Chapter 11: Out-of-Body Experiment

It’s unusual to meet a couple in their early thirties who have been married for over 12 years already, but that’s describes my wife and I are at today. We are happier than ever as we managed to find away to meaningfully support one another and discover what love meant for both of us over the years. However, that wasn’t always the case.  From the start, our relationship wasn’t only complicated; it was in a deep mess. In Out-of-Body Experiment, I struggled to convey what was going through my head during my cross cultural trip to England.  Emily and I had only been dating for a few months, when I made a series of poor decisions during what was supposed to be an educational experience.

When I stepped into the New Castle and York night scenes, I turned into an entirely different person. The myth that everyone overseas loves Americans turned out to be true in my case and that was the only thing I could imagine sparking my heightened level of confidence. Looking back, that self-assurance warped into arrogance as I repeated that same reckless behavior throughout the trip.

I returned from England with a lot of fond memories and just as many regrets. People frequently asked me would I do it all over again and the answer I usually respond with is “no!” I would’ve done things very differently, but life rarely offers do-overs. In this case, I would have to live with the consequences of my actions and rightfully so.  The fallout continues through the next chapter, Lost in Transition, and negatively affects everything from my contentious relationship with Emily to my less-than-impressive academic performance throughout my junior year.

I was of two minds about including this chapter, but ultimately decided that it was more important to maintain the imperfect man theme. It was such an unnecessarily complex time in my life, but I wanted to present the dynamic of being too young to consider marriage since I never really had my act together. The ultimate lesson I want people to get from Out-of-Body Experiment is that we all make mistakes along the way. It’s important to own up to it if for no other reason than someone else may learn from the errors of our human ways.

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