New Year’s Resolution and Emotional Hibernation

October 24, 2016

Here we are yet again. Another birthday, another anniversary of this blog, and another set of resolutions for my 27th journey around the sun.

Overall 26 was an amazing year. Full of incredible adventures, big changes, and deep and moving love. Just a recap, this time last year I had just returned to California from Dublin and was feeling a lot of uncertainty and anxiety about coming home and about the future. My decision to come home was one that was late in the game and I felt a great deal of regret coming home. This soon dissolved however as I focused the remaining part of 2015 on applying for PhD programs. The beginning of 2016 marked another big period of adjustment as I closed the door on two lingering friendships with old love who seemed to be hindering all parties involved in moving on. It was a tough decision, but a good one. The beginning of the year also marked the start of my journey with therapy and the first three months of 2016 were transformative. March and April were all about exploring, climbing camping and really finding my happiness outdoors. There was a quick fling with a nice guy who brought a whole new world of adventuring into my life, but who, a the end of the day, just wasn’t right for me. Then the whirlwind with G. Four weeks of training, three week cross country, a week in New York, three week cross country, a week in LA, 2 week best of the west and a two week best of the west, and in the blink of an eye the hardest thing id ever done in my life was over. These trips were rewarding, but in ways, I am not fully aware of yet. I am still processing how I have changed and what I have learned but I do know for sure the best thing it brought me was Lewis.

Lewis and I met on my second three-week cross-country trip and to be honest with you, at first, I was not interested at all. I was there, doing my job, and frankly really could not be bothered starting something with someone. I don’t know how it happened but liking him snuck up on me. After a night together in New Orleans, which I think we both thought would be a mistake, over the next two weeks that followed we formed a bond that can only be had when you are stuck with someone 24/7 while travelling. It was in monument valley that I knew I loved him, obviously the beginnings of love that would only grow more profound as time went on. After he left we talked every day, for hours. In those conversations we got to really know one another, and somewhere along the line I had a best friend. I decided half way through that trip I wasn’t made for this job and that I was letting myself down by not using my degree and following the dreams I had worked so hard for. I still wanted to be more, and I didn’t want to settle. I accepted my place at Sussex a week later and just five weeks ago I arrived here.

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It has not been an easy adjustment moving here, but I finally feel settled in. That settling in, however, has had some pretty hard consequences. Lewis and I live 5 hours apart. It is an expensive journey up to see each other, and all we really want is to date and spend time together like a normal couple. In the past 4 months, we have been together 9 days. That is a tough pill to swallow. It would be easier if we had an end date in sight, a date when we knew we would be living closer and not doing long distance, but that day isn’t going to come. I am here for 3-4 years and he just started a college course up there that will take 4 years. We are both entrenched where we are and we don’t think it is fair to deprive the other of the love and affection that comes with physically being with someone day in and day out. That being said, we have come to the very difficult decision to end our relationship. It is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done because there are so much love and so much understanding there, but we both know that sometimes love isn’t enough. We would rather have these beautiful moments to reflect back on then tarnish this by trudging through the trenches of four years of a long distance relationship.

So that’s that.

Life must go on as none of us can stop this train. So forward I will look to my new year’s resolution. For this year I wanted to keep it simple and say I am resolving to protect my heart, this loving relationship part of me and tuck it away for now. I know what it feels like to be in love with someone that treats you right and really knows your soul and I don’t want anything else than that again. I am not in a good position in my life to date, I have so much right now that I need to do for me and for my career that I am not capable or available in the way I should be to commit to something serious, to date casually or even have flings. I have not cared about this so much in the past, and I do not regret this at all. It has brought me some amazing people and some unforgettable experiences. But right now, at least for this year, I am going to hibernate that part of my heart and my being and focus on finding joy in other areas of life. Find joy in being single and alone. Find joy in friends. Find joy in giving back and contributing something to the world. This will be my focus. Along with this, I have decided to do away with my social media accounts, my facebook and my twitter. I want to live more in reality and less in the false existence on the web. I want to know my own self worth and not have that contingent upon the image I paint for others online.

This is the year of self-love. The year of authenticity. The year of  building something real.

Erica
More about Erica

Californian living in the UK. Erica is currently pursuing her PhD in Historical Geography at the University of Sussex. She is a writer and a researcher, a dirtbag and an explorer. Heart of the Nomad is her creative space to contemplate the complexities of life and share pictures and videos from adventures.

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