Starting With a Look Back

I’ve never needed a summer break so badly.

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We’re just getting started here, and I know it feels SO SOON and maybe you’ll bolt with this level of intimacy on what is, essentially, our first date. But I’m used to that. I tend to dive in and I scare everyone off.

This has been a fucking roller coaster of a year.

Back in August I had enough of my physical limitations and got a per$onal trainer. I quickly began seeing results and the compliments began flowing in. I was empowered again and had the goal of losing 100lbs by my 40th birthday.

Then, J moved back to town. J was, in my stupid 20s, the love of my life. Which is bonkers because he was cheating on his live-in girlfriend/fiancee with me. But over the years I would find his picture and think, “Wow. He was my Mr. Could-Have-Been.” A fairy tale, you know, which tragically ended in his marrying her and not me. It was Venus retrograde, the time of past lovers, and here he was, in my very town, divorced. I don’t really pay attention to red flags.

Within a month, we had gone from friends hanging out to making out, to a ten year sexual dry spell over. But…

He had another girlfriend. I wasn’t doing this again. I was worth more than that.

And that’s when my heart got captured. For real.

I tweeted recently that having feelings for a friend was one of the levels of hell. I stand by that.

In February, I discovered a real level of hell. One of my students committed suicide. I’m going to write about this later, as I discovered this morning as I signed a yearbook for him that is to be given to his family that I had not really dealt with my feelings around this.

More romantic roller coasters. A drunken night over spring break and words were said that can’t be put back in.

In a two week period, I lost three more former students.

And to come back around, I haven’t been doing well with my weight loss. I basically stalled back in the winter and here we are. Food is good, y’all.

I tell you all of this to give you some perspective on one of the many reasons I will be traveling soon. My trainer questioned why I needed to be gone for so long, maybe up to three weeks. Why? Because knowing that I can travel unfettered across wild landscapes that make my problems seem smaller is what gets me through a year full of bells that dictate where I go and what I do, through the constant yapping of voices that want all the prizes without any of the work, through having to act like someone I’m not because of my exalted behavior modeling status.

I need to get out and see snow-covered mountains. Watch the sun set over the desert. Create new synapses in my brain by getting lost in new places.

I need to be free.

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