The Time Has Come When I Must Say Au Revoir, Mes Amis
For months now, I've been crawling out of my skin. I've been taking stock of my life...looking back to see how I came to be where I am today, and although I'm doing exactly what I've always planned to do, I do have regrets.
One of them is not traveling. I want to do the by myself, on my own, without a clue as to what the hell I'm doing kind of traveling. Not the touristy traveling with people who want to see museums, eat at cafés, or shop in street markets.
I'm talking about the kind of traveling where you close your eyes, point your finger, and pick a spot on a map and then go there to see how people really live...meeting them and seeing if their lives are just as confusing, and regretful, and complicated as my own. I want to experience the human condition of others in a foreign land.
Recently, I was invited by a good friend of mine to visit her in France where she lives with her French husband, and where they've created a family of two beautiful children who speak French. My friend is from America and she's described how, when they all speak together, it's a whirlwind of French and English. I want to experience that crazy, confusing kind of conversation.
I want to live outside of my comfort zone...to feel tense, nervous, unsafe...I want to feel some emotion for once.
I've planned my life carefully to avoid struggle, pain, and regrets. I went to college, graduated in 4 years, became engaged to the man with whom I carefully nourished a relationship to make sure that he was the one forever, we got married after carefully planning our wedding, we bought a house after saving every penny we earned, we fixed up the house before we had kids, we had kids. Now I regret not really living life.
I went from daughter to wife to mother. There was never Shannon in between.
Is it foolish of me to think that I can just pick up for a week or two by myself, visit someone halfway across the world and live the life I want to live for such a short time? Is it foolish of me to live a life of someone who doesn't have the responsibilities that come with being a wife and mother of three young children?
Maybe so, but I'm going to France. August of 2007.
EDIT: This post was written 18 months ago in 2006 and is still relevant today (I made some edits). I couldn't swing August, so it got pushed back to November. I'm leaving tomorrow.