That Moment When the Wanting Stops

Mar 4, 2015 by

          Truth be told, I didn’t feel like going to Niagara yesterday. I was tired from pole. “Truth be told” is really easy to follow with a lie. Let’s try again: Truth be told, I didn’t feel like going to Niagara yesterday. As much happiness as I associate with being there, it makes me nervous sometimes. It has potential to bring about nostalgia for what exists in my memories that no longer exists in my real life.

          I went anyway. I knew that anything other than a solo venture to Niagara in celebration of my two-year anniversary of The Happiness Experiment would make me feel like I didn’t celebrate at all. Thus, I determinedly drove over four hours to get there. The highway was moving in slow-mo. There was some slush on the roads. Some called it a “snow storm.”

          As soon as I arrived in Niagara, I was grateful that I had made myself go. I was relaxed the moment I heard the water pouring from the fountain outside of the Fallsview Casino, on the ledge of which I wrote my second annual letter to one-year-ago me. More so, I was thankful to have gone because I haven’t been on a solo outing in quite some time. I’m pretty sure it’s been since Paris. Yeah, of course, I’ve done things on my own, but it’s been a while since I’ve done something on my own that is typically done with friends, like a mini road trip. When I returned from Paris, I was uninterested in going out by myself, even though I know doing so means meeting new people. I wanted to be out with friends, probably because I had spent five weeks eating single dinners and embarking on self-guided excursions. While I enjoyed those for the freedom to go at my own pace and the opportunity to get lost in my thoughts at a time that I needed to talk to myself more than anyone, I was thrilled to have familiar people across my tables and alongside my trails again when I got home.

          Going to Niagara solo yesterday reminded me of the pleasure that is the independent adventure. Like last year’s solo trip to Niagara, I got into conversation with someone at Swiss Fudge. She and I talked dating. Her stories made me feel better about my guy-I-wanted-that-didn’t-want-me thing. At least guy-I-wanted-that-didn’t-want-me isn’t guy-in-the-Secret-Service. Although she’s currently in a relationship that she’s enjoying with someone she met on Tinder, she definitely paid her dating dues. Of all her past boyfriends, including the one that spent Christmas in Hawaii with the Obamas, I was especially intrigued by her ex-fiancé – or rather, what she did with her life in coping with missing him.

          She was very honest in her telling. She told me that at age 27, two years after the engagement was called off, she went to England to “be fabulous.” (I loved that fabulousness was her main goal.) She was still brokenhearted, but she seemed to have made a decision in flying there that her life was going to move forward in a positive direction. She lived and taught in England for two years. At some point over the course of those two years, she stopped longing for him. She told me about the moment she realized it. The car he drove was popular there, and every time one passed, she used to check the license plate for his. She knew he was across the ocean from her, but she’d always pause to be sure. One day, she forgot to look at the license plate.

Recall Happiness Tip #98: Go on an independent adventure!

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