It’s my journey. You can come if you want

So, it’s April 11th and Spring is nowhere in sight. Winters in Vermont are long, and they’re getting longer. This year, I’ve realized that seven months of cold isn’t working for me. The older I get, the harder it is to deal with. 

So, is it time for a change? I think it is.

I’ll be 42 next month. And I still feel 16 inside most of the time. It confuses me, and it also makes me question my life choices. I haven’t made great ones. Every decision I’ve made has revolved around someone else. A man, or a guy, mostly. (I think the title of “Man” has to be earned). For as long as I can remember, I’ve never made decisions that made ME a priority. 

I graduated high school in June of 1991. I got married that August. I was a child emotionally. I had no business getting married, but I couldn’t make it on my own. I had no idea what being a wife meant. Being part of a married couple. Or marriage in general. All my life, I had decisions made for me. “No, Jodie, that’s not meant for you.” “Ugh, whatever,” I’d say. But not this time. No one said this to me. I wish someone had. All I wanted was to get out of my parent’s house and be on my own. I had no idea I could’ve possibly done it by myself. It ended up being a three-year disaster, and I was divorced by 21. 

And then, there was another guy. Even though I thought so at the time, he didn’t deserve to be called a man. My life was on his schedule. He would dictate where I lived, what I would do. When I mustered up enough courage to tell him I wasn’t ok with this, his response was, “So I should decide to go where YOU want to?” He said this with a laugh like it was completely ridiculous that I should even question such a thing. I shut up. He had a way of making me believe that, and I did. After all, I should be grateful he was taking me with him, wherever that may be. It ended up being New York City, until I couldn’t take him anymore. Thankfully, at age 23, I could move back in with my parents for a while and not feel like a complete failure.  But still, I wasted three years of my beautiful youth on this douche. 

Blah blah blah, fast forward years and years, and I’m at a turning point. After being at the mercy of others, shouldn’t I be the one to decide my future? What is wrong with that, exactly? 

From the age of eighteen until now, I’ve allowed people to decide what is right for me. Will they still love me if I do this? Will they leave me if I do that? The worries are always the same, and so is the outcome. Everyone else wins, and I lose. I go along with them, and they live their lives, and I am just a passenger on their journey. It’s not mine. I want it to be, but it’s not. Eventually, my stop comes, and I’m right where I left off, with the emotional baggage I packed at the beginning, and a hell of a lot more. And there they go. Continuing their lives without skipping a beat, and I’m left wondering what in the hell just happened. 

Now, I’m not blaming anyone for this life I’ve lived. I’m responsible for every choice I’ve made, and even though I still feel angry about how I’ve been treated, it does me no good. I still beat myself up, though.

How did I allow myself to get here?

I’ve decided that I’d like to change things, even though it’s hard. To make decisions for myself, even if that means I end up making them alone. I mean, I know what it’s like having my life revolve around someone else, and it’s not working. 

I’m going to move away. Someplace warm. Not to escape from anything, but simply for survival. I deserve to be happy 12 months a year instead of 3 or 4. This time, I’m not moving with anyone. No one can come with me, and as terrified as I am that I’ll be forgotten, I can’t let that stop me. I just can’t. Lives will go on without me, but my life will go on too. And this new life might be just what I needed. Maybe moving forward alone won’t be so bad. 

This time around, this is MY journey, and I’m not just someone’s passenger. I’m I control of where I go and what I do, and if my relationships are strong and real, they will be able to handle the distance between us. After all, if I’m truly happy, I’ll be better at these relationships anyway. They might actually thrive. It’s almost exciting to imagine. 

My time is now. I’m working on my own happiness. And wherever I end up, I’ll make sure to have a guest room. Come visit me ☺️

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