Have you ever been reading a book and a line just jumps off the page as completely and utterly profound? Like it’s advice or wisdom written just for you?
Such was my experience today, reading The Red Skirt by Patricia O’Donnell-Gibson. (Subtitle: “Memoirs of an Ex-Nun”…don’t laugh. I love memoirs…once considered being a nun…and Bob’s your uncle!)
Patty, as she refers to herself in the book, I’m not giving her a nickname, has just entered the convent and is questioning whether or not “my friends who had not entered the convent might be suffering similarly.” She goes on to discuss the trials she would have faced if she’d gone to University and then she says…
“We have to grow up no matter where we are.”
Full stop. One paragraph from the end of the chapter and I couldn’t keep reading because this line held my attention.
Sometimes I wonder what makes me love travel. I love being in new places, never staying in one place too long, always moving and changing (which is funny because I love routine and stability). But if it really came down to it…I would love to live in one place for a month and then move on to another. And while it’s not so fun to do while you’re doing it, living out of suitcase doesn’t bother me (which is why I love the travel that comes with my job).
Am I running away from something? Running towards something? Who knows. I never considered the fact that I don’t want to “grow up”…because I so do. Or do I? I wish I had a psychiatrist sometimes to figure all these questions out for me…butttt anyway. I love the point Patty makes. No matter if I’m here, in England, or traveling the US for work…I’m going to grow up. No matter if I choose to settle in Cleveland for some time or move to Chicago…I’m going to grow up. No mater any of the life choices I make…life waits for no one.
That’s so scary! We spend so much time trying to plan things (or at least I do) that life seems to just cruise on by and then…bam…I’m all grown up.
So what I’ve gotten out of this is something I’ve already known: “life is what happens when you’re making other plans.”
Yes I miss England. Yes I want to travel. But even when I’m not in England or traveling…life still needs to go on. I wish I would have learned that a lot sooner (ie: BEFORE I spent about 4 months at home doing nothing and wallowing in self pity and missing England).
It’s a lesson I feel will take a while to learn.