When I was in high school, I pictured myself at thirty living as a single woman in a high rise apartment overlooking the city lights of Dallas. I would have a high paying job, be a workaholic, and have a huge adorable dog like a St. Bernard.
Obviously, my life has taken a much different direction. And I do LOVE my life. But sometimes I look back at the me of even five years ago and wish I could be more like her at times. This is the girl who traveled around Washington DC by herself, going on long afternoon sketching trips throughout the city or taking the metro to the Smithsonian museums or Sculpture Parks (or Georgetown Shopping). That girl traveled around Italy by herself, and thought nothing of hopping on a train to a distant city. One night she even traveled home to Kansas by herself by way of Rome, and then headed back across the ocean a week later. That girl went off to Greece with a friend for a week with no hotel reservations and no itinerary except to relax and eat some good food. That girl took an internship in Austin and explored every nook and cranny of the city in her short three months there.
It is safe to say that version of me was pretty darn independent. I explored, I experienced, and I enjoyed.
Contrast that to the me of today who asked around yesterday if anyone wanted to go with me across the street to get a snack. When no one did, I stayed put. Across the street. I sat here while my stomach rumbled and I did not get up and walk across the street because no one wanted to go with me.
It struck me later that afternoon that there is something pretty wrong with that, and when did I lose so much of my independence?? Obviously I can’t hop on a plane and head off to an exotic destination on whim, but you would think I could go by myself to the In&Out to grab a Snickers bar.
I’m going to work on it, I’m going to find pieces of ‘that’ me in ‘this’ me. I took my first step today, when at noon I gathered up my lunch and a magazine and without requesting any company, headed up to the roof garden to eat and enjoy some sun. By myself. It’s a small step, but it felt good. I’m an adult now, and I don’t always need someone to hold my hand.