Tuesday, I left to embark on the grind part of my life. My schedule for the week was jammed with business meetings and professional development sessions, some of which I was the facilitator. I arrived at Enterprise that afternoon to pick up my rental, after 45 minutes of waiting, they finally put me in a Nissan Versa. The car reeked of weed smoke and cheap cologne, which they used to mask the smell. Nevertheless, I let it go and went on my way.
Thirty minutes into my trip, going over 60 miles per hour, the car began to shake and make a hard-knocking noise. Freaking out, I immediately called the Jackson Enterprise to ask them how to handle the situation. They advised me to stop at the nearest Enterprise, which was in Hattiesburg. The Enterprise staff at both locations were so apologetic, they discounted my rental and upgraded my vehicle from compact to intermediate, even gave me a credit on my gas in the future. I’m not ashamed to say that I am cheap, discounts are my love language. I finally arrived at my favorite Biloxi hotel, the DoubleTree Biloxi, where I was greeted by friendly staff and awesome cookies accommodations.
The next morning, I arrived at the location, which we booked a month prior to the meeting, to find that they were closed for renovations. (WTF) (Side eyeing and woosah’ing) Crappy, right? I quickly scrambled to move my next two client meetings to a local breakfast spot and Starbucks, respectively. Sidenote: Starbucks, please bring the Oprah’s Chai Latte back! Just thinking of that extra dose of cinnamon goodness has me all Homer Simpson drooling.
Crisis averted, I headed back to switch from the comfort of the DoubleTree (goodbye, cookies!), headed to a hotel I had never been to before — headed into the unknown. When I finally made it to my destination, it was a hospital. No, I did not get into an accident. The Brent House, my hotel, was in a hospital. I am sure you can imagine the look on my face, passing radiology to get to check in. Nonetheless, once you get past the hospital gowns and people in scrubs, the accommodations were nice. It was designed as a place for families to stay close to their loved ones, more hospitals should have something like that.
After a restful night, with no Grey’s Anatomy type drama in the hotel, I was off to my 7 am meeting. Luckily, there was no last-minute maneuvering due to renovations at the meeting place (insert side eye here).
Soon, I was off to engage in my professional development sessions. I must admit, sometimes I get annoyed in these environments. Don’t get me wrong, I am proud to have obtained my doctoral degree, but I always feel judged for my ambitions – like going after my dreams makes me a bad mother. As a divine intervention, would have it, I met a fellow Ph.D. mom whose children are the same age as mine. She expressed her struggles of trying to balance having a family and being in academia. We spoke about our struggles as wives and professional women, not having to sacrifice our professional desires to have a family. We encouraged each other to continue, despite the advice of the tenured “feminist” who say we must choose between a family and a profession. This week was filled with so many lessons.
- When things get shaky(literally) ask for help—Always rent with Enterprise
- Cookies make everything better –Big ups to the Double Tree Hotel Biloxi
- Never judge a book by its cover—shout out to the Brent House Hotel
- Working moms can be ambitious, and contrary to popular opinion, women can support each other.