Simply Solo Spotlight: Adventure Is Out There
Today’s Simply Solo Spotlight is written by Mandi from MandiCrocker. Before you head over to Mandi’s blog (and you should!), I’m going to warn you: in addition to her posts about her life as a single girl, Mandi writes about food. Reading about her adventures sampling local cuisine and baking delicious desserts always leaves me craving something fattening!
I’ve had some inspiring guest bloggers the past couple of weeks – and Mandi is no exception. I absolutely love that through Simply Solo I can share these empowering stories with all of you.
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.
Adventure Is Out There: A Positive Look At Looking Back
My ex got married today.
I’ve been very aware of this date for months now, and as the date has inched closer, my thoughts have gone from whispers to screams. How did I want to spend this day? Would August 13th be the day I book my very first trip to Paris? Maybe I’d Shania Twain it and go skydiving? Would I make it just another day and work as usual? It’s been an interesting thought process, to say the least. But with all of my being, what continues to resonate with me is my desire to tell the universe one thing: I WANT TO LIVE.
Van Gogh said, “I’m not an adventurer by choice but by fate.”
Reading those words for the first time hit me like a bowling ball to the gut. That’s my entire story. I wasn’t born with an adventurous spirit. All I ever wanted was to be in love, get married to my best friend and start a family. I hardly dated in high school due to my religious upbringing. I didn’t date at all in college because my history in high school had taught me to hide. When I didn’t find “the one,” I moved to L.A. to pursue acting and comedy. What the hell else did I have to do? My plan was marriage. Fate chose adventure.
Eight years in California opened a million doors for me. My thoughts on life, spirituality, politics and religion changed dramatically. I became my own person. Eventually, my long distance ex came along. I packed the essentials, sold off the rest, left a zillion friends and family and moved across country to be with him in Chicago. Six months later. there was a brutal, devastating break-up. Now what? My plan was marriage and partial adventure. Fate, again, chose adventure.
In the past year and a half since our break up, I have grown more than I have in my entire 32 years combined. Out of survival, starting over completely from scratch in a new city with no job, a couple of friends and zero family, I’ve had to live so “in the present” with my thoughts and emotions, I’ve felt electric at times. I call it “living the life on fire.” You’re constantly being molded in this voracious heat of circumstance, emotion and the unknown and nothing you do seems to cool you off any. It is scary as hell but if lived with a bit of faith, it is miraculous. And more than anything, it is a gift.
In an interview recently, Justin Timberlake said something along the lines of, “Marriage is tricky because you’re not agreeing to love the person they are now. You’re also agreeing to love the person they grow into.” (JT with the wisdom—who knew!?) Looking back, knowing who I’ve grown into, I probably would be miserable right now if I ended up a youth pastor’s wife like I dreamed in high school or had gotten married right out of college like I wanted. And as much as I hate to admit it (cause us gals can be competitive types!), my ex chose the right girl. She’s a planner like he is. They have an easy life together. Our souls, God, the universe, whatever you believe in, has always got our best interest at heart.
Today my ex got married. I went to brunch with my roommate and we bought a watermelon at the farmer’s market. As it began to rain in a Notebook-esque downpour, I couldn’t help but laugh at these two crazy blonde girls jumping in puddles with a giant watermelon, laughing our asses off, soaked completely through. I got home and texted this guy I loved for three years and thanked him for changing my life. I wished him a truly beautiful day and a lifetime of happiness. I really meant it and that felt really good.
My ex is just another guy on the planet trying to do his best. He is not perfect and oooooh, there is a laundry list of wrongdoings I could go into (if you think I’ve had it easy, you’re NUTS!). But, of COURSE, he didn’t set out to hurt me. When I suddenly miss him or wonder why he didn’t pick me, I realize the emotion doesn’t really have anything to do with him. Yes, I miss his friendship, but ultimately it is my wounded, lonely ego that’s scared of the unknown. It has everything to do with the fear that I’ll never love again.
In every moment, we get a choice. We have a choice to move toward love or to move toward fear. I’ve never regretted choosing love. I’ve only regretted “staying in my shit.” I have ZERO idea what the universe holds in regard to my future but I know better than to have a plan for it. I learned that lesson! But I know it’ll be waaaay better than I ever dreamed because it already has been. Adventure peels away our habits, our history, our hurts and helps us find again who we really are.
Today I chose adventure. And today was an awesome day.
Copyright 2011. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.