The Summer that Changed My Life: Part 1

I am having an inner battle about my 40th Birthday which is October 3. If you know me, you know I am a twin which means I was born a “we” and it took years for me to become Just Jamie.. not Jamie of Jamie and Amy.

That happened during the summer of 2004. I call it the summer that changed my life.

I was awarded an internship with Project Vote Smart which meant I headed to Montana for six weeks that summer.

When I told my boyfriend about the internship, he told me he didn’t want me to take it. He told me if I loved him, I wouldn’t leave him. That was the beginning of Jamie becoming Jamie. I loved him. He was my first love. When he said that to me, I told him if he couldn’t be apart from me for a six week internship, we needed to part ways because the career I wanted meant a lot of moving for several years. We were in his house having this conversation. I remember staying so calm in the house. It was a logical way to look at ending the relationship even though it cut me to the bone.

At the time of my life, I was who my family wanted me to be. I was conformed to the mold I was raised to be.  I worried about keeping up with the Jones’… I never left the house without makeup. I didn’t own a pair of jeans. In fact, I had to buy jeans and hiking boots before heading to Montana.

When I left Cameron’s that night… The last thing I said was, “Will you still take me to the bus to leave for Montana and come to my going away party?”… Of course he said yes.

As soon as I got around the corner, I began sobbing. Sobbing to the point I simply had to pull over because I couldn’t see. One of my best buy friends happened to call… I answered but I couldn’t really talk. He asked where I was and told me to stay put. He literally carried me into my apartment. It was one of the worst nights of my life. Ricky, the friend who rescued me that night, told me he was proud of me for not allowing Cameron to hold me back. He said he had no doubt it would change my life.

He was right.

A week later, Cameron took me to the Grey Hound station to get on a bus to start my four day journey from Manchester, TN to Montana.

That journey was the beginning of myself finding myself.

To be continued…

Advertisements