Mom Wants A Diabetes Cure

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

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 caf├ęs, 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 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.


  • Shannon,

    Have a great time!!!

    I think it's wonderful that you are getting away for a while.

    I totally understand where you are coming from. I had Holden when I was 17, so I feel like I've been a mom my whole life.

    Just a couple of days ago I was telling my husband that I feel like all I am is Michael's wife and Riley and Holden's mom. I'm not really Penny.

    Not that I mind being a wife and mother, but you can't let it become your identity.

    I'm thinking of signing up for a class or something, not going to France. I'll have to do that vicariously through you.

    I'm so excited for you. Keep us posted.

    By Blogger Penny, at 11/06/2007 9:11 AM  

  • :) I hope Shannon has a wonderful time.

    By Blogger Rachel..., at 11/06/2007 9:26 AM  

  • That is really great! I don't that enough wives and/or mothers take enough time for themselves. Have fun, enjoy it!

    By Blogger Jillian, at 11/06/2007 9:28 AM  

  • I absolutely cannot wait to hear about your adventures.

    Take it by the horns, Shannon. You're an inspiration to me.

    By Blogger Kerri., at 11/06/2007 9:30 AM  

  • I loved France, and I was a girl who probably didn't appreciate it as much as you will. I can't wait to see France through your eyes. Please take lots of pictures. I miss it.

    By Blogger Allison, at 11/06/2007 9:34 AM  

  • In college, I tried to do Paris in 3 days - long story! What I saw was beautiful - enjoy!

    By Anonymous Sara, at 11/06/2007 9:36 AM  

  • Shannon - everyone needs a trip where they get to let loose and find themselves; enjoy it and cherish every second - drink lots of wine and go to places in that city you never would have dreamed of.

    By Blogger Wingman, at 11/06/2007 10:19 AM  

  • I get it, totally.

    Congrats on making it happen. I can't wait to hear about it!

    By Blogger Kassie, at 11/06/2007 10:42 AM  

  • Shannon,
    It certainly is not selfish to take take to get back to you, or discover who you have grown to be. I think it's fantastic you are doing this. I hope you have an amazingly wonderful time. Drink it in, make it an adventure, and have FUN!!
    The kids and husband will be fine, and so will you! Have a safe trip. I can't wait to hear all about it.

    By Blogger Lea, at 11/06/2007 11:00 AM  

  • take time to get back to you

    I am a typing nightmare. ;)

    By Blogger Lea, at 11/06/2007 11:02 AM  

  • I think everyone should do what you are doing. I'm afraid I've lose who I am too. In fact, I don't even know who I am outside of wife and mother anymore. How sad is that??

    Enjoy your experience - this is an incredible opportunity and please, PLEASE take tons of pics to show all of us! You are going to have a BLAST :)

    Bon voyage mon amie! :) I'll miss ya! (drink lots of wine for me, k?? LOL)

    By Blogger Jamie, at 11/06/2007 11:56 AM  

  • Frik!! Lose = lost.

    I never re-read my posts before submitting them. LOL.

    By Blogger Jamie, at 11/06/2007 11:56 AM  

  • I can very much relate to these feelings though I've never been engaged to a man.

    Have an amazing time.

    By Blogger Carey, at 11/06/2007 3:47 PM  

  • Yay for you! Have a wonderful time and enjoy.

    By Blogger Colleen, at 11/06/2007 3:59 PM  

  • I remember 3 phrases in French:
    Bonjour (Hello)
    Au Revoir (Good-bye)
    Combien? (How Much?)


    By Blogger Carmen & Todd, at 11/06/2007 5:32 PM  

  • Yay for you! I'm excited for you. I sometimes take for granted all the traveling I've done on my own. Sometimes, I want the house and the kids and the husband and the security that I don't have right now living abroad. I think I'll be so glad I did it when I do have those things, though.

    Enjoy France! I'm envious! :) I loved France. YAY!

    By Blogger Amylia, at 11/06/2007 11:02 PM  

  • Wow, thanks for the comments, everyone!!

    By Blogger Shannon, at 11/07/2007 7:59 AM  

  • wow! wow! you are leaving today? wow! have a great time, shannon. I'll be thinking of you and looking forward to lots of pictures. Bon voyage!

    By Blogger Paige, at 11/07/2007 8:38 AM  

  • Can't believe you're leaving today!!

    Look forward to reading of your adventures in France-- no doubt, you'll have many fun stories to share. :-)

    Have a wonderful time, Shannon!

    By Blogger Sandra Miller, at 11/07/2007 10:25 AM  

  • Have fun!!! We're actually a bilingual home too. I'm American hubs is Dutch and we live in Holland. Our 4 yr old speaks both languages.. in the same sentence LOL

    By Anonymous LJK, at 11/07/2007 10:53 AM  

  • Have a great time, Shannon. I know what you're talking about - it's very easy to lose your self when you become a wife and mother.

    I can't wait to hear about your trip!

    By Blogger Major Bedhead, at 11/07/2007 1:09 PM  

  • Have an amazing journey, Shannon. Cannot wait to hear all about it... :)

    By Blogger Nicole P, at 11/07/2007 2:28 PM  

  • Shannon is here!! She arrived! I am the luckiest in the whold world! After a grueling flight (Shannon will tell you about later) she arrived.

    By Anonymous tongue in cheek, at 11/10/2007 3:09 AM  

  • Hi Shannon - I got to your blog via Corey. Girlfriend, you certainly got what you wished for with all the delays, etc. Now you really understand now it feels to be out of your comfort zone. I know you'll have a fabulous time in France and I'll be sure to check back to find out all about it.

    By Blogger Anne, at 11/10/2007 11:42 AM  

  • Shannon! Enjoy your time in France. It's exhausting to be a wife, mom, and caregiver. It's time for renewal! Without some YOU time, it's so easy to burn out. I hope your trip is everything you want it to be. La bonne chance et boivent du vin pour moi!

    By Blogger Naomi, at 11/10/2007 4:38 PM  

  • Everyone needs a vacation to refuel/recharge and go back home with new energy, new perspective and amazing stories! :)

    By Blogger Cassoulet Cafe, at 11/11/2007 8:37 PM  

  • hey Shannon--just wanted to let you know you inspired me to write a post over at my blog. I hope you don't mind me using you for inspiration. Safe travels!

    By Blogger Amylia, at 11/12/2007 5:00 AM  

  • P.S. You can read what I wrote about you here.

    By Blogger Amylia, at 11/13/2007 12:54 AM  

  • When are you coming home? I'm getting antsy, I want to hear all about your amazing trip!

    By Blogger Lea, at 11/16/2007 10:39 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home