For years I have been writing about a friendship with one person…I fell in love with my best friend.
I celebrated the new year with my girlfriend in her hometown; it was quite an experience. I saw an America that only existed in my childhood memories in social studies books I used to read to pass the time in fourth ahs fifth grade. I looked around in awe and thought to myself “Maybe this is why I fell in love with this state 20 years ago…because somehow, it would play a significant role in my life…God, you’re awesome.”
We were presenting me to her family. For different reasons, this was a huge step for both of us. I had a terrible experience with my “in-laws” I am not completely over. Before I embarked on my flight, they finally made a trip to New York to visit their grandchild Cydney for the first time in three years. Cyd opened her gifts from them in a grocery store on Christmas Eve…but that’s another story.
I was-and am still-becoming very aware about my past. In the context of a relationship, I have begun to face things I hadn’t necessarily dealt with. Not because I didn’t want to; just being fully committed and saying “Ok love, let’s do this” opens up a context I wasn’t fully aware of and needed to be addressed. On the other hand, I have made a conscious effort to try to replace memories from Timile (Cydney’s mother) and the aftermath of her fight with cancer. I have realized how much of a loss this really was.
Much of the journey for the past six years has been me relearning myself. My best friend was a major part of my healing. I had my blog when my now girlfriend and I reconnected; but it was just a creative outlet and a continuous love letter for those that said prayers for Timile and me, the ones who rooted while I fought to get my little girl back, and everyone who cared in their different pockets of the world to watch our daughter grow up. It was special to me; but it was just some thing I was doing as I attempted to find light during a dark time.
She was a professional writer. I looked at how she maneuvered in that world and I felt compelled to take this little thing of mine to another level; within a few months of our friendship, I too was getting paid to write. Through writing, I became free and I had her to thank for showing me the way.
On my last day in her childhood home, we became aware of the storm that would blow through the East coast. My flight boarded at 11:59 pm and landed in New York at 5:32 am; I would have been caught right in the middle of the worst of the storm.
I could have made the flight; but there were a few reasons I decided to cancel. The first reason was me simply being a parent. No matter what, my goal was and will always be to get home safely to my daughter. She already doesn’t have her mother and I’m her everything. This governed a lot of how I operated; all the way down to I stay as far away from the edge of New York’s subways in the even some crazy person decided to push me off of the tracks. As much as I would have loved to have been home with her, it was not worth the risk.
The second part of this slightly tied into the first. I wanted to get back home because I would have arrived on January 4, Timile’s birthday. There was a part of me that wanted to be with my little girl on that day because it still is not an easy day for me. My first day in court to reattain custody for Cydney was January 4, 2012…that was something I thought about almost every year.
With the date of my cross-country travel being January 4, I thought about the woman I was spending time with. She had driven home by herself to get her car fixed and had no one to accompany her on the trip back to New York. All flights to New York were booked until Sunday. I figured that it would be best if I helped in the form of companionship; especially because the pilgrimage back to the City that Never Sleeps took three days, as well.
The information in the paragraph above prompted me to think about a lot of things and I’d come to a conclusion of what to do: I would spend the next three days driving home with my girl.
Ultimately, I made my decision because our adventure began on January 4th. I thought it would have been a great way to spend the day. It was a chance to reflect and give my past new meaning. “While I may think of the 4th as Timile’s birthday, it won’t be a sad thought…I’ll remember our trip across America-something I’ve always wanted to do-as a new beginning of sorts” I said to myself.
This was my chance to start anew. I was fully able to say that in spite of my past and all of the experiences that shaped my paradigm, I was able to say my Single Dadventures was no longer a solo trip…I was finally ready to start the next chapter with a partner.
No, I am not killing the site. There is plenty to chronicle; but the narrative will be very different.