We all know the first rule of Vegas – what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas! I went to Vegas… but that’s all I can say! haha, only joking. I am going to break the rules, just for you, and tell you about what happened in Vegas…
Las Vegas was…
It was the Vegas you have heard of. The one you see in the the movies. With the flashing lights, the people, the money, the complete craziness you may expect. (Although I must say that things are further away than you realise in the movies, so there is more walking / uber-ing involved than you see in the films. Anyways, I digress…)
With not too much to do at the moment, I booked a flight to Las Vegas to go and meet my friend who was doing a race down there and would finish close to Las Vegas. It would be 4 nights for us to just to chill out, shop and “have a bit of fun”. With the recent events – i.e. recovering from losing pretty much everything I own in an unprecedentedly strong Category 5 hurricane and not knowing for sure if have a job (she was in a very similar position), a bit of fun could be just what we needed.
It turns out it wasn’t, for me at least.
Maybe unsurprisingly, I found that Las Vegas is not got for your mental health. Or very good for your physical health with the easy drinking and huge portions.
Knowing the devastation that I have suffered, and that I have friends and acquaintances who suffered more and are still struggling, going to a pool party and watching people spend over $4,000 on the cheap seats is hard. When you realise there are at least 20 cheap seats, and more expensive seats available (all full by the way) it kinda makes you feel a bit sick. Generally wandering around and seeing the excessive decadence just made me feel worse, it didn’t allow me to forget what I’d been through, instead it seemed to magnify the injustice and loss.
Now let’s be clear – I can’t say I didn’t have any fun – I had some incredible food (Tao at the Venetian particularly), I saw some beautiful sights (the mountains behind LV turn a beautiful colour during sunset) and got to spend time with a good friend that I likely won’t see for a while. And we laughed and joked and forgot the real world existed for a bit.
But then I would remember. The guilt I feel would hit me, and it hits hard, like a wall, almost without warning. I would see beyond the sparkling lights and the fake smiles and just see the excess and the waste and the disturbing “normality” with which people regard Vegas and it made me sad.
Heck, it also made me kind of angry. I wanted to scream “it’s not fair” and tell everyone my story and about the BVI and Puerto Rico and the Caribbean as a whole. But they wouldn’t have listened. I would have just become another of those crazy people on the street corners shouting at the passers by.
So what can I take from this? The whole thing with My Project 35 is that it is all about self improvement for me, becoming my best self – so I need to learn from the experience to improve me, mind and soul rather than body though.
Ultimately I am a different person to the one “before Irma”. I believe different things are important.
I have a better appreciation for experiences rather than things, and that should serve me well in future.
Yes I like to spend time with my friends, and eat and drink a little too much, but my tolerance for it seems to have reduced. This is a good thing, for both body and mind, and I think having an awareness of just how lucky I am can only help me become a better person, more humble maybe.
So Viva Las Vegas, whether it is there to make you feel better or to better appreciate what is not found in Vegas, I hope it does what you need it to.