I finally caught that break

Last week, the BF took me on a (working) vacation to his hometown.

We visited his family, cleaned out an old storage unit, and ate lots of tasty fast-food. Mostly from restaurants we don’t have in Illinois. Normally I don’t want fast food on a vacation, but I do make exceptions for something I can’t get back home.

After our whirlwind tours of In-n-Out, Jack In The Box, and Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers -I’ve definitely got to get back on the wagon and continue my workout regimen. Stop laughing.

Sadly, it’s taken me nearly a week to finally sit down and attempt this blog, but the glow from our trip was so warm that I just wanted to bask for a while.

Southern California Desert Thoughts

california-vacation-cactus

For our working vacation, we rented a car to drive between Phoenix, AZ and the little desert town in SoCal where he grew up. In an effort to make even that part of the trip fun, we upgraded to a sports car. It was about four hours through the desert, through Palm Springs and past plenty of rest stops, wind farms, and the occasional giant dinosaur. He enjoyed driving the car; I enjoyed reading my book and taking way too many of my photos out the windows of a Dodge Challenger.

Throughout our travels, I had plenty of opportunities to think about this man I’m making my life with, and why. This journey was really monumental for us, because it’s the closest I’ve come to seeing how and where he grew up. I got to meet some of the people who really contributed to who he is today, and that was probably the best part. Even though she’s not with us anymore, I also got a better feel for what his mom was like.

desert-spiky-bushBefore we left, I confided in him that I was nervous about the desert in general – as a “tree-hugger” I wasn’t sure I’d like the energy of a landscape devoid of leafy green plants and sweet-smelling grass. Honestly, it was beautiful out there. Different from the kind of beauty I’m accustomed to, and it definitely seemed like every plant and animal was designed by evolution to rip my flesh open or poison me — but it was pretty.

Most of all, I did a lot of soul-searching while he drove us through the desert and we sweated together under the July sun. I thought a lot about instinct and emotion, and how our society likes to pay lip service to rationality and downplay the role of the gut feeling. For nearly a decade, in my former life, I quashed my instincts about my relationship. I told myself that my family was an ordeal; that my husband was a challenge that I had to face for the sake of my children’s happiness. In the long run, I can now see that my children are happier and I’m a better mom for not being locked in an endless cycle of negative interactions on their behalf.

My instinct right now is that I love this man more than any who has come before him. This relationship, right now, is strong. It’s healing me. It brings me joy on a level I didn’t realize I could have, and it is STILL doing so a year and a half after we started dating. With him, I feel valued, and I strive to make him see how much he is also valued.

Long story short – I had an amazing vacation, and I’m deeply in love with my life right now.

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