I have spent this week in Indianapolis. My boyfriend was on a short job. 6 days. Tomorrow we leave early in the morning and take a 12 hour drive south to a long-term job. Roughly 9 months. Or that’s the plan anyway.
We were supposed to be at that job already. We thought we would be there mid-September. And then early October. We already have an apartment there. We moved in, and then packed up a handful of things and left it again for a few weeks. Because the work was elsewhere.
My boyfriend keeps telling me, “Nothing is certain in construction.” Apparently….
But I’m getting better at this whole moving around thing.
Today I have already packed up for the drive tomorrow. My 3 meals are ready to go. As well as a bit of extra food for the next day so we don’t have to go to the grocery store tomorrow night after the long drive. I did the laundry and all of my clothes are packed except the ones I’m wearing and the ones that I will wear on the drive tomorrow. I have opened up the drawers and cabinets to make sure we won’t leave anything behind.
And I’m also getting better at this whole uncertainty thing.
My boyfriend said that he was surprised at how well I took it when he told me would be coming to Indiana before we went back to our new apartment.
Yeah. Historically, I haven’t been the best at dealing with change. Especially sudden change.
When I got control of my eating, it became (and still is) the most important thing in my life. There is a quote by Thomas Jefferson. “Eternal vigilance is the price we pay for liberty.” I understand that this is a universal truth. Jefferson was certainly speaking of the liberty of the nation. But it is just as true regarding my liberty from food addiction. I have been a slave to food. I have been oppressed by my eating disorders. I am free now. But in order to stay free, I must never take that freedom for granted. Keeping boundaries around my food and keeping my eating disorders under control does, indeed, require constant, eternal vigilance.
I’m not complaining. It has never not been worth it.
But because of this desire to protect my freedom, I have often been very bad at “going with the flow.” For years after I quit sugar and put boundaries around my eating, I kept my life in a strict routine. I did not step out of my comfort zone. I ate my meals at home, or at restaurants I knew well. I avoided trying new things with food. And making plans to go out for a meal, or even around a meal time, would often fill me with anxiety. I could never be comfortable until I had eaten my meal and that was out of the way.
Because of this, the thought of travelling was terrifying. The only place I ever went was my hometown to visit my family.
Vacation? Vacations are about relaxing and enjoying. Not anxiety. How could leaving my own kitchen be a vacation?
But here’s the interesting part. All of that vigilance opened up my life. Made me available for new things and new experiences. Made me available to fall in love. Gave me the clarity to realize that what I was supposed to do was leave my life in New York City and travel the country in a pickup truck with the man I fell in love with.
It’s funny. All of that habit and familiarity and routine directly lead me to give up all of that habit and familiarity and routine.
Of course, I am still vigilant. I want to keep my freedom. So I protect it.
But it turns out that there are so many more ways to take care of my food boundaries than I ever thought before. It turns out I can do it and still move around the country.
But also, I am with a man who is not just supportive, but who goes out of his way to take care of me so that I can take care of myself. He makes sure I can get to the grocery store. He booked us a hotel with a kitchenette this week, so I could cook for myself. When we went out to eat with his family, I picked the restaurant so that I could be sure of getting what I needed. And I did.
Plus, I have all of this experience now that shows me that when I am committed to keeping my food under control, I can. And I do.
So, yes. I am getting better at this. The roving and the roaming. And the unknown.
I’m with the person I want to be with most. I am experiencing new places and things. And I am more comfortable trusting that everything will work out than I ever thought I could be.
The truth is…so far, I love this life.
I’ll end with a little story. We’re in an extended stay hotel, so many of the guests are regular travelers. I met a woman today in the elevator. We got to chatting a little. I told her my boyfriend was in construction, and that we travel. I said, “The truth is, it’s a pretty sweet life.”
She got a little teary-eyed. She said, “I just recently lost my husband. But he was in construction. And we travelled around too. And yes, I had the best life in the whole world.”