I'm a firm believer that life is short and that we should make the most of the chances that we get.
Being a single mummy, my opportunities past playdates and birthday parties are nowadays somewhat limited. Throw into the mix that I'm a single mummy to a child with autism and several other diagnosed special needs, well, my opportunities do tend to narrow a little bit more. But that's okay - parenthood isn't about signing up for the always straight forward is it? My son is my treasure, my heart and my constant motivation - he's the reason I work hard to provide for him and give him the very best chances in life. So what if my opportunity to chase dreams across foreign lands has passed? It's all for him, and everything that parents surrender when they have children is completely worth it.
Last year I let someone very special into my life - and in to my heart. Those long buried hopes of a fairy tale ending, slowly reared their head and I finally allowed myself to stare into the face of something I really wanted. Sadly it wasn't meant to be and I found myself facing heartache (and frustration!) instead of the fairytale.
In the midst of my crazy life - working full time, blogging constantly, raising my son and trying to occasionally have enough of a social life to have a pizza with friends once in a while - I was reminded through this heartache and disappointment that life is too short...
It's too short for me to spend another year waiting to meet the partner that I can share memories with. It's too short to let more time pass and not mark this year as something special - by myself. I haven't done anything for myself in a really long time. I've got an untouched bucket list because my priority is making sure the homework is done, and the school run isn't too stressful! And in the back of my mind I'm getting older (I'm 30 next year) and rather than ticking things off my bucket list, it's just getting longer because I don't get the opportunities to do anything about the wonderful experiences I want to have... I just find more things to dream about and so the list gets longer.
Until this weekend.
With heartache fresh in my mind, it prompted me to think 'screw it' and I did something crazy. I did something I've never done before - something totally and 100% for me...I booked a trip to the place at the top of my bucket list: New York!
What's more, is that it's a solo trip - the first solo trip of my life. And you know what? I've never felt more empowered. Far from feeling lonely and sorry for myself that I'm going alone: I'm doing something I've always wanted to do - I don't need a man or anyone else to make memories with, I can make my own. And this trip is my way of reminding myself that once in a while it's okay to do something for yourself.
I can't wait to explore New York, to get lost, to take a gazillion photo's! To stand in places that a million other tourists have been standing and yet somehow it's going to be like no-one else has been there before.
I can't wait to fly on a bright red Virgin plane that reminds me of my childhood trip to Florida, I can't wait to see rows of iconic yellow cabs lighting up the roads as the sun goes down, I can't wait to walk down the side streets and look at the graffiti. I want to stand at the top of the Empire State building and see for miles, I want to be a total tourist and get lost in Central Park. I want to do it all and document every moment.
This trip is more than a week away - it's like a trip of self discovery. Of acceptance that sometimes life throws you a crap hand, but like they say: If life gives you lemons - make lemonade.
And my lemonade just so happens to be New York shaped.