I love traveling. I can drive for hours, upon hours, listening to music, laughing with the kids and enjoying the scenery. I just love seeing the road, the trees, license plates of people traveling here, to there and everywhere. I wonder where they are going, and how far they have to go, if its a permanent trip or just a vacation of sorts. The GPS has become my friend, switching from the music to GPS to make sure I’m still on track, longing to hear the voice telling me, “Your destination has been reached.” I haven’t taken any real long trips since over the Spring. The last trip would bring me closer to home from Texas, a whopping 16 hour trip. I got a late start that day, leaving out just after 5pm. I knew I was in for a long ride, but I was up for the challenge, excited about the transition, but apprehensive about starting over. I liked Texas, except for those extremely hot days. Oh boy, times I didn’t want to leave the house. I made many friends, learned to adapt to being totally on my own, also adding to my map of places I have lived. I drove straight through that day, all night while the kids slept. I think I wore their little ears out with gospel music that stayed on repeat the whole way, but It kept me awake. Nuisance of parents.
I moved to Texas because I needed to break free of the rut that I had found myself in, living in the shadows of an ex husband was a life I just wasn’t willing to live anymore. I wanted my identity back, the free spirit, making it out of no way, me. An idea that was short lived. Court orders would seek to constrict my ability to live anywhere, unless I was willing to fork the bill.
I thought divorce would sever the ties, but not completely when kids are involved. So between my time, his time, proximity was a sure challenge that I would face for a while to come. I had to make a choice to come within few hours drive of him, to ease up some of the burden on me, So my traveling saga continues this Christmas. I’m wavering between being excited and just wishing I could stay in the comforts of my home, just me and the kids. I have gotten accustomed to that. I must go, to say the least, contrary to my family thinking I take this visitation thingy to seriously. That is up for debate I suppose.
I guess I could be defiant, and just not go, but defiance has never been a quality of mine. I guess I could plead with him, but I already know not to waste my time. Those type of conversations always lead to me being mocked. Don’t you have a man? Is he coming with you? What are you waiting for? I avoid that at all cost. He always try to counsel me on what it takes to get and keep a man. All I can say is WOW. The old infamous if you just let a man do however he pleases, perhaps we would still be married sermon. I guess I should feel guilty for wanting to be loved, and appreciated. Inside I’m screaming, “spare me the advice, please!” All I have left for him is being cordial, nothing more, nothing less. I have friends there, most of whom I have outgrown, or maybe they have outgrown me. I go and see them, smile and look at my phone to see if I can escape the meaningless conversations, or the offers to get drunk, in which I had given up drinking years ago. I think they like to hear my answer, or see if it will change. Comical really. My family has been through a lot this year, lost of loved ones, makes this time of year bittersweet. I love to visit with them, and they love to see me, but more so, they want me to travel because I want to, not because I have to. Trying to explain it’s not that big of a deal, falls on deaf ears. I’m thinking that they hate it more than I hate if for myself. For the first time, in forever, they finally accept me, more than before. They don’t necessarily get me, but that is alright. The summer time provided them a look into and appreciation for what drives me, differences and all. I shared with them some of my writings, and they couldn’t believe I still carried that talent. I didn’t try to conceal who I was anymore. That is a win. There is always a purpose for the roads you travel.
In a sense I am a traveler seeking to find my place again, a sense of who I am, and to go after what I always wanted, rather doing what others wanted of me. To keep on that road of self discovery, deepening my relationship with God. I am striving to dream again, those dreams that got deferred so that others could fulfill theirs. Reaching for those stars in the distance that disappeared so long ago, now reappearing. Listening for the music again, allowing me to dance with joy and rhythm of life. Painting beautiful pictures with the world as my canvas. What I have working for me now, that I let go before, is my total dependence on God. Letting my light shine, and no longer allowing anyone to put it out.
My responsibilities to my kids, to teach them the importance of building relationships with their dads even if they are not always around. I must do my part, to foster the relationship between them, regardless of the inconvenience it causes. Until we come up with alternative arrangements, we are traveling this Christmas, smile or not, it’s going to happen. I choose to smile.
My GPS hasn’t chimed in yet, so I must keep going. I’m excited about my future destinations, and what all that entails. The good thing is my traveling outlook, is that the roads are clear, maybe a few bumps here and there, but no real congestion to tend with. But if it were, I packed light. I have dropped off a few insecurities along the way, my heart has done some mending, and those memories serve as a backdrop to my many lessons and blessings. So when the sun shines I smile, when it rains I dance in it because even trees need that to grow, clouds just make you remember that, this too shall pass.
God is always with me even when it seems I’m traveling solo, but he also knows how much I want that confidant. He says,” I’m working on that.” God allows little annoyances, and reminders so that you never forget just how far you have come and to appreciate what’s ahead. I know he has plans for me, but I’m thankful for the detours because now I’m focused, I need his GPS, I don’t trust my own. Even though I still have to do things that I don’t always want to, I can do so with a peace of mind. I will keep my friend time short, and not get into debates with my family about my traveling episodes. We will see how that goes. As for the ex, someone needs to ship him by fedex to destination, get over yourself.
This trip for Christmas is a mere six hours, I think I can manage that. I’m going to find something fun to do while I’m there. My childhood church always has the best Christmas Cantatas with lots of music and refreshments to follow. I’m excited to see where the road will take me this Christmas, ushering in a new year, with a new outlook, with fool proof GPS, surely to keep me on track.