I may have started my adventure, at least geographically. I was wide-eyed and had the whole world ahead of me.
As the end of my teaching experience drew near, I considered staying another year. But with now with a taste of “something new,” I had to find my next fix. This time with a bit more of my comfort zone. Joining a friend in Ohio, I started working for a church while pursuing my seminary degree.
I was with friends. I could speak the language. I spent my days with college students, leading Bible studies, serving as the local women’s university basketball team chaplain and playing flag football. I don’t think a job could get better than this!
I was still naïve yet thought I knew everything. I didn’t know heartache. This was the season for my first love and first break-up, with others to soon follow. Each one more mind-boggling than the previous, assuming “It wasn’t me. It’s their loss.” As if I had nothing to learn.
“Guard my heart,” they told me. It was more like a stone wall and moat. No one could get too close. If they did, I had my perfect image and my hidden controlling nature to ensure everything went according to plan. This way, I wouldn’t get hurt.
As part of this, I vowed never to move for a man. Yet this one…I thought I would marry. It was his dream to move to LA and begin a brilliant career in film. So instead of following him, I left first. I’d start my life in California, then he would join me.
But as the moving date neared, I began to wonder if I was being foolish. I was leaving behind friends and a promising career. A few days before I hit the road, he and I had an in-depth conversation. I wanted some things to change before we took this next step. I wanted to be certain, once again.
The conversation revealed that we did not see eye to eye, and the day before my departure, we ended our relationship. My logical self kicked in, with a need to prove to others and to myself that there was no turning back. I could do this. I headed west.