I gave myself 6 weeks to do a cross country road trip. Most of the time would be alone. All of the driving was alone with me an some audiobooks or music. Most nights were alone, with the exception of an occasional roommate at an Airbnb.
All this alone time is hell for most people I know. But I was ok with it, and I was up for that challenge.
I was 8 days into the trip when I got to a small Montana town on the outskirts of Yellowstone. I found the world’s coziest roadside motel, decorated with the owner’s wildlife photography and photos of a bear they hired for a photoshoot. I was the only person staying there that night.
When I woke up, something felt weird as I drove to Yellowstone and noticed the mountains looming. Late October in Yellowstone is really off-season and winter is coming. The place is pretty empty except for a few travelers, lots of bison and other wild animals.
I planned to hike so I picked up a map and the obligatory bear spray. I parked my car at an overlook and looked deep into a gorge below. I froze. I felt completely overwhelmed and like my limbs were too heavy to move. It felt like a sudden onset of depression, but I didn't know what was going on.
I looked at the map. I looked down the path. I looked down the gorge at the rushing water. I was surrounded by so much natural beauty and yet I felt a deep sadness. I watched a couple stop for a photo, and then I finally had the words to identify what was happening.
I was sad because I had no one to share this experience with.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m incredibly independent. I’m not afraid of being alone (except for being alone and encountering a bear.). I even love traveling alone because of all the freedom.
But all I wanted was My Person to share it all with. Not just a friend or traveling buddy. I wanted my lobster, to quote the TV show Friends.
Before this, I had given up on ever finding a partner. I figured I wasn’t meant for the life that I wanted because I hadn't even come close to meeting a worthy partner. I would embrace my status as Single By Choice.
I abandoned my true heart’s desire because it seemed too hard.
In that moment in Yellowstone I felt that changing the goal wasn’t the answer. I truly accepted that I wanted to be partnered. I wanted someone to be a witness to my life – to be my cheerleader and support when I needed it and to expand my capacity for love to a greater depth than what I could do on my own. I WANTED LOVE.
This wasn’t being Single By Choice. I was single because I had given up on getting what I really wanted. And what I really wanted was still tugging at my heart.
The sadness that I felt that day helped me see what was really important. Sadness's job is to point out that something that you value appears to be missing.
Don’t give up the dream because it seems hard. You don’t change the goal because it hasn’t worked out yet.
If you want love, you absolutely deserve it. I believe that 100%. If you really want a partner, you can have that partner.
Never, ever, evergive up on your dream. No one else gets to tell you what your dream gets to be or how big it is. That dream was given to you because you can achieve it. It's up to you to figure out how to achieve it. It's planted as a fire in your belly and you must tend to the fire and do everything it takes to make it a reality.
What is tugging at your heart? Don't listen to the voice that says "Yeah, but..." Right now, I just want you to listen for the little voice that is whispering "I still really want..."
You don't need to know how you're going to get it or when it's going to happen. Right now, I just want you to listen for that voice and let it be heard.
Comment below and tell me the thing you still really want. Say it out loud. Let me or someone that cares about you witness you.