When I was in high school I decided to take a year off, work, earn money and go to Europe and that’s what I did. At the age of 19 I set out, all by myself, knowing absolutely nothing and flew to Paris. My Mom was worried enough that she arranged for me to room with a young woman from my home town but other than that I was clueless. I didn’t know about student passes, youth hostels, nothing.
I was a mess in my teens, wracked with low self esteem, addle brained from smoking too much pot and poisoned with an inky self loathing that drove my posture and the way I entered a room. When I got to Europe I realized that no one knew me, no one was aware of the circumstances of my life that had buried my ego in humiliation and disgust – I was almost reborn. I could see my life almost literally from 6,000 miles away and that distance provided a fulcrum against which I could measure the validity of those things that weighed me down. It was a beautiful thing.
It’s taken me 40 years to properly crawl out from under that dung heap but I mostly feel like I’m there. However, as of late there have been some circumstances in my life that have weighed me down. I’ve had issues with my job, yet another heartbreak this last summer and a not entirely successful bout of trying to figure out ‘what next’.
Friday I am heading to the east coast, leaving my house and dog in the capable hands of 2 people and spending 3 weeks with my daughter and her family that will grow by 1 any time after I get there (that’s the plan). After 3 weeks of basking in the joy of my daughter and her babies and their Daddy, I will head to tropical paradise to unwind for a week, both in and out of the water; on top and below.
It isn’t quite like the time I went to Europe when I was a shell of who I am today but it bears some similarity. I’m looking forward to a change of venue, to a break from the never ending task of searching for my life partner and to the opportunity to reevaluate and reset. I don’t when last I escaped the bonds of my day to day life for a whole month but it’s time, and it’s going to be great.