I’m not much for resolutions. I figure if you want to make a change, do it, don’t wait for the momentum to pass just because the calendar isn’t where you’d like it to be. When it comes to self-improvement it’s always seemed silly to wait for Monday when you can just as easily start a new fitness routine or savings plan on a Thursday.
I always start a new year with high hopes of reading ALL THE THINGS. Inevitably, I’ll set myself up for probable failure with Goodreads Reading Challenge, even though I’ve only met my reading goal once in the past five years.
This year, I was smarter. Having started the year bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and full of reading hope, I aimed to read 50 books this year. But, when fall came as I was only in the 20s, I said to myself, fuck failure, and changed the reading goal, knocking it in half, all the way down to 25, a goal I managed to pass in November, thank you very much.
My grandmother died a year ago today but there are still six voicemails from her on my phone, some from as far back as 2014. I haven’t listened to any of them, can’t listen to them, not now, but I can’t delete them either. She’d call and I’d be busy – at work, at play, at the gym – and I’d leave the message unheard on my phone as a reminder to call her back, to answer for sure the next time she called. And mostly I did, except for when I didn’t.
Growing up, I didn’t know what adulthood would be like. I assumed it would have something to do with doing whatever the fuck I felt like doing, like eating cake for breakfast or staying up all night reading a book or watching a movie. LIFE ON MY TERMS, DAMMIT, that’s about all I knew about adulthood.
I’m an introvert. Sometimes people don’t believe me when I tell them that. But it’s true. I am.
I can do the whole social thing. I can be peppy and friendly and outgoing and all that happy horseshit, but in my little heart of hearts, I am 100% introvert.
This is a thing I’ve known about myself for a lot of years, but it took me a bunch of them to figure out what being an introvert really means for me. I’ve taken most of the quizzes on the internet, and they’ve all declared my introversion without hesitation. They’ve told me I’ll always pick a night in to a night on the town, that I dislike crowds and how I need time to recharge after prolonged social contact. And sure, that’s all true. Crowds make me nervous and angry, days of socialization leave me mentally and physically exhausted and I’ll almost always pick a night around my dining table with some lady friends to a wild night out.
In my line of work, summers tend to be pretty much off limits for personal travel. It’s our busy season, so while everyone else goes to the beach or jets off to faraway lands, I’m in Virginia, working more weekends than not and dreaming of fall-time travel adventures.
By the end of August I was tired but itchy for a new adventure. I hadn’t traveled anywhere since Italy, back in the spring, and my wanderlusting bones were aching. Bored and alone on a Sunday night, I poked around on Buzzfeed and found this quiz. After more than 20 years of using the internet I still can’t pass up a good internet quiz. Especially when it promises to tell me where to go for fall travel if I only plan my perfect day.
In a knife fight against Cinderella, I would win. Ditto for Sleeping Beauty and all those other fairy tale bitches. I’m meaner than all of them put together, to be sure. Plus, they’ve pissed me off. I’m 33 and alone and maybe they’re partly to blame.
See, it’s impossible to be a little girl and not grow up with the fairy tale. It’s just as impossible to not want that fairy tale, to not grow up dreaming of it, to not be disappointed when, yet again, you don’t get your happily ever after.
I’m new here, to this space, and I’m still figuring out what I want it to feel like. Mostly, I want to write about travel adventures and my National Park experiences, partly because I want to remember them and also because I want to share them with anyone who might find them useful. But I’m also a person with a whole bunch of feelings and it just wouldn’t be my space if I didn’t take some time to dump my feelings out on the internet every now and then.