Some days all I could do was mesh together smiles and tears. I was in new territory which meant many uncomfortable moments for me. I did what I could. I did the best I could. I allowed whatever needed to be felt the space it needed. I couldn’t believe how broken my heart was at times. Did I really miss my family that much? Did the emptiness inside of me feel so…empty?
The first night in Atlanta, when I realized that I was truly going be all alone, I called the airline to see if I could shorten my trip. It was that serious. The tears flowed as the reality sunk in that I would be away from my family for an entire week.
This was the first time in all of my married years that I would be on my own for such an extended period of time. I looked around the room and felt a coldness wash over me and immediately my head began to hurt.
No luck with the airlines so I decided to let it sink in and take on the week as best as I could.
I wanted this adventure. When I booked the flight I was ready, so ready. My feet couldn’t hit the pavement fast enough. But, as the days neared I questioned whether or not I did the right thing by booking my stay for so long. I didn’t start packing until the night before I left because in my mind I was prolonging being home. David did most of my packing for me as I sat and watched him. He enjoyed it. He enjoyed helping me get going in the direction he knew I wanted to go but was stuck in the moment. I was going to miss this man -his touch, his face, his presence, his cuddles. When he drove me to the airport Tuesday morning there was no turning back. It was now or never.
I sat on that plane, closed my eyes, thought about the family I was leaving behind and the family that would now face me going forward. My mom and dad were waiting to see me and I was ready to see them. I took a deep breath, embraced the moment as best as I could and dived into a book, happily into another world.
“The fog was where I wanted to be. Halfway down the path you can’t see this house. You’d never know it was here. I didn’t meet a soul. Everything looked and sounded unreal. Nothing was what it is. That’s what I wanted — to be alone with myself in another world where truth is untrue and life can hide from itself. I lost the feeling of being on land. The fog and the sea seemed part of each other. It was like walking on the bottom of the sea.”
— Eugene O’Neill, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
This quote is felt so deep within my bones that it rattles loudly through my calm. It speaks to where I wanted to be, where I wanted to go, what I wanted and needed to experience traveling on my own. That moment that plane took off was the moment I began my journey of oneness with myself in this way. I created this. I, and I alone. This makes me proud and smile with fascination in the beauty of my courage. Every ones road is different and this was a courageous act for me. I stand proud of seeing it through to the end and looking forward to my next journey.
So much was reveled to me about myself on this trip. I learned how to rely on my strength. I learned to allow myself to experience all feelings, and emotions that wanted to come forth better than I thought I could. I learned how to honor my sacred, alone space and then decided who I wanted to share it with. I learned that I love this woman that I am today deeply, unconditionally, with pride, and loving arms. I learned how to wrap my arms around myself in the deep, cold, of loneliness, in the still of the night and morning light. I realized how much I needed this trip and how much this trip needed me. A friend on Instagram commented on that picture above and said, “You look transformed!”, and that’s exactly how I feel. That’s exactly what took place. It’s exactly what I needed.