Western Nebraska is a pretty desolate, boring place especially when driving through at 75 miles per hour on I-80. Which is why it was incredibly ironic that this was the place in our thirty-six hour cross-country drive that I chose to open my mouth and heart and question my entire five-year relationship.
The previous weeks had been scary and unsettling. After three years of road trips and phone conversations in a long-distance relationship, we were finally living together. We anticipated this to mean hours of pillow talk, great sex, and feeling like a powerful team. It didn’t. Instead we were met with silent nights staring at the ceiling, quick, emotionless kisses as we said hello and goodbye, and an overwhelming feeling of alone.
The upside to questioning your relationship when you still have twenty-eight hours to spend together in a packed car is that you have the opportunity to discuss everything, be angry, say hurtful things, cry and still have ten hours to recover from the trauma. Which is mostly what we did.
My relationship is not in a perfect place. My life is not in a perfect place. I experience pangs of jealousy when I witness another facebook engagement while simultaneously feeling relieved by the freedom to do what I want and go where I please.
I had always thought that my life would finally come together in my late twenties. The disasters of the early twenties (of which there were many) were to be the learning experiences that would help me blossom into some super awesome life in my late twenties. Sadly, I call my father in tears as often at twenty-seven as I did at twenty-two.
I really haven’t figured much out but I have figured out that western Nebraska is as good a place as any to speak my heart and my mind. I have learned that my parents are a tremendous team and provide endless support to all of those around them. I have learned that my siblings are the greatest possessions in my life. I have learned that while I am not always the best girlfriend, I have incredible girl friends. And I have learned that life, relationships, and happiness all require a bit of elbow grease, patience, and persistence.