Monday, February 17, 2014

I Roam Around, Around, Around

Day 17: Today's is a photo post - Something I never would have seen if I’d stayed home.

How has it already been seven years?!
Easy-peasy, I thought when I read today's prompt.  And then I realized it wasn't.  Because the answer is fairly obvious- I wouldn't have seen ANY of the stuff I've seen if I never left home.  I wouldn't have seen the Dead Sea, Petra, the mountains of Guatemala, the beaches of the DR, the skyscrapers (and pollution) of Shanghai or the Great Wall.  I would not have seen the pyramids of Giza.   

In the post from Day 13 I meant to write about my crippling fear of change, so I'll attack that now.  It's funny to think how scary 'change' is, now and then.  Going to college at Brenau Women's College was arguably one of the best decisions I've ever been forced to make (that's a story for another time).  I love the beautiful campus, my sorority house full of silly, serious, amazing women, the traditions, the expectations, and the fact that I always felt comfortable going to class in my jammies... because there were no boys.  But every summer, when it came time to pack my bags and drive the 90 minutes back to Gainesville, I cried.  Never mind that I didn't really have many friends in my hometown anymore.  Never mind that my mother and I were often completely sick of each other.  Never mind that I craved the freedoms of 'living on my own,' after a summer in my childhood bedroom.  Nope, none of that mattered.  I had to change my current living arrangements and it upset me.

The same thing happened each summer as I packed to head home.

After college, I was terrified of getting a 'real' job, so I started waitressing at Logan's Roadhouse in my hometown.  And I kept on waitressing at Logan's Roadhouse in my hometown, even after I moved to Atlanta.  Because that would have been too much change.  I hardly spent any time in that Atlanta house.  I preferred to drive 30 minutes back to D'ville and hang out... at home.  The home I had just moved out of.

I wasn't moving to the Dominican Republic, even after talking with Kimi (you should read her blog!) and then the director of the school; not after scheduling an interview in New Orleans and driving out there with my dad and having a three-hour interview.  Nope, I was going to wait until I got home then politely ignore the emails and phone calls from Mr. Director until he went away.  But, deep down, I suspect he knew that because he asked me to make a decision right there.  In front of him.  Then he told me to go get my dad.  And I had to make that decision in front of both of them.

And Southern girls do not say no.

So I said yes.  And initiated the BIGGEST change I had ever even considered experiencing.  And it was terrifying- so terrifying that I didn't sleep for about a month before I left.  I kept waiting for someone to tell me I couldn't go, I shouldn't go.  I wasn't born to be a traveler- I (thought) could be happy staying in D'ville, teaching choir at my old high school, going to the same Wal-Mart, the same Target, the same mall for Christmas pictures.  I would drive to Atlanta for the occasional show at The Fox and then drive to Destin for vacation every couple of years.

Change was never meant to be such a big part of my life.  But change I did and I do, every time we pack up to head to another country.  And all of that change has meant that I have seen unbelievable sites.  But the best things I've seen, that I never would have seen if I hadn't left home are these two cuties:
 
Because if I had never left home, I never would have seen this man.  And he has been the best thing I've ever seen. 
Thanks Ashley Kaye Photography

Okay, I cheated a little bit... so sue me. 

12 comments:

  1. Such a creative way to respond to the prompt. Wonderful! Your family is so adorable - those little girls are just too cute!

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    1. Thank you! It really is true that my life would not be what it is if I hadn't left... but that's true for everyone!

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  2. Tears!! If I may get just a little sappy in return, I remember you in those post-college days when you were a bit adrift, clearly wanting something more, but not sure what. You may have feared change, but I don't think you really would have settled for staying put (If I may be so bold ;-) ). What you ended up with is pretty darn special. Glad that man made you show your good Southern manners and say yes!

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    1. Yeah- that was a stinky time and I definitely wallowed in it for a while. But you're right, I probably wouldn't have been completely happy staying home. I just needed a kick in the butt (thanks Kimi).

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  3. I really enjoyed your story of how you have ended up living around the world---your blog title makes perfect sense. I am also glad to know that I am not the only one who still fears change even after going through it so many times.

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    1. I'm awful at it! Even when it's time to start researching new places, I let the RS do all the research and tell me where he thinks we should go. I have to narrow it down before I start even thinking about it!

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  4. great! i love the life leads us in the direction we need to be going even if we don't want to be going in that direction. P.S. I'm so jealous of your first paragraph and the things you've seen... someday.

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    1. I know what you mean- I just keep thinking how life-changing the email I got about that first job was. If I had ignored it, who knows where I'd be now?! And if you had told me that answering that email would've landed me in Bahrain with a husband and 2 kids and 2 dogs 10 years later... I probably would've run screaming anyway! Life is a crazy, crazy ride!

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  5. Great post, the expat life opens up the doors to all kinds of experiences we might not have thought of without venturing further afield

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    1. That is so, so true! I still need to work on being more adventurous though.

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