I’m writing this from my friend’s couch – where I now live. With her, and her brother. Roommates again, I am even sleeping on a futon on the floor.
I’ve also accepted an offer to teach at a university in Turkey – which will start in late August.
It’s been a mental few weeks.
Last summer, I decided to sign up for a trek through Nepal with my best friends’ mom. She was going through cancer treatments, and was planning this March/April trek as both a goal and a “hey I made it !” celebration. She, a trek organiser, had had to cancel an earlier Annapurna sanctuary hike because of her cancer treatments. This was the trip that got her through a long Vancouver winter, and was probably a wake up call for many people – to do these types of things before there isn’t any time left.
Initially, my own mom was supposed to come. Then a girlfriend, then another girlfriend, then my partner…by the time it was time to pay I was going on my own.
When I left on the trip, it did cross my mind as to why I was going. I had a very comfortable existence – a nice house, a lovely partner, a dog, a job I enjoyed, with marriage and babies on the horizon. Why was I leaving to tramp through Nepal alone ?
My favourite new quote – “A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.” – John Steinbeck.
After working in an industry that marketed teaching and travelling abroad, teaching abroad myself, and writing about teaching and travelling abroad – I’ve heard it. Travel changes your life, opens you up to new experiences…blah blah blah – get on the plane, try to have a good time, and not insult anyone or injure yourself.
Then it actually happened to me. A little tiny voice that I’ve spent several years beating into oblivion decided to start speaking up.
Coming down from Annapurna base camp, fighting off altitude sickness and reflecting on life in general, the tiny voice that told me something was off in my life started to get a louder. By the time I was due to leave the country, two weeks later, the voice was booming and I was a mess.
Now in Abu Dhabi on a layover and staying with a friend – a very patient and loving friend, whom I had not seen in over a year, we spent our time together sorting out my crisis.
The secure life I’d spent several years building, apparently, wasn’t “it”. The house, the man, the dog, the stuff, the life – the business class, financial security and general stability. Not “it”.
It was not fair to the man to continue down a road that will ultimately leave us in ruin, and not fair to myself to stay in denial.
As much as it stinks to be single and starting over again at nearly 29 – you also have a lot more resources and experience behind you. I’ve also been blown away by the love and support from the people I know. Really, blessings – meals, help, advice, listening and so much love. My former partner, one of the most loving and understanding people I will likely ever know, is also supportive. Our problem was never our capacity to function as friends.
Writing this was a way to explain what I am doing and why, in my own words. I know it’s going to seem like I’ve had a total meltdown (and I probably have) but I’m happy to be having this u turn now. It’s scary, but not in a bad way. I don’t want to look back 10 or 20 years from now and wonder what if, or have any regrets.