I’ll Say It Again, Travel Heals You: Germany

Sometimes we get stuck. We get put in this place where moving forward is our only option but our environment won’t allow for it until certain things are taken care of. Our minds go into overdrive and our emotions lay bare. Our hearts pump blood a little faster and our hope spreads thin.

I was there. I was in this place where I wanted more than anything in the world to move forward and I was continuously dragged back into this dark place.

Germany was my haven.

The first two weeks here, I saw so many new things and took part in all of these common traditions and I started to forget the darkness I left. I felt alive.

A few days into my trip I started to wonder why I was keeping attachments to people and things that hurt me and so I did what any sane woman who was trying to move forward would do, I completely detached them from every aspect of my life. I did it for me so I could move forward and stop the thoughts from pouring in every time I saw their name.

It wasn’t until I realized my trip was half way over that I realized I hadn’t thought about anything happening back home for a few days now. A topic that shadowed my thoughts for months hadn’t even crossed my mind for a few seconds in the past few days.

Once again, travel was healing me.

When I sat in bed thinking of how incredible this moment was, tears filled my eyes. I saw myself and I recognized someone who looked like me but felt different. I felt stronger, passionate and more than anything, loved. I was surrounded by new friends and an amazing family and the love I felt was more genuine than anything I’ve known.

I laughed because I recognized someone who had made it through what I thought was impossible. The worst is over, now I can promise happiness to myself.

There is nothing more beautiful than realizing you made it through the worst part of a pitfall in your life. 

I used to reflect so much on this past summer and I haven’t done that for weeks now. I haven’t questioned, wondered or regretted anything. I haven’t relapsed or broken down and I don’t see that part of my life as I used to. I’m not blinded by emotion anymore and I see everything a lot more clear.

It’s crazy what happens to you when you are so close to a situation. Germany gave me the time to see that what happened to me was not a punishment in any way. It was a blessing in disguise in order for me to become who I want and go where I believe I deserve to go. It showed me how much love I need to come from myself so I can stop feeling the pain I had been in.

It only took the Atlantic Ocean and a different continent for me to finally feel like the storm is at it’s end. And once again, travel has healed me.

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie

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What I Learned From Being Dumped

Yeah, the title is as embarrassing as I feel writing this post but it’s been on my mind for a while and I’m just going to embrace what I went through.

QUICKLY: This isn’t a hate post. This isn’t in anyway an attack to the person who I dated because I will always stand behind the fact that he is a great guy. I don’t have any bad feelings toward him or what happened. However, he did hurt me and I’m a writer who writes about what I’ve gone through.  

So here’s what I learned from someone ripping my heart out of my chest and then throwing it in the grass and running it over with a lawn mower. (Dramatic metaphor or passive aggressive? Haha)

1. The reason a relationship ends will sometimes never be good enough. We can hear the reason 25 times and it still doesn’t make sense to us. However, we decided to stop trying to figure it out at some point. There comes a point when you decide it doesn’t even deserve the amount of thought you’ve done trying to analyze what it could possibly mean and so we accept that we will never get that kind of closure.

2. You’ll always have questions and something to say. If you get the chance to cool off and talk with them, you’re only going to arise 33 more questions and 21 more soliloquies in your head. It’s a never ending cycle. You’ll always want to say one last thing and ask one more question. Soon enough, those will start dying down in your head.

3. You stay in love with the memories you had of that person, not the person actually standing in front of you. This was so important to learn. We constantly play the highlight reel in our head. We playback all of the happy memories we had and we still look at this person as the one who gave us so much happiness and joy. That’s not true anymore. The person in front of you now is so very different. They aren’t choosing you anymore and as excruciating as it is to read… they don’t want you. Is that really the kind of person you want to be with down the road? Is it? Of course not.

4. In most cases, the person who dumped you didn’t want to cause you all of the pain you have had to endure. I know in my case, this was the honest truth. It wasn’t easy for him to see me so torn apart and believe me, it was horrible to be so torn apart in front of him. If someone truly loved us- they would never want to see you in that much pain. So there comes a point when you realize they never wanted to hurt you but decided to because it was in their best interest (and who knows, maybe yours too). This sounds harsh because it is but believe me the one who dumped you didn’t get off too easy themselves. I don’t really know what it’s like on the other side, but they didn’t fake the entire relationship and have some healing to do as well.

5. You lose so much more than a boyfriend. I was more upset that I lost my best friend more than anything. I hated that I didn’t have my favorite someone to go on walks with, out to eat with, home with and adventure with. My most trusted partner in crime became my hearts biggest enemy in a matter of five minutes and that has been the hardest part to deal with.

You lose so much more than just your boyfriend, you lose his family. I don’t know if you loved/hated them but it’s so much worse when you feel like you found a home where he calls home. You created memories, jokes and plans with them and the most unfair part of a break up is you can’t say goodbye to people that never had a say in the matter. You just have to be sad and close all of the doors yourself. It’s all just so difficult.

6. Relationships REQUIRE two people to fight for each other. There is no such thing as an easy relationship… to a point. Those of us who are fighters will never understand how someone can just give up. At first, a relationship is so easy. You’re in love and they’re perfect and it’s not until the honeymoon phase fades that you realize you are actually required to work for a great relationship.

Simply put, some people just are not ready. Maybe “not ready” is what scared people say. Honestly, they will never be ready. No one is ever ready for anything. We’ll always be scared. You just do and you make it happen if you believe in what you have. If you aren’t leaving your comfort zone, you’ll never see how great something can be.

Then again, timing can be important. Maybe you’re on different paths or in different points in your life and it’s important to recognize that.

