#237; the first road trip

Happy Thanksgiving, inhabitants of Limbo! I hope the weather around here treated you well for the holiday, and all your turkey-cravings, family-traditions, and Black Friday-binges were fulfilled!

I spent most of my time off on the road, braving the east coast storms to drive from Boston to my parents’ place in Myrtle Beach. I hadn’t seen my parents in 8 months, which had to have been some sort of family record. The drive was long but I went in hopeful. The first big road trip as a couple, 8 months into our re-kindled relationship, was a nerve-wracking thing. Would we be able to put up with each other’s taste in music? Would he mind when I sang along while driving? Who would drive? Who would rent the car or pay for the gas each time we stopped? Where would we stop, how often? Would we stay glued to our phones and email like we do when we’re in the city? How would the first holiday with my family go?

So I was hopeful, and nervous, and excited, and scared. All before I even picked up the rental car.

And then I pick up the car. And the drive down goes really well. Piece (boyfriend) didn’t mind that I insisted on playing country music in the name of family & road trip tradition and we took shifts driving. I had work to do when we got to my parents’ place so there was napping and then working and then drinking with my Dad. Things went swimmingly!

My hope was justified; my positive outlook totally redeemed. But now without anxiety clouding those other feelings, sneaky emotions started to sneak their way in. In sneaky ways. Emotions like nostalgia, for driving down 95 South in my convertible, top down, by myself, loud music, bright sunshine. I felt nostalgic for the nights Mom and I would stay up talking all hours of the night, just the two of us when I was still living at home. And then I felt guilty – here I was having a wonderful time, with the love of my life and my amazing parents (two of my best friends in the world), and I was thinking about trips past? About being by myself on the road?

So now where was I? Hope. Anxiety. Fulfillment. Contentment. Nostalgia. Guilt. Self-doubt.

Piece and I have had many firsts since getting back together. Moving in together. Adopting a cat together. Investing in a life together. We’ve traveled to friends’ weddings and volunteered together in a professional capacity many times over the months that I’ve lived in Boston. When I realized this, all of those complicated and useless feelings ended. Like a switch had been flipped. I thought of all the firsts we’ve had, and I realized that none of those firsts diminished the good memories I had from the time before him. From my time before Boston. The fact that the trips we take now are together doesn’t erase how good it felt to have the wind in my hair blasting down the highway, and it doesn’t mean I’ll never get to do that again. It just means that I’m an incredibly lucky woman, who has a boyfriend and a family who get along great, who want to share time and make memories and new traditions, who all support and love me in real ways every day.

I have so much to be thankful for this holiday season, but I think especially I’m grateful for the lessons I’m learning everyday, making me a better daughter, granddaughter, partner, manager, and friend. I’m grateful that I have the chance to learn these lessons and the awesome people in my life that teach them to me.

Oh yeah, and I’m also definitely grateful to Piece for putting up with country music all week and my father and I arguing politics for hours on end over brandy egg nog!

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