I checked into my Airbnb around 10:00 pm and followed the directions to get inside. I climbed the stairs outside and took my shoes off at the landing. The house had three stories: the top floor where the owners live, the lower level with two bedrooms and a shared bathroom, and the basement level floor with two more rented rooms and a shared bathroom.
I got settled into my room and went to sleep feeling happy and content. The few days prior to arriving in Anchorage were wonderful, fun, encouraging, and beautiful. They were also tiring. I didn’t get much sleep and I was starting to get a cold. I took some cold medicine and tried to let myself sleep in the next day, but I still woke up after about seven hours. I laid around and got some things done like writing reviews of my recent Airbnb stays.
After a few hours, I headed to Target to do some shopping. I talked with my sister while sipping on my Starbucks latte. For the first time in a long time, it felt like a regular day that I would have experienced before I started traveling.
After Target, I headed to Subway to grab a sandwich. The music playing was a country song I had heard many times on the radio station in Fairbanks. It goes “sunrise, sunburn, sunset, repeat.” It was so noticeable to me because you never hear country music playing in Los Angeles. But I had heard this song so much in the last week, I actually recognized it.
I got back to my room at the Airbnb, ate, and watched Like Father on my iPad mini. A guy I had matched with on Tinder messaged me and asked if I like to watch volleyball because there was a game that night and the following night at the University (my profile mentions volleyball). I asked what time the games were and he said 7:30 pm. I thought about it for a while because I needed to pay bills and catch up on some work, like writing. I finally showered and messaged him around 6:30 pm asking if he still wanted to go to the game that night. He wrote back around 7:15 pm saying “Oh, I’m sorry Christy! I was just telling you about the game. I came over to my buddies to help him move.” He continued to message, trying to get to know me.
What the heck?! Who does that? I felt like an idiot for thinking he was asking me out. My face literally got flush with embarrassment. But then I got irritated wondering why he would ask me if I liked watching volleyball and then give me the details as far as days and times, but not actually ask me out. That’s pretty crappy. I didn’t respond to his other messages.
My parents called and I talked with them for a while about their current trip to Colorado. I briefly mentioned that I was on a dating site. My dad started into a rant about what I need to look for in men worth marrying. This really frustrated me. I told my dad I do not plan on getting married again. It cost me significantly, both emotionally and financially, to get out of my marriage. Nobody can ensure their partner will actually be a decent person for decades. My dad was not happy about this and the whole conversation left me feeling incredibly judged and alone.
I want a life partner. I want someone who loves me for me. Not for the person they think I am or for the person they wish I was. I want someone who sees me. My ex-husband never saw me. He didn’t notice anything about me. He didn’t love me. I want someone who actually remembers things about me, asks about my day, asks about things that make me who I am.
I was feeling incredibly lonely. Not just lonely, but completely alone. It’s the feeling that I am not “number one” to anybody. Not a single person in this world puts me first. I am nobody’s “person.” Friends, family – they all have a number one. I am not it. I am somewhere on the list, but will never be number one. There was a pain in my heart knowing I was down on every single list.
I felt sad. And then I felt frustrated. I don’t want to get married again and people can’t seem to understand that, especially my parents. I do want a partner. But there are no guarantees in life. If that person is not who they led me to believe or they change drastically into a terrible person, I want the freedom to get out easily without losing all of my money.
Marriage is one thing in life you cannot control. You can work so hard, do all the right things, and it can still fail. You cannot force your partner to invest in the relationship, and if they don’t, you have two choices. Your first choice is to stay in the marriage, unhappily and hope it gets better. A lot of people do this. I see people all the time who are unhappily married. Your second option is to get a divorce. That’s it. There is not a third option.
This is a bad deal in my eyes. I feel that when people are married, they know they can slack off and their spouse will not divorce them for little things like forgetting a birthday or not helping out around the house. The thing is, all those little things add up. That’s what makes or breaks a relationship. If you’re just dating, people know it’s easier for their partner to end it so they’re more likely to keep investing and be a good partner. Because if not, your partner could easily end it. But with marriage, there’s no such thing as an easy ending.
I was frustrated with the fact that I could have a few amazing days and suddenly feel so sad and lonely. My Myers Briggs personality says my personality type is the type most at home in a relationship and always looking for that life-long partner. It feels like a curse. I am independent and I would rather be alone than be with the wrong person. But yet, I still want that partnership. I want love, intimacy, and adventure. And I don’t have it.
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Hi. I don’t know you but a fb comment led me to your blog. I sold my house, quit my job, bought a van and took a year to travel the US with my kids recently. Though I found it extremely empowering, it was at times an isolating experience. Without the safety net of my normal day to day routine, I found my life pared down to essentials- safety, nourishment, rest, etc. And that meant there was plenty of time left for pondering and realizing. For soul searching. It’s a process. I’m right there with you!
Thank you for reading! I’m impressed you were able to do it with kids! I appreciate your words. It’s definitely a process. I’m finding each city, each person I meet, and each new experience feels new and has different lessons to be learned!
This was really difficult to read but I hope it will help others who are struggling to know they are not alone. So often we just need our parents to love us and accept us exactly where we are in life. Some just don’t know how to do that but it does not mean they don’t love you. They hurt with you–and just don’t know how rightly to express it.
Disappointment can crush you. Don’t let it. And at the risk of sounding overly spiritual and Holy-roller, you are truly not alone. God does love and care for you. I hope and pray you can find peace and satisfaction in your circumstances. And I really am praying for God to send someone to love and cherish you for the beautiful person you are.
Thank you, Margaret! I appreciate your words of encouragement!
This post was tough to read. My heart breaks for you . I think you are right on point about marriage. My first marriage and subsequent divorce nearly killed me. It can destroy you if you let it. What I see in you is a strong independent successful woman who will ultimately win the war, despite losing a few battles along the way.
One thing I learned from my divorce was to recognize what I didn’t want in a future relationship. I found my true soulmate when I met Don on the K-Earth 101 dateline 20 years ago. I struggled to accept someone who loved me more than he loved himself. You are open to meeting people and you bring a lot to a relationship. I hope you find your life partner.
If your travels ever bring you to Arizona, we have lots of room.
Thanks, Patty! I think you’re right, there are battles and then there’s the war. Sometimes the battles get to me. But hopefully I’ll win the war in the end.
I’m glad you found your soulmate! You’re right, I’ve been learning a lot about what I don’t want and what I do want from a relationship. It’s a learning process for sure.
I will definitely let you know if I’m in AZ! 🙂
Christy my heart aches reading this. You are an incredible person and deserve the very best. You deserve to be seen for how amazing you are. I know how you feel but don’t lose hope. There is someone out there that will appreciate you and accept you for which you are. Hugs and positive thoughts your way.
Thank you, I appreciate it!