1 – There is no such thing as a fool proof plan – however, there is such a thing as a fool with a plan! Couldn’t be more true of my efforts to book, 3 flights and 2 hotels! Manage to book first flight, last flight and one hotel! Totally forgot the other flight and hotel realising at almost the last minute! All sorted though via some travel jiggerypokery (always wanted to get that word into a blog)
2- I am no longer afraid of tiny tin can planes, having now been on a 30 seater, if i am completely honest i loved it, closest i will ever get to a private jet- however where there is a positive usually a negative isn’t far behind! Whilst flying from Orlando MCO to Washington DC Ronald Reagan on a slightly larger plane, we encountered a truly terrifying storm which made the turbulence appalling and the decent & landing extremely stressful- but thanks to really wonderful captain and staff on the Jet Blue flight I am here to tell the tale.
3- I have a skill for honest writing, truthful, heartfelt difficult writing, and not about something I made or somewhere I’ve been, just about me & my thoughts. I have always been one for the flamboyant and dramatic – I know, I know, you’re all shocked by this admission! Nevertheless during this trip I have avoiding the overly theatrical and focused on the exceptionally heartfelt, something you dear readers have been exceedingly keen on.
4 – I am happy being chilled out, not achieving something all the time. I like my own silent company, since being here I have gone through what I now call the 5 stages of being alone.
“Denial and Isolation” – the awful realisation I had that despite my protests that I am the queen of being happy alone, once it was thrust upon me I was suddenly very aware of being ‘lonely’ rather than alone.
“Anger” I can say with entire sincerity, I was really angry that at 26 I was alone, no boyfriend, no casual fling, no friends to hang out with, no mum to go for coffee with.
“Bargaining” I decided that it was fine, I bargained with myself that I would stick it out for 2 weeks and if I really wasn’t happy still then I would go home safe in the knowledge I had ‘tried’ and god knows we all love a trier!
“Depression” followed, although very fleetingly, I was homesick, sleep deprived and had come to the conclusion the entire trip was a mistake…after all this came “Acceptance” which was a welcome friend, I realised that this trip wasn’t a forever, it was a tiny part of my life, MY life. As the saying goes we come into this world with nothing and leave the same way, it’s what we do in the living that matters.
Oh did I mention these 5 stages happened during the first week of my trip – see always space for a little drama. Out of that week though I learnt the difference between being alone and being lonely.
5- I like nature more than I thought, i went on a beautiful beach, swam in the ocean and meandered down the Itchetucknee River and I lived through it all to tell the tale. I am however still terrified of bugs. Especially the ants who tried to eat me and the roaches that forced a truly epic girlie scream and leap onto a chair from me.
6 – I like way more foods than I thought – foods that are not always cheese or meat based. I have no had a dairy milk fruit and nut since I arrived although in the practice of full disclosure I have eaten a substantial amount of ice cream, cake and key lime pie – and you know what the moments on the lips were 100% worth the life time on the hips….arse….double chin!
7- I don’t need to drink to have fun – being around people whose Saturday night doesn’t involve drunkenly stumbling home at 1am, however I will be indulging in a French Martini at Restaurant Bar and Grille with mu girls my second night home and a Lemon Drop shortly after that.
8 – I’ve learnt to sleep in silence and darkness. No tv, no radio no light. Just me. Oh and for those who know I still sleep with a bear called cedeic, I left him at home, so yay me!
9 – I thought I knew a lot about the world, I know hardly a grain of sands worth, something I plan to change. I started changing it mostly when I arrived here in Washington DC, I have stood at the feet of Lincoln & Jefferson, I’ve read the names of the victims of the Holocaust, I’ve seen real Pandas, fed an iguana, stood where Martin Luther King Jr stood for his ‘i have a dream speech’ the list goes on and on and on and on. In a few days I will be at Niagara Falls and in Toronto! Will be immersing myself in the life & history there too. I plan on doing the same when I get home, lots of weekends away indulging in history and culture.
10 – I am happy. That is all.
Whilst you are reading this I will have spent the morning basking in the awesomeness of the Newseum then strolled over to the Supreme Court, Capitol Hill and Library of Congress.
Happy Friday y’all