I Can't Have It All. So for Now, Here's What I Choose.

10/12/2015 05:07 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

It happens again. You're perfect. You say all the right things, awaken an energy in me that was dormant, and seem to read every thought I have like a book. I laugh more, I'm the version of me I really love to be, I talk with more wit, I feel elevated.

Then the inevitable question comes along: Is this what I've been waiting for? Is it worth making a change, putting something else first, and taking a route different from the freedom I've come to know and love? Will I stay?

I'm sorry, but for now, my love is the road.

You know, I'd love to stay and get to know you, but right now I'm getting to know me. I'm learning who I am without anyone else's input or definition. I'm discovering whether I prefer Thai fried rice or Vietnamese noodles. I'm finding out if I like breathing under the water like a mermaid with a scuba tank on my back, or whether I prefer hiking up a trail and sleeping under the stars.

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You see, I'm trying out new things I never thought I was brave enough for before. I'm starting to realize how capable I am of making all my own decisions, and facing my fears all on my own. I'm figuring out that I can do this pretty well solo. You might compliment that, but you also might complicate it.

Life is a series of trade-offs. You can't have it all, and for now, I choose me.

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I have to form an opinion on a sunset without anyone else's input. I must enjoy a view by myself, because I'm starting to learn that hanging out with me is pretty cool. It sounds silly, but I have to learn who I am before I can share my being with anyone else.

I need to learn to say "I love you" in at least 20 more languages before I can say it to you and mean it.

I still have so much more ahead of me, and I'm free like a bird now. I can turn right or left, go north or south; I can turn right around, and it's all up to me.

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I'd be lying if I said that I don't sometimes dream of a white picket fence and a porch swing for two. I imagine a reality where I would open the door to the same view every day and feel joy, because it would be a life shared with someone who makes me feel alive.

Since I have these thoughts from time to time, I know that one day I'll know exactly what I want. One day I'll be ready.

But for now I see an image of a beach far away from here, or a gorgeous mountaintop view that I never knew existed, and yet another item gets added to the list of places I simply must go. This is a list, by the way, that never stops growing.

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So for now, my dear, I have to do this for me. I have to keep seeing the world, and I have to find ways to help other women do the same, because this is a journey that we all deserve to have.

I have to find out whether I prefer chocolate or vanilla, palm trees or pines, city or countryside, salsa or step dancing.

It's nothing personal.

It's not about pleasing, disappointing, or experiencing it with anyone else. While I don't have it all figured out quite yet, I know this much:

My love is the road.

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