Friday, July 23, 2010

A Year in The Making - My 2009 Vacation Journal

Well, now that the “Rules” are all in place, I am waiting to see what this next year brings as far as results, obstacles, breakdowns and breakthroughs. I am anxious and excited for this journey and everything to be discovered on the way.

The one thing that is really exciting me in this moment is how much I am enjoying writing. So, I thought I’d start another writing project. Almost exactly one year ago, my ex-boyfriend, Cory and I went to England. I brought a travel journal with me and took over 800 photos on that trip. I wanted to come home and immediately put together an online journal of my entire experience but did not make it a priority. It seems quite appropriate now as I think of all that has changed since then as well as the changes that continue to occur for me spiritually and energetically. It was an incredible trip and I learned a lot more about myself and my relationships than I ever thought I could. Now that I have found a forum that I enjoy, it seems as if the timing is absolutely perfect for a reflection on this trip.

Quick side note as a friend of mine has asked me a couple of times… I haven’t yet felt the need to change the names of anyone I write about. If anyone disagrees and would like me to not include their name, please email me at tverdexk8@yahoo.com or on my Facebook account. My goal is to turn this blogging project into a book at some point and I would never, ever want anyone to feel uncomfortable by being mentioned in my writings. At the same time, my intention with everything I share is to bring candid, honest and genuine experiences out into the open and I do hope that the people in my life are comfortable enough to know that I have nothing but good, clean intentions with every story I tell.

With that, let the reflections begin…

Somewhere between August 10 – 11, 2009 (not sure which time zone I was in at this exact moment)

It’s a strange feeling looking at the map that is in front of me on airplane. I am watching as the little plane icon makes its quiet trip across the Atlantic.

I was born in Denver, Colorado but grew up on the West Coast in Washington State and spent my early adult years in Southern California. The only time I ever saw the Atlantic in person was from a little marina restaurant in Northern Massachusetts when I was vacationing in New England. Now, I’m hopping the entire thing.

I’m not exactly sure what day or time it is; all I know is that I’m at the beginning of a very new and exciting kind of trip. I’ve always loved to travel. That was definitely the main highlight of my time as a hotel Sales Manager. In fact, the travel was the only thing I ever felt to be rewarding about that job. However, even then, there is something very… standard about traveling around the states compared to the feeling I have in my stomach about stepping into a foreign country. No matter how different the culture may be in St. Louis versus Chicago or Tulsa versus Cambridge, we are still listening to the same news, using the same electrical outlets and driving on the same side of the road. It definitely feels a lot different to be traveling so far away from all of that.

I am starting this trip with a lot of different emotions. So much has changed in the last month - the most drastically in the last two days – and I find myself no longer on a romantic overseas excursion with my yearlong boyfriend. Now I find myself sitting comfortably and happily next to a friend, and in the meantime, conflicted about what might be waiting for me at home.

Two nights ago was UFC fight night. I am such a sucker for a good UFC fight – Cory and I used to get together with his friends and watch the fights either at a casino or at one of his friends’ house. One of Cory’s friends, Aaron, is always down for a UFC fight and usually comes with us.

Cory and I broke up a few months ago, after we had already planned this trip. It was a cordial break up, both of us deciding that our belief systems and what we wanted for the future were very different and that we should probably just remain friends instead of continue heading down a path that was sure to lead to a breakup ultimately anyway. We both still wanted to take this trip, of course and so our travel plans did not change.

Knowing that I was about to spend ten days with him, I really didn’t want to ask him to see the fight with me. Besides, I think he was probably working that night, if I remember correctly. So, I sent a message to Aaron. He agreed to meet me at the Santa Fe Station to watch the fight.

Shortly after he arrived, he asked me where Cory was and why we weren’t watching the fight together. As I had to do with all of our friends, I told Aaron that Cory and I had broken up. Aaron couldn’t contain a smile as he surprisingly asked what had happened. I gave him the brief story and then we settled in to watch the fight. I remember it being a rather boring card that night; however I was having a great time with Aaron. Afterwards, it was obvious neither one of us wanted to go home, so we went bowling. I think we bowled two or three games, laughing the whole time. He made sweet comments about how I drag my foot on the approach and told me how adorable it was. I was starting to see Aaron in a whole different light. I’d always found him attractive, but suddenly there was some sexual energy growing between the two of us and the butterflies began.

Once we finished bowling, it was still clear neither one of us wanted to leave. One of my favorite parts about Las Vegas is the fact that no matter where you are, there is always something to do. So, we went from one side of the casino where the bowling alley was to the other side, where the club was. We paid our outrageous cover charges, got our stamps and went in. We proceeded to have a few beers, laugh, dance and be silly for another couple of hours. At one point, I was dancing like no one was watching, feeling carefree and beautiful when Aaron stopped, walked up to me, put his hands on my face and kissed me right there on the dance floor. My stomach fell to the floor.

We spent the next few hours talking, laughing, kissing and slowly starting to stress about what was happening. He walked me to my car where we continued this behavior until the sky went from black to purple to red to orange and the first rays of the sun started to peek over the mountains. We talked about what we were going to do with Cory, how we were going to handle trying to have a relationship when our mutual connection was my ex-boyfriend. Then we kissed some more and he told me that he and Cory weren’t all that close anyway. I knew that I was getting myself into a mess but I when I looked at him and his adoring smile; the way his eyes gazed into mine and the sweet nothings he whispered about what an idiot Cory was to let me go, I couldn’t help but wonder if everything about Cory was supposed to lead to this. I loved the way his hands felt on my stomach, the strength of his forearms as his hands gently caressed my face. His loving and caring touches were what I was missing so much. Even at our most loving point, Cory never touched me with that kind of sensitivity and care.

We finally parted and I spent the whole next day thinking about him. I would catch myself smiling a silly grin when I thought about all the fun we had and the connection I felt when he looked at me. My stomach would get that wonderful dipping feeling, as if I just reached the top of the climb on a rollercoaster and was heading down for the ride of my life. I was nervous about leaving for ten days and wondered what would happen.

I went to his house that night, laid in his arms on the couch, exhausted from being up the whole night before and knowing that I had to be on a plane the next morning, but wanted to soak up every ounce of his energy before I left. I told him about the things I enjoyed doing and he told me about his love of music. We spent time cuddling in silence and more time talking about the things that excited us about life. I wanted to sleep with him that night but it was clear he didn’t want to. I could already tell that his brain had started working on what was actually going on.

When I left the next morning, I gave him my email address so that we could communicate while I was in England. I told him that we had a mess to deal with when I got back. He smiled, kissed me and told me to go, have a good trip, and we’d deal with everything in ten days.

So here I am, on that plane with Cory sleeping silently next to me. I know this trip is important for many reasons and the one thing I do not want to do is spend this whole trip with my head and my heart back in Las Vegas. So, while I will happily allow myself moments of reflection into that brief but remarkably intense and intimate interaction, I want to remain as focused as possible on this trip and all there is to absorb while I’m in England.

As I take another look at the map in front of me, I see so many other places I want to visit. And now, I no longer need to tell the lie that I am not interested in foreign travel; something I used to tell people that actually translated to “there is no way I could actually make that happen”. It’s been such a gift to finally find a bit of my own gusto. I’m excited about setting and conquering a whole new set of goals and aspirations. Traveling is, for sure, the biggest thing missing from my life. It’s good – no… it’s wonderfully amazing and thrilling to be feeling this again. It will certainly contribute to an unforgettable trip.

Pictures of me and Cory at the Denver Airport

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