When I came home from Europe, at twenty one, my mother told me my traveling days were over. And I believed her. She was the perfect example of someone who liked to sit safely on her perch and take no risks whatsoever. She didn’t want to work, she didn’t want to remarry, she didn’t want to do much of anything. When I was a sophomore in high school, she had designed and built a beautiful custom home on Woodscape Drive in Salem, Oregon, and it was from here, that she locked the entire world out.
After graduating with a Political Science degree, I lived in Salem, and worked for the Senate and then, a Political Lobby Firm and I spent a lot of my time with her. However, by the time I was 24, my relationships had all crashed and burned, I’d not been out of the country or anywhere at all for several years, and every job I had was a dead end. My mother was always giving me helpful advise, of course, but it was making my life very small. I realized I had to stop listening to her. When the ballot measure campaign I was managing was over, I threw my clothes in my car, and moved to San Francisco.
I got a job as a temp. Then, as a Systems Analyst, then a Technical Writer, then a Project Manager, then a Marketing Director, I made friends easily, and my life was soon full of fun. I expected the best things of life, and for the most part I got them.
Now, just like her, I am a widow with two daughters. This irony is not lost on me, but unlike her, I will not fear life. I will embrace it, move forward, and expect only good things.
My life feels much like it did that sunny June day when I was driving down the I-5 with a few hundred dollars, and everything I owned in the backseat of my car.