Day One: Goals*
Nearly five years ago my longtime boyfriend broke up with me so that he could move to Mexico to start a new life in Baja, California. It wasn’t so maddening that he had ended things with me, after all, couples split up every day of the week. What really angered me was the fact that he had a dream, a really big dream, a dream he’d planned to implement for a long time but held close to his chest. He had been plotting his escape and kept me in the dark until the very last minute when he announced, “I am moving to Mexico, but you can come and visit”. To say that I was shocked and enraged would be an understatement. The door didn’t hit him on his way out.
That afternoon I remember sitting in a cafe feeling extremely stunned, rejected and sorry for myself. I was saying things like, “How could he do this to me? Who does he think he is? Who needs this”? You know, the basic vitriol one spews when one is feeling the pain of knifelike emotions from being “dumped” – it’s a jagged pill to swallow. But then it hit me! The words flew out of my mouth, literally while the thought was forming in my head…”I don’t need him, I can move to Italy now”. There it was: the truth. I’d been keeping my dream under wraps as well.
I couldn’t really see it clearly before because I was blinded inside a relationship with someone I cared for. After the sting of a bruised ego had subsided, I knew in my heart that we weren’t meant to be together. We wanted different lives on different continents. Suddenly there was no one to impede my dream, just like there was no one blocking his. He was on his way to La Paz, Mexico and I was on my way to Orvieto, Italy. I was free to direct my energies toward my goal and in that moment the project of living in Italy began in earnest with actions, not just with words.
Yesterday, five years later, I wrote him a letter thanking him for cutting the ties that kept both of us anchored in a place we no longer wanted to be. I know I’m slow, but I get there.
* During this entire month of November Bootsnall is inviting bloggers from around the world to participate in 30 Days of Indie Travel : a daily blogging effort to look back on our past travel experiences. Today’s chosen topic Goals
Photograph of Sign by Manuela Calvet, 2011