I have a huge extended family. They’re close. A bunch of my cousins go on a yearly summer vacation *together* with their families…20+ people of all ages together in a 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath time-share condo. They all get super excited about this.
“I can’t wait for <location of vacation!>”
“<Location> is going to be so great this year!”
“OMG, only 10 more days, 13 hours, and 15 minutes until we leave!”
They’ve done this since I was a little girl. Every year. The lot of them. Together. And they like it this way. No personal space. No privacy. Definitely no quiet. Trying to coordinate activities with 20+ people of all ages. All things that sound like a nightmare come true for me, and did even when I was 8. But I still envied this vacation every year until I met J.
I used to wish I got invited on this vacation, but I never was. Sometimes I still wish I was a person who felt comfortable being in close quarters for a week with so many other people. I wish I was a person who felt comfortable getting close to any other people in any sense.
I’m not though.
I need the space. I need privacy and quiet. I need a lot of time to warm up to people before I can get close and especially before I can stay close, physically, but particularly emotionally. I need some kind of plans; I’m not a ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ kind of girl.
The year after I met J, one of the regular condo vacationers asked if we (J and I) would be interested in going to the condo, and instead of jumping at that invitation I’d wanted since I was a child, the first thought in my head was, ‘Only if we could go alone.’
I told her ‘no.’ See, my family has known me for my whole life, but none of them really ‘know’ me, not even my parents or my little brother. We just aren’t close. And I no longer wish I was close to them.
I’m close to J. With him, I don’t desire space, or privacy, or even quiet (although J IS quiet and calm, and he DOES give me my own space and privacy, and I love that about him). He gave me all the time I needed to get close, and now I need and crave closeness with him.
I don’t want to go on some loud group vacation I know I’d have never enjoyed anyway anymore. I never really wanted to go. I just wanted to feel a sense of belonging in a place I thought I was supposed to feel it. I don’t belong there, though, and I’ve never belonged there. I belong with J.
I’m counting days for our next family vacation. Just J and The Boy and me. For 2.5 weeks. All over the place…lots of destinations. And it’s in our RV, so…I mean not a whole lot of space and privacy (although the three of us are pretty quiet). For those of you wondering? 40 more days. Almost exactly from this time. Haha!
I love that I’ve found the place I belong…the people I belong with.