Not at all.
Applying for that fellowship did exactly what I needed it to do:
- It reminded me that the possibilities for my life are infinite, and I never know when a new one will pop up unexpectedly. So I should not lose hope or dwell in a place of stagnancy.
- It gave me something positive to focus on for the 2 months that Oldman and I were "broken up" (a term I use loosely, since we still talked from several states away and were obviously still in love), and I was sadly saying goodbye to many beloved friends, students, and co-workers in Maryland.
- It reminded me that if necessary, I can plan amazing adventures and execute them all on my own.
Thank god I don't need to. Not this time.
After Oldman left Maryland to go gather his thoughts and take some time for himself at his parents' place in Louisiana, I wasn't sure what was going to happen with us, or him, or me. What ended up happening was that we had two months of deep growth and perspective, and in the end, decided that there was still plenty of love between us to explore.
I am practiced at going on solo adventures after relationships with men don't work out. My past breakups were the fuel I used to backpack through Europe by myself for six weeks, take a 5-day silent retreat in a forest ashram in California, and take a month-long road trip out west.
These were life-changing adventures that were invaluable to my personal evolution. And they were all done by myself. Alone. While I spent the majority of each trip inspired and happy, there were dark, lonely moments in all of them as well.
This strong, independent woman thing was great, and I was always clear that I didn't want to do it forever. People looked up to me for my solo adventures; they called me courageous and brave. And yes, I was. And I am. And what they didn't know was that I didn't take those independent journeys because I wanted to, I did it because I had to. If I wanted to travel and explore, I was going to have to do it alone, because I couldn't find anyone else to join me.