Today is my last day at a job that I have been doing for almost ten years. It is sort of surreal. I have sketchy plans as to what I may do next but mostly it is up in the air. The first stop will be to spend a hunk of time with my Mother in N.Y. with my 6 year old son. And then, who knows.
I happened to be on a Starbucks line today with a bunch of young Germans. At first I thought that they were tourists but then I decided that they were exchange students because when one opened her backpack to pay, it yawned open revealing a composition notebook and what looked like a textbook. It seemed that they might be headed to the beach as one girls’ bikini could be glimpsed around her neck. Her back was unnaturally brown and the mom in me worried for her skin.
As I listened to them, I thought to myself, I hope that one day my son has enough confidence and ability to take a trip like they are on. Travel to a place where the language and culture are foreign (they did speak enough English to order drinks and food at Starbucks, what more English could they need?) I started feeling wistful that as an adult, we lose this spirit. The spirit that tells your soul that you can do it, that, although your brain may be full of fear, you will be able to pull it off. I thought to myself, I could never do what these kids are doing, immerse myself into a new culture with a foreign language.
Strolling back to my job for the last time, I began to realize that I am more like the German exchange students than I had originally given myself credit for. I was moving to rural N.Y.in a little over a week; a place that may turn out to be radically different from where I am now. I actually thought to myself the other day, what exactly would be appropriate to wear, say on a job interview there. Do they dress the same way as we do in Honolulu? Would it be weird if I wasn’t wearing panty hose (ew!) So in a way I will be entering a new culture where I will have a learning curve. I am glad to say that the wanderlust in me has yet to be tamed. I hope that, if nothing else, my son will learn to be comfortable with change and willing to face new situations. Here’s to taking on the world!