What are you doing for the rest of your life?
So, I'm sitting on a plane flying from Toronto to Seattle, once again, at a major crossroads in life. Perhaps precipice is a more appropriate description of my current situation. I'm feeling as though I'm at the edge of a cliff more than a mere fork in the road.
I'm on this plane having a horrendous deja vu moment. I've made this trip before. Twice, in fact. The 'my life just imploded so I'm going to run away to my far away friends trip' trip. Obviously, I've coined this expression, given that I'm not sure a lot of others have ever made this trip, much less three times.
The sad part is, this flight was booked long before I knew I was taking 'this trip'. It was supposed to be a well-deserved getaway for my boyfriend of four years and me. We had both been striving (not entirely sure what for at this point) and working towards the arrival of our coveted week of vacation. An almost escape from reality.
Long story short, in proper Katie Long fashion (never a dull moment) I could not resist the urge to discuss the state of our sputtering relationship one week to the day before our vacation was to begin. Hence, why I am today sitting on a plane by myself making this blasted trip once again.
On the bright side, they always say, three times a charm, or three strikes you're out. Who 'they' are, I have no idea, but I'll take it anyway.
For my viewing pleasure on board, I selected the movie, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. It wasn't to depress myself any more than I already was, but honestly I just love Steve Carrell. Very soon after the two main characters in the movie meet, they facetiously ask each other what they are doing for the rest of their lives, which in this case is in around 12 days. It's a bit of a far-fetched plot, but actually almost believable when played out by Kiera Knightly and Steve Carrell. The question makes me think.
God willing I have more than 12 days of my life left. So what am I going to do with it? And if I knew I only had 12 days left, what would I want to do with it? Early in the film Steve Carrell comments that, "life no longer has meaning." But in my current situation I suspect my life has much less meaning than it should have.
I have been going through the motions, and not living fully and without restraint. I suspect if I knew the world were ending I would make some fast and furious life decisions. Part of the reason I started the conversation that ultimately led me here is that I am a hopeless unapologetic romantic. I'm a romantic with barbed wire around my heart, likely, because of all the chances on love I've already taken by my not-so-tender age of 30.
I have never been one to look before I leap, and even after all of the life-altering, mind-numbing heartache, I still find myself anxious to do it again. My life and my home with my boyfriend was a safe and comfortable place, and from the outside looking in, I'm sure people envied our relationship.
But I felt a void. There was a big black hole that resided in the middle of our cozy living room. This morning, as my soon-to-be ex and I lay together, surveying the wreckage of our relationship, he commented that we've been coexisting much like roommates. Thinking about it now, on this plane alone, I'm distraught that we let it go on so long like this.
Truth be told, we stopped loving each other a long time ago, and just didn't have the courage to say it and start all over again. Don't get me wrong, there has been a lot of love in our home, like a 'grateful you saved my life and gave me a home' kind of love, but these past few weeks I've found myself longing for more.
I've had so many chances at love, so it seems crazy to the people who know me that I would roll the dice again. I think because I've had some tough breaks in the past with love, people can't believe I would give up something that is a steady, 'sure thing', to ask for more. Honestly, I think that's why it took me so long to choke the words, "I can't do this" out of my mouth this time.
It's been such a struggle to get the other voices out of my head, these voices that tell me there's clearly something wrong with me because I've been here before; the voices that tell me I'm making a rash decision and I'll regret it sooner than I know. My parents, who mean well, but tell me that my current boyfriend offers stability and I'll be hard-pressed to find another fine gent that helps out around the house so much, and will have the means to support me some day. But I won't allow myself to live a life that's secure, but filled with unhappiness and unfulfilled dreams, just to appease the people around me. They are not living it, I am.
Whether the world is ending in 12 days, or my world ends in 60 years when I'm old and grey, I won't take a minute of it for granted, and I will not settle for anything less than a "I want to spend the rest of my life with you" kind of love. So off I go to Seattle to allow my amazing and patient friends to pick me up off the floor just one more time and build me back up to a place where I am ready to begin my pursuit of true and lasting love all over again.
By Katie Long
The Purple Fig is a community where women share personal and relatable stories; no ego, no shame. We're about life, love and all of the stuff that makes us yearn, squirm, and giggle. These stories make up the authentic and intriguing journey of a woman.
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