Warning: The foundation of this blog is vulnerability. If my honesty is something you’re hoping to exploit, you’re better off watching Teen Mom. Greetings from the northwest suburbs of Chicago. I am trying my hardest to not talk shit about Arlington Heights, but I guess I just did. I arrived here last night after spending the weekend in Milwaukee, which happened to coincide with Riverwest’s 24 hour bike race. It was nice to take part in another 3 a.m. underwear ride, despite the fact that I was wearing torn up granny panties. Tmi? Sorry.
As most of you know, I bought a one-way ticket to Barcelona after my engagement to Dustin was called off. What you don’t know (but may have guessed) is that the abruptness with which the latter occurred was completely my fault. To my friends and family, it looked like another impulsive 180 degree switch on my part. It looked like a manifestation of Borderline Personality Disorder. Dusty and I were about to live a punk-ass version of the American dream. We moved to a small town, enrolled in school, got jobs, had a nice house, stability, etc. and then I went to Europe and everything collapsed.
I understand the anger, confusion, and lack of trust in me. I do. I repress subtle truths, ignoring the growing flame at my feet until the resulting inferno has engulfed everyone around me. It’s shitty. It’s not fair. I’m really fucking sorry.
I wanted things to work. I wanted to prove to people that I was okay — that I could maintain a job and a marriage and not live so chaotically. But that’s not me. I am impulsive. I am emotional. I am not ready for commitment or stability or routine. And I think, just maybe, that’s okay for now. If I continue to deny these things, they will forever sneak up and obliterate false foundations I’ve formed for myself.
Here’s the thing: I know I’m too much for a lot of people. It sucks and it hurts, but I understand and I don’t blame anyone. I’m not at a place in my life where I can promise emotional stability and if you can’t handle that, you’re (obviously) free to distance yourself from me.
The past month has been an absolute whirlwind of bad choices and backlash. To outsiders, it probably looks like yet another indulgence in the same pattern that’s held me hostage for the better part of my life: I settle down, I get scared, I burn shit down, I run away. I fall for men who want to save me. They move into my house after a few weeks, we disappear together, I get bored, I leave them. To a large degree, yes, this is a repeat of the same pattern. But, for the first time in my entire fucking life, I’m listening to people. I’ve sat through long conversations with Dustin, my brothers, my parents, and concerned friends without dissociating or screaming or blaming anyone else for my actions.
I know I fucked up. I’ve been selfish. I’ve been dishonest with the people who love me, not because I wanted to hurt anyone, but because the idea of dismantling a plan that so many people were invested in was terrifying. And look where it got me.
So, yeah, maybe part of my intention for traveling is to escape, but that’s certainly not all of it. For me, stability is a form of escape. I pair up with caretakers and assume the role of weak, traumatized, crazy lady. I am not those things. They’re a part of me, but I’m stronger than that. It’s taken me a long time to admit this, because sometimes it seems a hell of a lot easier to be taken care of and showered with the love I’ve been incapable of showing myself.
I’m tired of it. You’re tired of it. I’m the only one who can save my life.
My intention for traveling is to run directly towards myself. I’ll probably continue to fuck up, but that’s how we grow. Right?
If you’re still reading this, I’m impressed. Travel blogs are inherently self-centered and I’m a goddamn memoir writer attempting to sort out internal chaos, so feel free to be like, “bitch, stop talking about yourself,” and return to ClickHole.
1. Learn how to love myself, not just occasionally.
2. Learn self-sufficiency.
3. Learn how to be trustworthy again.
4. Practice being honest before shit hits the fan.
5. Learn how to say no.
6. Figure out how to set and maintain boundaries.
7. Learn how to validate myself without using men or sex or self-objectification.
8. Stop acting. Start being true.
9. Stop putting so much stock in money and materialism. (Wow, that’s a stupid pun).
10. Learn how to be alone. Sit with it. Revel in it. Deal with it.
11. Stop trying to impress other people.
12. Be less judgmental.
13. And, for the love of God, write this goddamn book I’ve been working on for three years.
I’ve never been very good at keeping blogs, but I’ll try to stay on top of this one (for my ~three readers), since I won’t have a working phone in Europe.
For those wondering, I’ve solidified some Couchsurfing spots for my first week in Barcelona, but have nothing planned beyond that. Sound crazy? It totally is. I love it. I don’t know how long I’ll be gone or where the hell I’ll be, but things will come together eventually.