Day 62: Sadness in Anchorage

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.

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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 awhile 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 awhile about their current trip in 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 the love, the intimacy, and the adventure. And I don’t have it.

Post Edited By: Mandy Strider
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Day 25 – Driving to Whidbey Island, Washington

The drive from Portland, Oregon to Whidbey Island, Washington was full of bridges. The route took me through Seattle, during rush hour traffic. I gotta say, Seattle traffic is almost as bad as Los Angeles traffic. I hit traffic just south of the city in Tacoma, then again near the downtown Seattle area, and again just north of the city.

After being stuck in traffic for an eternity, I desperately needed to find a restroom and somewhere to eat. I was thankful to find a nearby Target, but panicked when I thought my car wouldn’t fit in the garage, so I eventually parked across the street in the bank parking lot. Praying I wouldn’t get a ticket or pee my pants, I raced through the structure until I finally arrived at Target.

Feeling much better after using the restroom, I got a sandwich to-go, and a few items I needed. My car was safe and sound, so I was relieved. I hit the road and ate on my drive. The GPS directed me to take the route that first went to Fidalgo Island and then crossed over to Whidbey Island. Once I left highway 5, the terrain turned to farmland. Then all of a sudden, I came across a huge bridge so I stopped just before it, took some pictures and started walking on it.

It turns out the bridge is called Deception Pass, a very popular tourist site that is on the National Register of Historic Places. I walked a little bit across the bridge on the narrow path. To my right was an insanely high drop to the swirling ocean below. To my left, cars raced on the other side of the wire handrail. Looking down at the swirling waters made me dizzy so I turned back to my car.

I continued on to Whidbey Island and arrived at my Airbnb in Oak Harbor around 8:30 pm. The Airbnb was a house in a residential neighborhood and I had a room with a shared bathroom, shared kitchen, and shared living space. Barry, the owner, met me and showed me around. Barry was in his late 50s, had gray hair with a gray mustache, and was around 5’9”.

Barry asked that I take my shoes off upon entering. We walked around the kitchen as he showed me where I could put food in the pantry and refrigerator. He rents out three of the five bedrooms on the second floor. Each room has a name assigned to it – my room was called “Sage”. He had designated space in the pantry and refrigerator for each room.

It wasn’t clear if Barry was married, divorced, or widowed. There was evidence of a wife, but he didn’t mention her and said “It’s just me here” and I wasn’t sure if he meant for good, or just at the moment. Barry said one of the other rooms was also rented out to a lady who was there for a family reunion but “she doesn’t sleep on the ground.” Apparently, they were all camping and she didn’t want to so she spent time with them all day and slept at Barry’s at night. Barry explained that she wouldn’t be home until around 11:00 pm.

Barry showed me the laundry area and one of the rooms upstairs that was not being rented out because he wants to repaint it and fix it up a little. For the time being, he placed an ironing board and a desk for shared use. Barry’s room was also upstairs but he had his own bathroom.

It was late so I decided I’d just do laundry, which was down stairs. It was a little awkward because Barry was at the computer down stairs so I kept passing him as I went to the laundry area. My bedroom door didn’t have a lock on it, so I had to trust  that he and nobody else would take my stuff.

Click here to see a 2 minute video of the drive from Portland to Whidbey Island.

Post Edited by: Misty Kosek