Sunday, March 12, 2017

This is not how my story will end...

This has been a process. It wasn’t something I knew or at least acknowledged ten or fifteen years ago. For me, it is the deepest yearning to live this life that I know was the true me.  I’ve done the expected marriage in the expected suburb. The expected life with the expected car with the expected second marriage.  For me the turning point was when my father died.  I knew somewhere deep inside me there was a release of expectation and of a life that was safe.  My husband wanted a divorce and I did not fight it. I knew that this freedom would enable me to do and be the me that I had secretly coveted.

My son is now 23 and I am 54.  We are taking a leap of faith and will be traveling for 2 months in Europe this fall. For 64 days we'll be exploring Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Italy. We'll be traveling lightly and by train so that we may see the countryside unencumbered.

I wanted to take this trip with Quentin so that he might experience places and people I had at 18. At that time, it seemed that the world was a much safer place, however I am not certain that was the case.  Perhaps the events occurring in the world were not covered to the extent they are now.  Perhaps the world is a more volatile place.  If that is so, then so be it.  I won't allow these events to deter me from sharing this experience with my son.

We all know that commercials loudly trumpet the opportunities available to us upon retirement. I know, however, that if I don’t do this now  then I may never do so.  I am not the backpacker and hosteller that I was in my teens. I am, however, the woman who, with a few accommodations can still experience the vagabond life I had envisioned.

I sometimes feel an almost palpable anxiety and fear that if I do not travel to these places I have longed to visit and/or revisit that I will regret it. 
When my grandmother was in her 80’s she shared with me that the one true regret she had was not seeing Switzerland in her lifetime. This was the country from which her family had immigrated. Eighty years on this earth and not once allowing herself this experience.   I knew then and there that I would not repeat this pattern. That this is not how my story will end.