Now that I had a plane ticket, all that was left was those final, pesky details. The more I planned the great solo trip of 2010, the more I was looking forward to the 10 days I would have away from my normal life.
Not that my normal life was bad. In fact, it was pretty good. I was living in Washington DC, working at my dream job and surrounded by great friends.
But I was restless.
Ever since college I had lived a somewhat nomadic existence. Constantly looking for a new adventure, I regularly changed locations, friends, jobs and activities. Traveling had become a necessity in my life, and I took every opportunity to learn new things, meet new people and see new places.
DC had been my first attempt to “put down some roots.” I stayed with the same job, lived in the same house, hung out with the same friends – all in the attempt to find fulfillment through normalcy. I found that DC definitely had enough going on to keep me busy and I could satiate my wanderlust with trips up and down the eastern seaboard. However, after almost 3 years, the question of whether or not I was happy with my life was occupying more and more of my thoughts.
A big part of that question had to do with Allen. Allen and I had been dating on and off for about a year and a half. He was great, there was do denying that. Loyal, considerate, Allen treated me like a queen – and he wanted to marry me. I knew that I should want to marry him as well, but there was always something that held me back. I just couldn’t see spending the rest of my life with him. And I felt like a complete heel because of it.
That feeling of guilt – the knowledge that there was no sane reason why I wasn’t completely happy with him – left me completely inept at breaking things off for good. The whole time we were dating it was the same cycle.
- Allen would very sweetly pursue me
- We would date and all would be well
- Things would progress to the point that it was either marry or break up
- I wouldn’t feel good about it
- We would break-up
- We would spend some time apart
- Allen would convince me that we could still be friends
- We would start doing things on a casual “we’re just friends basis”
- Allen would be really sweet
- I would be convinced to try again
- And the cycle would repeat
It was getting a little ridiculous. All my family and friends thought I was slightly crazy, but I just didn’t know how to completely shut out a guy who did everything in his power to make me happy.
At the time that I was planning this trip Allen was trying to convince me to try yet again. Though I could feel myself being sucked back in, I was desperately trying to figure out how to be strong, and follow my heart. I hoped that this upcoming trip, besides being fun, relaxing and refreshing, would give me a new perspective on what I was currently doing with my life; that by stepping outside my normal routine, I would be able to obtain some clarity.
Maybe I put too much pressure on myself, but as I went to the airport (and yes, Allen was driving me), I was attacked by a sudden case of nerves. I had a feeling, deep in my gut, that this trip was going to offer more than simple perspective; it was going to alter the path of my life.