and I would all share one or two adjoining rooms, and it was in those cramped spaces that some of my best childhood memories were made. Everything from the smell of chlorine in the pool to the taste of the muffins at breakfast were unforgettable to me. So here I am years later, and I thought that it would be neat to make it a goal of mine to return to one of my favorite childhood settings and see what it is like as an adult.
My original vision for this goal involved me traveling out of state to interview for a job and staying in a complementary hotel room, and this is what actually happened. This past weekend I interviewed for a job in Indiana (more on the job interview in a future post), and the organization that I was interviewing at informed me that they would be providing the hotel room for me. When I heard this, I was inundated with mental images of me sweeping into the hotel lobby, suitcase in tow, looking debonaire as I received my room key. Let’s just say that this was not an accurate mental portrayal of my arrival.
I had not slept very well the night before the trip, so adding a four hour drive, anxious feelings about the impending interview, and far too much coffee to the mix did not make me very presentable. I arrived at the hotel looking exhausted, tense, and panic stricken as I tried to keep my full bladder from winning the war it was waging with me. Thankfully, the woman at the counter sensed that I was in a hurry and was quick to hand me my room key.
Once I had placed my things in my room and taken care of my overloaded bladder, I began to see just how much of my hotel room vision was coming true. I was staying in a room with a king size bed and not having to worry about sharing it with anyone, I was able to flip on the TV to whatever channel I wanted, unpack all of my clothes into the dresser, and place the ironing board in the middle of the room. All of these are simple things in and of themselves, but to me they signified that I was growing up. I was no longer sharing a room with my family, and I was not staying at the hotel on my way to a vacation location. Instead, I was there for a job interview, and I was completely independent.
All in all, this was probably one of my least out-of-the-box goals, but it was one of the most memorable to me. The reason for this is because it has helped me see myself more as an adult instead of as a child or teenager. Gone are the days of swimming for hours in the hotel pool with my sisters before arguing over which TV show we are going to watch later. It is a bittersweet change, but it is an exciting one that signifies my metamorphosis into adulthood.