Once again I woke up feeling refreshed and excited to begin my day. One thing about Iceland, I slept like a rock every night, excluding the one where I was sick, which was a bit of a surprise to me because I’m not always the easiest sleeper in the world. For the most part the beds were comfortable and I was usually so tired every night that I fell asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow. That morning I did my usual neat packing up and started getting everything back into my car, but for the first time my host was up and came out for a nice morning chat. It was a very nice way to start out my day, especially when she steered me away from taking a road that I had considered taking, apparently it was snow covered and through some very hairy terrain. Instead she pointed out another route that wasn’t so difficult, but would still provide some nice scenery, and so I headed down the road after saying good bye.
So another Valentine’s Day is here and I am still single, actually I’m in the throes of the failure of my first crush I’ve had since my ex and I broke up almost two years ago. Not surprisingly, today has been an interesting day for me. My mood has vacillated from happily determined to remembering what this day means in my life to love and to moroseness that I cannot quite seem to get this whole “man thing” right. Sometimes I truly wonder if what my “friend” told me many years ago is actually true. Are some of us destined to go through life alone? No long lasting true partner, no children, forever the loner? Yes, he said it to be cruel, but that doesn’t negate the thought. Honestly, at this point in my life I have to wonder… As it is, I’m already coming to the stark realization that there is a pretty good chance that I’ll never have children. Should I also be laying to rest my womanly dreams of the love of a good man, someone to be my partner in this life? Sometimes I wish I had an answer to that question.
As if to make up for the carefree yesterday, the next morning dawned with issues right off the bat. I’d woken up bright and early, gotten things packed up, and started to move everything out to my car so I could take off to Godafoss right away. In theory anyways, because my car wouldn’t start. Yes, you guessed it, I had left the lights on and my battery died. My car in the States has lights that turn off automatically, so it wasn’t habit for me to turn off the lights in my rental car just yet. It definitely would be from here on out. After bemoaning my luck and checking the car unsuccessfully for cables, I asked one of the other hostel guests if he happened to have any. He didn’t speak English, but I was able to get my point across using pantomime, quite hilariously too I’m sure. I asked the hostel people if they knew of anyone who could help and they ended up calling friend to jump my car for me. Forty dollars later I was on the road, slightly frazzled and embarrassed, but on the road all the same. I swung into a full service gas station to fill up for the day and grab some coffee while the attendant took care of my car. After managing the coffee machine, which I was just starting to get the hang of on my fourth day, and paying I went out to start my car. Except the steering wheel had locked and of course, I couldn’t get it unlocked. So I shamefacedly walked into the gas station full of men and asked for help. They helped me with a grin on their faces and probably had a good laugh about it as I drove away. Vehicles were not looking like my strong suit today.
Last you heard, I was all tucked in snug into my sleeping bag in the hostel in Borgarnes. I woke up bright and early, excited to see more of the beautiful countryside and find out what Iceland held for this day. Surprisingly enough I was having little to no jet lag issues, so maybe what I had read actually had some truth to it. After getting dressed and packing up what I had left out from the night before I was ready to head out. In my research it had come up that it was intelligent to fuel up whenever possible, especially in the off season or shoulder season. Or if you were like me and didn’t have a PIN for your card and thus wouldn’t be able to use the non-staffed gas stations. So, my first stop was going to be a gas station to fuel up the car and myself. After a mess trying to get the gas tank open, trying to get payment methods figured out, attempting to decipher the Icelandic language when buying food, buying a kickass headband, and FINALLY getting some coffee I got on the road.
When I left you I was headed towards Reykjavik and the rising sun, not to mention the great adventure that awaited upon the road. First, I had to make it through the city driving a stick, deciphering 20 letter long road names, navigating through crazy roundabouts, and traffic. All while running on about two hours of sketchy sleep. I manhandled my poor car through it’s gears and set off down the road, all sorts of agog at the insane, otherworld beauty that I was driving through. I will never forget that drive into Reykjavik, the sun was just rising, painting the sky and the sea with glorious colors and the landscape was a mixture of gorgeous mountains wreathed in clouds in the distance and twisted lava flows covered in moss. I had arrived in Iceland and my greatest desire was to pull over and strike off on foot, however I kept in mind the fact that I was tired and also that I didn’t want to deal with city traffic on a normal Saturday morning until I was more sure of my ability to actually shift and such things. So, I continued on my path and tried to pay as much attention to the road as possible.
