TRAVEL: Best friends
Well, suffice to say, it didn’t work. I’m still here. Still moaning about stuff. Still suffering. Or am I?
Am I just being a miserable bitch and not looking outside of the box?
Am I just feeling sorry for myself?
Am I just introspecting and reflecting a wee bitty too much?
Well, that aside, at last, one of my friends came to visit me. It was nice because no one ever comes to visit me. I’m always going to their houses and packing stuff to visit them and bringing stuff to make things nice for them... flowers, milk, bread, chocolates…
Carol and I have been friends since we were at school together.
I don’t know how we’ve managed to stay friends, as both our lives have been up and down, we’ve moved about the country a bit too much for anyone to take in. I guess we have a lot in common, we’re the kind of people who don’t see each other for ages and then, when we do, it’s as though we’ve never been out of each other’s company.
We both love a lot of the same things:
reading stuff (about life the universe and everything
But we also both have a lot that is not so common to each other.
She married a good, strong man when I was dating with a two-timing cad.
She had kids and put them through university, while I had none.
Carol made the right decisions in buying her homes and has now reached the top of the property ladder - the only home I have now is a campervan.
She’s still married, 28 years later, while I've had three long-term relationships that went down the pan.
Of course, there are times we disagree. It wouldn't be right if we didn't. It's good to disagree. Good to be adult enough to have a debate that no one takes offence at. At least I know she’s telling the truth. She’s an honest woman and I know that she’ll not deliberately harm me in anyway. After all, we are both different people.
She’s a straight talking lass from Yorkshire and me, well, I guess I’m one of those introverted southern softies from Berkshire, Slough, in fact…
I believe people come into your life to teach you lessons. And Carol has taught me lots of lessons. Good ones. Ones that have kept me on an even keel. Stable. Calm. Wanted.
Oddly, she has been the one constant in my life, even though at times I’ve made her feel anxious and rejected by writing letters that voiced my opinions on a subject we’ve disagreed on. I even took her off my Facebook because she kept telling me off in public - but we still remained friends in the physical world.
I have felt sorry, maybe even a tinge of guilt, for those things I did.
It was only brought about through my own pain and expressed in the only way I knew how, through written words.
But she’s remained there. I don’t know why. Perhaps I actually do mean something to someone?
When she came, she looked inside my van and asked loads of questions about it. I didn’t realise, until she told me later, that her sister was also doing the same thing.
She said her sister had split-up with her boyfriend (thank the Lord for small mercies, as, like my ex, he was a bit of a cad too), she had given up her job and now worked part-time in a café and had another part-time job in a farmyard, the rest of the time she travels around the country in her van.
I admit to feeling a bit jealous. Not envious, but jealous. Why?
She showed me pictures on her phone that her sister had sent to her and the views she had taken first thing in the morning. She was looking at beautiful views, looking at her small van (a VW, I think, more like a car than a van).
Very much more jealous.
Is it that something is urging me to just go for it?
Everything in my job screams at me to leave it. I am fortunate enough to have enough to live on for around six or seven years without having to get a job (but that’s only because I sold my home, and now the only home I have is my campervan!).
So, why don’t I do it?
Well, for a start, my mum’s ill. And every month, I get another chunk of my salary to put away. And even though I complain about it, it's not a very bad job. I'm not working down a mine. I'm not spending hours on a hot factory production line. I'm not waiting on ungrateful people in somewhere like MacDonald's or KFC. I'm not scrubbing loos or mopping floors... I'm just managing a social centre for young adults. And that's not such a bad thing, is it?
Perhaps, if I do this for another six months, or get next winter over with, then I’ll make the decision.
But why not now? What will be different in a year? I’ll be better off financially? So what?
What’s stopping me?
Kaye is a freelance publisher, author and certified psychotherapist with over three decades of experience. She is also a writer for various blogs about writing, publishing, travelling and health care.
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