Today I used part of my lunch break to walk around the neighborhood. I try to do this when I feel the need to stretch my legs and burn a few calories and the weather is nice. Sitting all day at my work computer is hard on my body. Maybe one day I will splurge on a desk I can raise and stand to work periodically during the day. Anyway, as I was saying…

Usually when I walk I either listen to music or a podcast. The last couple of times though, I listened to an audiobook. I had borrowed one from the library to listen to on the plane and I had a few more chapters to go. The book was “This Time Next Year” by Sophie Cousens. As I walked today this particular passage struck a chord. These are the thoughts going through the main character’s head as she’s walking with a friend, a man, someone she thought she wanted to be with but is now re-evaluating her choices, her options.

She needed to think with her head. It was something Fleur once said to her which stuck in her mind: You need to be a “me” before you can be a “we.”

This last month she’d felt more “me” than she’d ever felt in her whole life.

More contained.

More comfortable in her own skin.

She had a new confidence.

An inner fire, and she didn’t want it to go out.

It was that quote at the back of her print: Be a good companion to yourself and you will never be lonely.

That had to be the aspiration. She wanted to fuel her own fire. If she got her fuel from men, they could leave, and you’d be left alone in the cold.

I feel like I’ve finally been given the keys to my own car, and I just want to drive. 

I’m happy to be me. And I’ve never felt like that before.

This Time Next Year, by Sophie Cousens

This is how I feel now. I’m happy to be me, to live my life according to my own design and plan. I’m not sure I ever had the keys before. I was the passenger, along for the ride, willing to go wherever the driver was going. It was a crazy ride at times, and of course there were times when I turned the steering wheel in a different direction or made the driver pump the brakes, but mostly I was content to enjoy the view from the passenger’s seat.

I’m in the driver’s seat now and no one else has the keys. While I don’t have a plan or a map that goes much beyond the next few months, I don’t feel lost either.

Last week I wrote about the dance S and I are doing. We’re both navigating this new journey carefully, trying not to jump into the driver’s seat of each other’s cars, so to speak. It’s almost like we’re each in our own car, taking parallel paths, occasionally carpooling together, hoping we’re headed for the same destination. I think we are, and I’m enjoying the journey.

PS: I will share some photos of the journey we took together to Boston in the next Sunday Post.

Leave a Reply