Warning: Teaser post, see below for explanation.
Despite my worries check in was a breeze, my bags were well under weight, and security was easy after all the flights over the last year. I was in the small terminal, so I found my gate easily and I relaxed, listening to the happy accents of my fellow passengers as we awaited our flight. After buying some water, I plugged in my phone hoping to charge it up a bit before I landed in Iceland. All of the good byes and research had drained my battery to the point of near death and I wanted to make sure I could get in touch with the car rental agency when I landed just in case they weren’t waiting for me as planned. As I listened to the musical sounds of different languages filling the terminal, I tried to take deep breaths and remind myself that I totally had this shit, I was a fucking rockstar, and would own Iceland all over the place. I meant this in a completely literal sense, because I’d decided to rent a car and drive myself around the island alone. When I decide to do something, I go big! Even if I am terrified in the process.
Another year has passed and its been just about a year since this blog was started. I had some lofty goals at the beginning of 2012 and managed to meet several of them, failed miserably at others, and still others are a continual work in progress. I started out 2013 a bit of a broken shell. Well, if I’m being brutally honest a very much broken shell of a woman and pretty alcohol soaked at the time too. I was struggling to find a part of myself that I had long repressed, being too afraid to let it come to light. Unfortunately the constant darkness in which I had hidden myself had done what it often does and had stunted my growth. So this last year was a year all about ME. About finding myself, putting myself back together, and leaving out the parts I didn’t like in order to create a new, so much more incredible, version of Jen.
Wow. I’m finally an adult! Or at least as much of an adult as I’m likely to become any time in the near future… What changed? As you can probably guess from my choice in title, I signed my first lease in over 12 years last week! The only other time I’ve had a place of my own was a brief 3 month interlude when I was 19-20, it was just me and my cat, Cougar, in a tiny studio apartment in the ghetto of Duluth. Not my smartest choice in where to live perhaps, but it was wonderful to have all that space to myself. Other than that short time I’ve rented rooms out of various people’s houses or shared a quasi private apartment. Even the apartment with my ex, as wonderful as it was, wasn’t terribly private because it was the mother-in-law/caretaker apartment that was attached to the main house. So having this breadth of my very own space is a tad bit exciting to me to say the very least.
We woke up that Saturday morning bright and early, refreshed and ready to face the world… Or not so much, we were exhausted still and I was not feeling all that awesome from my overdose on driving the previous day. Nevertheless we needed to continue on our travels as we’d begun to feel the pull of home. Strange sometimes how the closer you get to home the stronger the urge to be there gets. Mariah had begun to feel the driving need to be home almost as soon as we’d turned around, while I was only feeling the slightest twinkling now as I lifted Motor into the car to begin another day driving. Our plan for the day was to stop at the Kentucky Horse Park to check out the awesomeness that is everything horse, continuing on to have dinner with our great aunt Pat in Indiana, and then driving until we couldn’t drive anymore and sleeping in a rest stop somewhere before finishing our last leg Sunday morning. As we’ve all learned by now, I basically fail at planning and it also appears to be a family trait, unless Mariah was just afraid to go against her crazed cousin’s timetable. I don’t know that I would blame her in the slightest if she was a tad bit worried after the numerous detours from Friday.
So, yeah… It’s been forever and a day since I’ve been on here, I could make a bunch of excuses and such, but I’m just going to be straight with you all because that’s an important part of this whole baring my soul, finding my path, and helping others along the way thing. Writing hasn’t been a huge priority for me the last month. There, I said it (cringing as I did.) Like most adults my time is limited and for the last month I really had to figure out what my priorities were and make some hard decisions about what needed to be focused on and what could be put to the back burner temporarily. Writing, other creative endeavors, socializing, and even cleaning lost this battle. Awesomely enough, unlike the rest of the year where I continually fell into my typical pattern of over-scheduling the hell out of myself and miserably failing at getting anything done, I actually managed to accomplish a decent amount! So, while I feel guilty for putting my writing on the back burner and leaving every one hanging, I *might* have learned a valuable lesson about prioritizing and the effect it can have on your “to-do” list.