7. You will always have these insane notions (for a while) that they will turn around, realize how incredibly amazing you are (which you ARE) and decide they want to fight for love now. I don’t know when these daydreams will stop happening but I still have them if I’m being completely honest. This is the part that kills us. HOPE. The whole “if it’s meant to be, it will happen”. Kind of true but I believe someone has to decide that they want it to happen and then they set it in motion.

We wonder if that was the last time you will ever see them again or if you’ll ever bump into each other down the road and maybe even rekindle a love that is willing and timely. We still imagine them in our future because it is a dream we had for so long that we didn’t even choose to end. We even say to each other “see you later” because it’s easier than saying goodbye to someone who was a big part of your life for a while.

John Green says it perfectly in “Paper Towns”.

It is saying these things that keeps us from falling apart. And maybe by imagining these futures we can make them real, and maybe not, but either way we must imagine them. I stand in the parking lot… and here is this girl I love and cannot follow. I hope this is the hero’s errand because not following her is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I keep thinking she will get in the car, but she doesn’t, and she finally turns around to me and I see her soaked eyes. The physical space between us evaporates. After we kiss, our foreheads touch as we stare at each other. Yes, I can see her almost perfectly in this cracked darkness. 

We want so badly to hold on to those final moments so we can let go of the person attached to them.

8. There’s not an expiration date on pain. We feel so many emotions: pain, rejection, hope, excitement, relief, guilt, etc. That sometimes all we feel is absolutely nothing. Numbed by an overwhelming amount of emotion. For every person it takes a different amount of time. Just know that as long as you’re pushing yourself to move forward, you can take as long as you need.

9. I learned what it was like to be in love. We know what love is (maybe) and I know I was in it. I loved so much, felt so deeply and cared so passionately about another human being. I can’t imagine what it will feel like when someone is ready to feel that way about me, regardless of fear and hesitations. I found a love that could have lasted a lifetime and I hope to fall in love with another best friend. I am so incredibly hopeful for the future.

10. You slowly move on, but you DO move on. I never thought I could confidently say that. We will always be touchy about the subject but what are we supposed to do? Dwell every day and never open up again? No. I will open my heart bigger and better than before. I’ve moved forward and am becoming a much stronger person after it all.

I almost wish I could say a huge thank you for the person I became because of him. I had an incredible journey that pushed me to be a person I’m really starting to like. I just wish I didn’t have to go through so much pain to get here. We all want love so bad, that we put ourselves through hell just in the hopes that one day it will all be worth it. For now, we just have to leave everything behind.

It is so hard to leave- until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world. –John Green

I sure hope so Mr. Green. I really do.

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie

You Need to Sink Into Nature

Travel Tuesday takes a twist into appreciating nature wherever your adventure leads. 

When on the verge of self-implosion, I step into a place that offers much more than a beautiful view and I sink into it.

I will close my eyes and take in what it is to sink into nature.

The rustle of leaves as the wind whispers through shaken stems forms a language that calms the heart, mind and soul.

A gentle breeze lightly kisses your skin to take away the heat that comes with the warm sunshine on your shoulders. Nature knows the pain you feel and it fills those cracks with the shrill of birds singing and the smell of new leaves springing from their homes.

Breathe out, breathe in. The faint smell of flowers is overwhelmed by the earthly scents that flood all five senses. Maybe you’re standing by a lake and can hear the light trickle of water moving and smell the fish and seaweed that lie beneath the glittering surface.

Perhaps you’re caught in the wind on the ocean and can almost taste the salt on your lips. You slowly squish your toes into the sandy beach, feeling each grain of crushed rock smooth the skin you walk on. The ocean waves slowly crash against the shore. They stretch and reach for you, maybe just getting far enough to wash your feet, pulling your worries and self-doubt into the vast blue.

forestThere you stand in the midst of a thousand trees. A forest filled with cracking trunks and bending limbs. Rodents rustle rapidly through the brush and climb heights we consider feats. The sun rays slice through the branches that shelter us, if only to wash our face with light and hope. White noise hushes your thoughts as each leaf high fives it’s partner and the forest dances as one.

What you hear, what you see, what you feel has erupted what you have been holding inside of you. You loosen your grip on what you can’t change or let go piece by piece.  A calmness settles in that whispers you’ll be okay and you once again feel the hug of sunshine and earth surrounding you.

Nature can heal you if you sink into everything it has to offer.

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie

Breathe: Travel Will Heal You

Whether you’re going through a loss, heartache or bad times, travel can heal you.

I’m not advocating that you run away from your problems because that won’t make a trip worth while but escaping the environment you’re in might just be exactly what you need to heal.

Maybe you need fresh air, ocean waves washing your worries away and new faces.  A place that will be kind to you when you need gentleness.

When the world is horrible to you, surrender yourself to it’s uncertainty.

Let the trees wave hello and the ocean lift you up. Let the crisp air fill your lungs and give you a new energy.

Breathe.

Let yourself find what is important to you again. Discover what makes you happy, what you value and where you will go from here.

Breathe.

Let the clouds shelter you from pain and the mountains hide your worries. Let the grass tickle your feet and the wind take away the negative thoughts running through your brain.

Breathe.

Maybe time away is exactly what you need to find yourself again. You can process the changes life threw at you and understand what happens now.

It will be a way to heal yourself and to throw yourself into a place you don’t know so well. All so you can heal.

A place to let it all go.

Anger, fear, confusion, weakness, doubt, sadness.

Let it go.

And breathe.

Until Tomorrow,

Anna Marie