I woke up this morning lying in bed thinking about the day, and what I had to do. Suddenly it popped into my mind; hitting me as if I had run into a brick wall. The reason he doesn’t introduce me to his friends or let me in any further is because he doesn’t see a future with me. Yet for months I kept making excuses; it’s because I travel too much and am never here, he’s busy, I can be overpowering.
A friend recently told me that whatever you think about first thing in the morning is what you truly feel about something. It’s like your brain hasn’t had the time to spin yet.
I think my brain had been spinning for a long time. It kept spinning these fantasies that it would work out, I would get what I needed, he would learn how to open up, trust, and let me in to his inner circle. But it was spinning because everything I needed to know was right in front of me in plain sight this morning as I lay in bed. No spin, no fantasies, just facts.
I had become one of those women…the kind that stay too long, that try too hard – and they can’t see what is so clear. He’s not asking you to join him with his friends in the mountains this weekend because he doesn’t want me there.
Wait – I thought this was a travel blog?!
Yes I normally write about travel, but I’m just a regular person going through stuff like everyone else – some things I go through that at 30,000 ft in a plane. I like to write about other aspects of my life at times. Plus – my life of travel has some drawbacks at times, and this relationship stuff is one of them.
But it you want to get back to travel – then check these favorites out:
Best Hikes Around the World I’ve Completed
99 Best Travel and Life Tips
Traveling Along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way
Walking the Camino de Santiago
My Story of How I Ended Up With Blood Clots From Flying
Just the other day I talked to him about how much I hate smoking…and how I could never date a smoker. It’s not because of the smell or even the health aspects, it’s because I don’t understand the addiction. I don’t understand why people can’t just stop something that isn’t good for them. Hello hypocrite.
I may not be smoking, but I’m just as bad. I can’t seem to pull myself out of this. I’m addicted to this relationship that can make me unhappy and insecure. It’s so weird that someone you have so much fun with and can make you so happy, the happiest I’ve ever been, can also be so hurtful.
Why am I ok with being happy some of the time?
Picking Up the Pieces
One of my girlfriends was visiting me when he broke it all off. All I can say is thank God for girlfriends. She continued to check in on me the weeks after she left. She’d give me pep talks, commiserate with me and be the voice in my ear.
I looked at her text, “Someone told me once that the best defense is to be as happy as possible (at least on the outside). Easier said than done of course. Don’t retreat! Chin up, smile, hug yourself, hug others. You are truly a BADASS, even on the days you don’t believe it. Watch that pouncing kitty video and laugh. Drink lightly, exercise daily. Meditate, sleep 8 hours a day. Call me anytime. Seriously. Been there. And you won’t be there forever. It’s temporary. Sending you so much love, sister!!!!”
As I read over her advice, “the best defense is to be as happy as possible (at least on the outside)” I had a revelation. Why should I have to ‘act happy’? I have the best job in the world – I work for myself and travel all over the world. And in my non-travel time I foster kittens; cute, adorable, kittens. Travel and kittens; I shouldn’t have to act happy – this is the best life ever.
Grief and Menopause
As my friend noted, breaking up isn’t easy. I always think the hardest part is to accept the fact that the power just went off. That person, who you talked to every day, is suddenly silent and missing from your life – it’s sort of like someone died. And with every death there comes grief. And that’s where I am, wading in a pool of sorrow and grief.
Most of the time I’m ok, yet there are these moments when I’m lying in bed trying to go to sleep or slowly wake up that sorrow suddenly flows through me so powerfully that it immediately moves me to tears. It feels like another being or entity just went through my entire body. I chalk most of that up to perimenopause. The waves of emotions come and you just can’t stop them.
Even my doctor said to me the other day that menopause is like reverse puberty – all of the emotions and insecurities you remember from being 12 or 13 come back to haunt you. And the strange thing is that just when you think you know who you are and have built up this incredible independence and strength through your 30’s and 40’s, boom…it seems to disappear and you are reduced to the awkward, self conscience teenager mind again. That’s what I think about as that wave of sorrow passes through me.
Attachment Theory and Relationship Struggles
While dealing with the grief and desperately looking for explanations, I stumbled across the book Attached. It talks about the science of adult attachment. It was eye opening for me as I read about the modes of attachment and stories about other relationships that had the same issues I was having. Suddenly I didn’t feel as alone or crazy. My anxious style wasn’t getting what it needed and it would spiral out of control. It also became clear to me that my other half of the relationship was likely acting the way he was because he was scared of the commitment.
