Simply Solo Spotlight: Sometimes the Journey Really is the Reward
Happy Tuesday! How fun is it that every week I get to share a new story with you? It certainly beats my same old, same old posts! I learn so much from my guest bloggers, and today’s post is no exception. Danica’s piece is beautiful and inspiring – she makes me want to take risks, even if things don’t turn out exactly as planned. I hope you enjoy today’s guest post, and be sure to check out Danica’s personal blog and business blog.
Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sometimes the Journey Really is the Reward
In September of 2008, I went from being a single girl in the city to being a girl who was packing it all up to start a new life with the man of my dreams. This involved quitting my design job, which, despite having lost its glamour, was still stable in our unstable economy. It also involved giving up my two-bedroom Brooklyn apartment – the one in which I had lived for more than 12 years and had turned into my cozy and colorful little haven. Part of giving up the apartment included giving up all my furniture and practically all my belongings. Some things were passed on to my sisters, as I couldn’t bear throwing them away or putting them out on the sidewalk. I also was leaving behind my sisters and friends. All of this “giving up” and “leaving behind” was so that I could follow the man of my dreams to L.A. so that he could follow his dream. At the time, it all seemed like a very good idea.
Los Angeles was never on my list of top places to live, but after years of feeling unchallenged at work, uninspired by New York, and not to mention single, it seemed crazy for me not to agree. Fear, excitement and uncertainty would constantly creep up on me. When I told someone about my new life plan, the look on their face was enough to let me know exactly what they thought of my master plan, while others thought it was the best thing for me. I, of course, agreed with the latter group. I was in love and this seemed right. I mean, hadn’t I just spent countless Sunday brunches complaining to girlfriends about how bored I was by my work, and how guys in New York sucked, and how I had no clue when I was ever going to meet someone? Yes, I had. And off I went to L.A. … just me and him.
Needless to say, I was caught a bit off guard when three months later, the same guy who told me I was the love of his life (and yes, the same guy for whom I had just given everything up) told me I needed to go back to New York. Umm, excuse me, perhaps I misunderstood, but it just sounded like I was getting the boot … big time! Clearly, someone forgot that there was nowhere for me to go back to. I’ll admit, things hadn’t been as perfect as how I’d pictured them in my mind, but I didn’t feel like they had reached this level. So what did I do? Well, after pathetic pleading and crying and more crying on my part, he handed me a one way ticket back to NYC in the middle of December. He really was a thoughtful one.
Back in New York, I cried some more – well, A LOT more – six months’ worth of crying, to be exact. I felt such emptiness. I had been dumped before, but this felt much worse than just being dumped. I felt like my whole world had just crashed right in front of me and I had absolutely no backup plan – I hadn’t even followed my gut instinct to sublet my apartment. “Why not?!” you ask? That’s exactly what he said when I brought it up.
While in New York, I spent many hours thinking about what I was going to do next. On the one hand, my situation was ideal, what so many craved – no apartment, no job, no relationship, absolutely no attachments. On the other hand, it was the worst of the worst – lonely, sad and directionless. At some point, I realized the crying needed to end. Something inside me finally kicked in and helped me get my butt in gear and come up with a new plan. Since it was clear to me that going back to a 9-5 job was not an option for me (not something I wanted), I thought about what I really did want to do with my life, and that was to travel and start my own business. L.A. may not have been on my list of top destinations, but Morocco certainly was. And with that, I decided to make it happen! I took on odd job after odd job just so I could save enough. I reached out to every female entrepreneur I could find doing design work with artisans. I did as much research as I could and hounded as many people as would let me until I got as much information as I needed to get me started on MY big adventure.
In June of 2009, with plane ticket in hand, I left for beautiful Morocco, a place that I would make my home for the next ten months. It was an amazing experience and one I wouldn’t change for the world. (You can read about my experience here.) I was no longer crying, okay, occasionally I was, but not for the same reasons I had been. My experience was a roller coaster full of ups and downs. I finally felt like I was living again and doing it my way.
I am now back in New York, where I still don’t have an apartment, or a 9-5 job, or many belongings, but I am happy again. After two years of being single, I have even started dating again. I am still waiting for someone to “knock me off my feet” as the Beth Orton song goes, but when I do find him, I may even follow him across the country or to some other country if he asks, because as I’ve learned, sometimes the road taking you to where you need to be might be a lot more winding than you may have planned.
Copyright 2011. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.