I’m sitting here in an Adirondack chair at a resort in beautiful, blue Bermuda and I am still so amazed at that fact that I need to resist the urge to pinch myself because I already know I’m not dreaming.
This is real life. This is my life.
A few weeks ago, I was texting with one of my friends. We both had been pretty stressed out recently by work, and we both recognized we needed a break. That realization turned into a plan for a girl’s trip, and within the hour, I had booked us flights and a stay at a resort in Bermuda.
Only once we met up two days ago in NYC to fly down together did I recognize that just under a year ago, we had done the same thing. It was Seattle and while we had both been experiencing matching types of stressors – hers was a new relationship with someone old, a thing that both gave her happiness and anxiety; mine was the exit of a relationship that also have be a mix of happiness and anxiety – but, the key difference was the path our lives were on.
Then, we were like baby lambs, with uncertain legs and a slight measure of fear about what waited out there in the world in front us. This time, we’re a little bit like raging lions, who know ourselves and our worth and stride into the world with few enough hesitations to make it look like we’re walking the runway.
We had been in Seattle for her to check out the city as it was on her list of places to move. I had just decided that Washington, D.C. was where I was going to hang my hat, and that trip was spent also exploring furniture stores to get ideas for how to populate the apartment I intended to inhabit.
We were quite the pair that week, wining and cheesing and dining ourselves into a beautiful oblivion. We had a brilliant time.
So, what happened?
I moved. She stayed with the guy. I did not go back to the girl. They moved in together. I discovered that dating in DC is not distinctly different than dating in NYC. They moved to New Jersey. I fell in love with my life. They fell in love with each other.
We got happy. Really, really, happy.
This morning, we went rambling about a tiny, historic town, St. George’s, which is the oldest, continuously inhabited English settlement in the Americas. They have a picture of the Queen in the airport (it made me smile). We bickered over where to go (up the hill, no down the hill, to the pink beaches? no, back to the town center), if we would eat in the town or at the resort (the resort), and who would carry most of the things (me, sort of, but, her, too) and it was just like Seattle and it made my heart smile.
Look at how far we’ve come. In Seattle, we were pretty unsure about whether we were making the right decisions. In Bermuda, we’re so pleased that we made those decisions anyway. We’re coming up on 17 years of friendship very soon, and all along the way, all the scrapes and trips and mistakes, each and every single one of them had to happen, had to be felt, and each and every single one was worth it.
In two days, we’ll part ways, her back to NJ and me back to The District. We need to get back to our “real lives.” I’ll miss her because having just this time for the two of us doesn’t happen often. She has someone she needs to be there for (because he’s “special”), and surprisingly, in a recent turn of events, I guess I do, too? and so we can’t just disappear off whenever the mood suits us.
But, that’s okay. This is not the life we planned for, but it is the life that a year ago we took on the risk of the unknown to have, and it’s happening! It’s the life we chose. We’re living it and it is so good, too good, more than we deserve, but we’ll take it anyway.
We’ll take this happiness and keep running with it.