On The Road to Relationship Recovery
I’ve really only loved 2 men in my limited dating life. One left me for another woman who he eventually married and they have kids now. That was pretty hard, and took years to get past. But this one has a different twist and demise. After 5 years we just realized that it doesn’t work. I need reassurance, and he fears commitment. Neither one of us were getting what we needed. And in some ways it’s a deeper hurt because I still love him and sadly just realize that it can’t work.
Then there are times when something comes over me and I realize it will all be ok. A calm, a sense of normalcy and confidence comes back. These moments still seem to be fleeting, but I know this process – I’ve been here before sadly. They will eventually overtake the horrible sadness, and insecurity. I’ll be back on my mental feet again…at least I hope so.
And if not, I’ve always got kittens.
How You Can Foster Kittens!
Contact your local animal shelter. Almost all shelters provide fostering opportunities for members of the community and would really appreciate your help. Before you can foster, however, you need to get approved by the shelter and fill out all the necessary paperwork.
More info on how to foster kittens
In Denver I works with Dumb Friends League to foster and they are WONDERFUL! How you can foster with Denver DFL
By Catherine Graham February 14, 2019 - 12:50 pm
Thank you for telling your story. I’ve been there. Lots of us have. Healing happens but comes quicker with intention. This article is a great start.
By Sarah Kenney February 14, 2019 - 2:53 pm
We don’t care that you are a travel blogger. You write about whatever you would like. It is wonderful to understand different dimensions of a person. But, when you are ready to have levels of your privacy back…then that is A-okay too. It takes such courage to open up and share your world. I stopped blogging because it was all too much…the sharing, lack of privacy, exposure. I commend you for being a strong enough person to put yourself out there to relate to others. Your wonderful positive attitude and sense of humor are lovely…and that will keep getting you through this rough patch in life. Listen to your friend, this will not last forever…life will become happy and normal once more.
By Leigh February 14, 2019 - 4:11 pm
You deserve WAY better, Sherry. And now you have space for it! Thanks for sharing.
By Laura February 14, 2019 - 6:19 pm
I have no brilliant words of wisdom. I just wanted to say you are, honestly, one of the biggest badasses I have ever come across. I love your writing and your photography and the fact that you just do your thing without worrying about what everyone else is doing. You live an enviable life and you built it all on your own. I’m sorry this didn’t work out, but I truly hope the right person is out there for you. You deserve to be happy and appreciated for all that you are.
On a more practical note, if you need a pick me up beyond kittens, I suggest searching YouTube for videos of ‘baby goats in pajamas.’ You can thank me later…. ?
By Kirk February 19, 2019 - 11:50 am
Aw, shucks. Nice piece. Way to share your soul and somehow make it all relate back to travel, self-determination, and (of course) kitties. Hang in there, hug your cat, and keep the faith. Sending hugs & cheers & vino rosso toasts from afar…
By Sherry February 22, 2019 - 7:09 pm
Thanks so much Kirk! Yes…we need more wine…wine always helps!
By Nora February 21, 2019 - 1:03 pm
Thank you so much for sharing, Sherry! This is a very compelling and relatable story. I’ve written/experienced a few such stories myself! I went so far as to publish a roundup post on my travel blog of breakups I’ve had on the road – so, as far as I’m concerned, anything is fair game when it comes to writing about the travel lifestyle – because it’s just that: a lifestyle!
And life still happens at 30,000 feet. 🙂
I hope that your grief process is short, smooth, and sweet in its own way. This is your chance to really take care of yourself – though I suspect you’re already pretty good at that. 🙂
By Angela Sobral March 8, 2019 - 9:24 am
Hummm… you should cancel this post (since he can read it, and he will know you are vulnerable) and read instead “Why Men Love Bitches”.
By Sherry March 17, 2019 - 3:20 pm
I actually sent it to him first to make sure he was ok with me posting it.
By Angela March 17, 2019 - 3:48 pm
The important thing is to smile again! Take care!
By Rachel Elizabeth April 13, 2019 - 9:38 am
Wow, Sherry, I just read this and found it very relatable. My own dating life can drive me insane, and this brought me back to earth again. I think you’re an amazing person and one of my role models. It was so wonderful seeing you in NYC. <3
By Sherry April 17, 2019 - 10:49 pm
It was super seeing you again in NYC too! It seems like you are doing really well and I’m so happy for you! And remember – any time you want to guest post – let me know!