fiction, a woman newly divorced , seeks to find self
I traveled to the Netherlands on a whim. Right now, I'm laying in a posh bed, a small bed and breakfast on Emma Ln, three blocks away from Anne Franks house in Amsterdam. I'm starring up at the ceiling trying to breathe. I actually took that plane. I actually used the passport that I have had locked in a safe for five years waiting to be used, whispering of the desire travel but challenging the fear of traveling by myself.
0I recently divorced. Life, being single, is so shocking; the things that other person did they no longer do, they are no longer depended on to do anything in life like a limb that has been severed. We were going to travel , Todd and Julie, on adventrures all over the globe, trooping through countries learning about other cultures. That dream collapsed with the flight of papers for divorce flying at my face one ill-fated evening. The passport went into hibernation with the dreams of exploration.
What Changed? What got my feet to the airport carpet and then carried me on the 17 hour flight internationally to the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol? I blame my therapist Amy. She said something that struck a cord with me. I enrolled in school for the fall term, this trip is funded by the savings that I have put away for the last 5 years. She said," Wow, you have really bloomed over the time that we have been meeting. It's bee a pleasure watching you bloom into this happy woman that is sitting before me." What I realized, or rather translated that statement to in my head: "blooming" or rather "Living" involves "doing the things that you think are literally unobtainable and not able to do". Really, this isn't just a corny pep talk. I have failed out of college twice, due to extremely traumatic and terrible occurrences, but none-the-less I thought that I had nailed my college career to the floor and stomped it into oblivion (I know a little dramatic). My therapist challenged me to transfer to a different school and I did. I was able to restart school and all the failures at the previous school fell off my transcript.
Having successfully enrolled in college for fall term. I started to think: " Before I start school why don't I just travel a little bit. Live a little before conqueoring my books and achieving my dreams?" This inspired me to book a flight. Not only does ambersterdam have legalized pot, it's also home to Rembrandt and Van Goh and it has the Anne Frank museum. Basically, every land mark that I was yearning to see when I was an adult. This is also a place that Todd and I had never disgussed to visit. One thing I learned about my self is that I often sacrificed my own needs and wants for that of my late husband.
Do you call the divorced spouse Late" or does that have a "death" connotation?
Oh well, either way that it is termed is either dark as in death or accurate as in the spouse is absent and no longer part of my life.
In The cannal, I can hear the barges and steam boats, beating through the water. This is my first morning in the Netherlands. Actually, It's more like afternoon, I'm still adjusting to the change in time zones. Well, actually the change in just about everything around me.
The air is clear and different, definitely sea notes in the air in this port town. But there is something else, like being in the country side, there's just something else in the air that is working it's way into my mind and heart clearing out the cob webs and chains around the heart that is locked away in an effort to hold together after being divorced by the one man that I loved and then broken by another man that I thought loved me and I loved with my being. Yes, there is a sweetness, a lightness. Maybe there was a lightness due to finally using the passport and now it's taunting little voice had settled down and stopped it's mocking tune of "Use me for the adventure that you know you need to go on!"
Maybe the air is lighter here because there are no ex's in the Netherlands. There are no debts, no obligations. No common ground with my fellow humans, ai I no nothing about the local language to communicate. I have been able to use sign language this far and I have noticed that the word Straat may mean street, and Laan may mean lane. So there are ways of figuring out what these people are saying but not communication can happen beyond sign language and some broken words here and there. I should feel terrified. But I don't . I almost feel relieved. Who cares what they are saying I just get to enjoy the beauty of the new place and the lovely vaulted ceiling that the has a raw heam running along the peak of the ceiling, white wals in between the raw timbers. This is an old building. Looking around further, it is very old. I'm not even sure the corners of the room are squared.
The room has a tall ceiling but it is definitely small, like it was portioned off from a much larger main room for the entrance of the building. I arrived very late the night before so all I was able to see with my tired drunk eyes were the fluffy cloud appearing bed with the white comforter, to call this massive fluffy blanket a mere comforter would be stripping it of all it's glory, and the ancient dresser from antiquity- probably toted around in the back of wagons migrating around the country, bumping around with the oxen pulling.