Isn’t it wonderful to have something to look forward to?
I know I’m not alone in thinking that it’s about damned time that we all had something good to look forward to, something to be excited about.
I’m getting on the road this week to celebrate my birthday with a solo road trip. Just months ago the thought of something like this would be scary, something I would never consider doing. Funny how distance, cutting cords, meeting new people, reflection, meditation, and time, have a way of changing all that.
I’m starting my week with a massage and pedicure tomorrow, and I might even take the car to the car wash (my black car is slowly turning yellow). And then the following day I’m hitting the road! My playlist is about complete and I’ve made reservations for a trolley tour one day and will probably go visit my old friend the ocean mid-week. I plan to try to relax, do some people-watching, take lots of pictures, treat myself to a few good meals, and probably a couple adult beverages in the hotel bar.
I kidded with someone that maybe I would let someone pick me up at the bar, but who am I kidding? We all know even if someone tried, I could never do that. It’s kind of fun to think about though. In case you missed yesterday’s poem about the many sides of me, there’s a fairly large part of me that is intrigued by that idea. But what if I did give in to that temptation and ended up hooking up with a married man? I can’t stand the idea of being the other woman, even if it was a one-night stand. I could never do that to another woman.
But to get back on track, I briefly debated not making this a solo trip. I could have asked someone to join me. But the more I think about it, the more sure I am that this needs to be a solo vacation. Moving here on my own was a huge step for me, but I didn’t really have that much choice in the matter. Going on vacation by myself is a decision I made alone and I’m even looking forward to alone time in the car, listening to whatever I want (like the carefully curated playlist I made), singing along if I want, and not worrying about whether anyone thinks I should be driving faster, taking a different route, or using cruise control. I always felt a little judged before if I was driving with my husband in the car, and that’s why I was happy to let him do all the long-distance driving. ( I still remember the time my tipsy companion insisted that at night driving home from a party was a great time for me to start learning how to use cruise control and I had to yell at him to get him to stop messing with the controls on the steering wheel.)
I’ve been reading a book titled Eat, Pray, #FML by Gabrielle Stone and I should be finished with it by now, but I find I have to keep putting it down. This book is the story about how after having her heart broken twice within a very short amount of time, the author took herself on a solo trip to Europe (which was originally planned as a couple’s trip), during which she met many people, saw beautiful sights, and did an awful lot of soul searching and writing. There are so many parallels to my life, even though the author is much younger and her experience quite different, but at the same time, the same. There are many chapters that tell a story very similar to mine: how much she defended the person who broke her heart, how writing and telling her story helped her unravel everything going on her head and heart (her “thought onions” were particularly interesting) and while I mostly relate to and lived many of these passages, she also describes situations in which all of a sudden I see my experience from my ex-husband’s point of view even while not agreeing with it. I understand a little bit now after going through my own process why he thought it was better to stop communicating with me last fall, but that realization can’t change the fact that it hurt at the time. At one point in the book she’s talking to her ex and he says something to her about her talking to everyone about their story and points out that he’s not doing that. I literally laughed out loud when Gabrielle wrote that of course he didn’t talk to people about it because if he did they would disagree with him. So true. Some people will only tell their side of the story to those they know will agree and respond with what they want hear.
At this point in the book she’s deciding if she’s going to see him (for closure purposes) and I’m not sure how it’s going to go for her. I haven’t talked to my ex since December when he finally answered some of my questions, and I haven’t seen him since August. Do I want to? Would I want to if I’m back in town and he’s around? I don’t know. Right now I’m thinking that it won’t help me in the least. Nothing he will say will make what he did ok. It won’t take away any of the pain. Maybe more time will help. At some point we will run into each other, whether it be at a family gathering (his children are still part of my life, and even though he’s not made any effort, my children still consider him family, or at least they did), or I could bump into him in a restaurant or coffee shop. It’s not a large town and I will end up back there for work eventually. So as far as closure goes, I’ll see how it goes for Gabrielle in the final chapters of her book, but I’m not holding my breath that I will see that chapter in my own life.
My little four-day journey to Savannah is not exactly like going to Europe with a backpack for a month (which, by the way, I did a lifetime ago), but it’s all relative, right? When I get back I have some more dating to do. I’ve gone on seven (7!) dates with one very nice man, and there’s a couple more that I’ve chatted with who I might meet as well. I’m torn here. Feeling a little conflicted. I know I should meet more people, go on more first dates. After all, I’m not looking for a long-term relationship right now. But he’s really nice. He knows I’m on all the dating apps (after all, that’s how we met) and that I want to meet people and figure out what, and who, I want. And that’s fine with him. But as I told him the other night, what if I’m out there looking around and I miss out on what’s right in front of me already? Sigh.
But that’s probably what I need to do. It’s not like he’s looking for a LTR either. We both want someone to have dinner with, have some laughs, check out the live music scene. And that doesn’t have to be just one person, for either of us. So it’s all good. We’re enjoying each other’s company and that’s all that matters right now.
Now back to the book to see how it turns out for Gabrielle. Maybe I’ll do some more writing of my own in Savannah and finally get another chapter of Jenny’s story written.