Ever since I watched Titanic, I wanted to have a nude painting done of myself. Just like Rose had.
Ever since I found out there were people who traveled the world and worked simultaneously full-time, I wanted to do it myself.
Every since I learned to cook, I wanted to travel and eat around the world. To learn to cook like a real Italian grandmother, shop and eat like a French woman, and cut fish with the precision of a Japanese chef were just some of the dreams I entertained as my love for cooking grew.
I’ve had these dreams for so long, but I couldn’t pursue them because of my health and limited funds. I’ve solved the funds problem about a year ago. Now, I’m solving the health problem.
I was thinking of going last 2016. But then I met M.
I fell in love with the guy who showed so much emotional maturity, understanding, and potential. He made me laugh like no one can. He understood and accepted me– monsters, scars, and all the craziness in between.
I’ve said no to at least 4 marriage proposals. But to him, I said “YES,” even if we’ve only been together for a year and a few months when we talked about it last year. It surprised the hell out of me, too.
So I postponed my dreams of long term travel. I chose to stay so we can build the foundation of our relationship. It’s almost two years now, and together, we’ve already started building the life we dreamed of. We’ve invested in our future, grown our income, traveled, and seen each other’s uglier sides.
We are ready to marry.
But first, I need to fulfill my lifelong dreams…
The bucket list of places and experiences I’ve been holding on to, and the crazy solo self-exploration I wanted to do long before I dreamed of forever with him.
Exploring the Dark Side
Yes, this trip is to check off several items in my bucket list before I say I do and start my journey of becoming a good mom. But this trip is also about who I am.
I’ve always been a good girl (at least I think so). I paid my bills, did my work, and everything else required to deal with the bad cards handed to me in life. But now that I’m financially, emotionally, and mentally (some people might question this point) stable, I want to explore the dark side.
I’m already well-aware of who I am as a responsible, nice, and loving girl. But I’ve only glimpsed at the dark or grey sides of my personalities a few times. For instance…
- Why am I too analytical even in matters of the heart? I can love and get hurt, but it doesn’t come as easy for me.
- Who am I without the constant goal-setting and hard work that defined my life? Who am i now that I’m no longer in survival mode, and can let my mind and spirit wander aimlessly?
- Who am I without the responsibilities and emotional ties that bound me?
- Is the filtering or grading system I designed, based on past mistakes and experience, to keep myself from getting hurt or wasting time on the wrong people in need of an upgrade? Or is the situation that caused me to question it a fluke, since the person who caused me to question it turned out to be not who I thought he would be? I was a victim of confirmation bias and black swan effect because of that incident. Is there enough evidence here?
These are just some of the questions I’ve always wanted to explore but couldn’t. Until now.
I Know Who I am
I’ve already answered the big questions about myself early in life. So this trip isn’t just a rambling child’s soul-searching mission.
Like everything in life, one must continue learning. New experiences and new learning should be used to deepen the current understanding we have of ourselves. And that’s what this trip is about.
One might think exploring your dark side is a bad idea. I beg to differ. For me, it’s better to know myself thoroughly, even the unsavory bits of my personality. Every person has a dark and light side, one can’t exist without the other, so I might as well get to know that side fully.
I need to know my dark side, not because it’s out of control but because I’m curious, and I know I can learn a lot from that side of me.
1 Year Hall Pass
Hence, the 1-year solo travel and “hall pass.” Starting today, I have one year to prepare for my Single girl bucket-list checking/dark side exploring escapade. While I can go with only two or three months preparation, I want to prepare well for this trip. I need to get healthier, establish systems for our rental business, streamline my writing business, and build the foundation of our future dropshipping/POD business, too.
After that, I will have 1 year to travel solo as a single girl with no emotional ties and responsibilities other than my own. Free to do what I want and to make mistakes.
M is okay with me going, which is a considerable win considering the guy before him never understood this dream. Understandably, though, he’s scared. He’s scared of what might happen or what I might discover.
Still, this is what I want to do before I tie the knot. I love him, but I’ve had these dreams long before him–long before any relationship I’ve had. I owe it to myself to see it through.
Anyway, I still have a year to plan for this.