Friday, May 04, 2007

Self Awareness

I've had to learn to be alone. Everyone always talking about needing 'me time', but I never was one of those people. When Ryan started firefighting I found myself single half the time. Cooking for one, sleeping alone, talking to my dogs... But that was just dealing with being alone. When I was in England for the 3 months in 2005, I had to learn to like being alone. And I got there eventually after many tearful phone calls home. I mean really, what was my choice? I would have been miserable if I'd just given into the loneliness. So I learned to find cafes with a good view, pack a good book, and really take my time with my meals instead of rushing so I could escape feeling like everyone was watching the poor lonely girl. And I finally got to the point where I was purposely ditching my coworkers so I could be alone and anonymous in a restaurant somewhere.

But when it comes down to it, I really would much rather be with someone I love. My husband, my girlfriend, my mom...

I was sitting in a restaurant tonight listening to people laughing with their friends over drinks, parents and children shaking off the week with a nice family dinner, English men drunkenly laughing and stumbling down the street with their friends... and that sucks. It is good to have 'me' time, but much better to have 'us' time.

And now I'm sitting in my new hotel room with a beer. I couldn't even bring myself to sit at the hotel bar for fear that I'd run into fake conversation that would make me feel all that much more alone.

This weekend I've got some big plans, and they all involve places where I can take pictures. I really considered Paris (sorry girls!), but the English countryside is intoxicating. The idea of getting in my Picasso 'people mover' with the sunroof and just driving... Sounds like heaven. My plan for tomorrow: hunt down some rapeseed fields (they're in bloom and GORGEOUS right now), go to Stourhead, known for having one of the most gorgeous gardens in England. And 'garden' here really means miles of walking paths through gorgeous gardens and around a lake. I'm doing that tomorrow because its the only day that promises sunshine this weekend. Bummer, huh? Then I'm off to Bath. Yeah sure, I've been there many times before, but when you love a place... And I do love Bath. (England tip: If you come to England, limit your time in London to the British Museum and quickly looking at the major sites, then take a train to Bath! You won't regret it...)

I'm trying not to be down about being here because I know I'm lucky. And I know it comes off as slightly snotty to complain about being here when some people dream of coming, but still... Nothing beats home.


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    Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

    I'm Amanda. I'm an engineer in an industry full of men, a professional wedding and family portrait photographer, a firefighter's wife, a traveler, and a dogMa.

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