Graduations, Freedom, Choice & Overwhelm

As typical of early June in the Bay Area, the mornings have been clear and cool and the afternoons warm. My roses are in bloom and scatter petals across the emerald green grass in my backyard.

I’ve been off this week, or I’ve been off from one of my part time jobs, freeing up three days to stop and smell the roses I planted years ago. Otherwise, I would be teaching language arts to grade school students. If this sounds like fun, it is. I am teaching kids to read, how to organize their thoughts, and express themselves in written form. There is nothing more rewarding then teaching someone to read as reading is the gateway to knowledge.

As I think about my future the one thing I am certain of is that no matter where life takes me I will never not be teaching something whether this is tutoring kids or teaching college level marketing courses.

My daughter graduates from high school tomorrow. Now, I can in earnest begin making concrete plans for my next chapter. As I begin to really think about this I have to stretch my imagination because I can not imagine a life where I am not making sure my daughter is up and off to school every morning, or checking in the afternoon to find out where she is, and then making plans for her dinner. Soon, it will be only myself that I have to think about.

Come September I will have more time. To me this is the greatest gift I could ever wish for. The possibilities of how to spend that time are endless. The sheer amount of options are overwhelming. I will also have freedom like I have not seen since my days of living in San Francisco before marriage. As many know, even though a high school senior can be left alone overnight this is never a good idea.

Time and freedom. The plethora of possibilities are endless. I will be free to live anywhere I wish and do anything I wish. I’ve been weighing my options carefully. The funny thing is that the more I think about these freedoms and where I might like to live the more I realize how much I love and value where I am right now. I love my work and my beautiful serene neighborhood. I adore the small town I live in and it’s close proximity to San Francisco and the wider universe. I treasure the many friends I have made here, the dog park, and having the produce manager at my grocery store know my name. I love that my neighbors read my column and stop me in the street to talk about it. I deeply value the life I have made here.

When I was young and traveling trough Europe every place I went was my favorite place. I felt at home in London where I studied Economics, then I was fascinated by Athens and her ancient artifacts, then I never wanted to leave the village of Matala, Crete in Greece where I would sit on the beach and play Backgammon all day long. This went on through Italy in Florence and Rome. Then again through the South of France and Paris. By the time I toured through Lisbon and the Algarve I realized I could be happy anywhere.

As the hours wind down to graduation I realize this is a milestone moment for me as well. As my daughter is handed her diploma and walks away to start her next chapter, so do I. For her she has the certainty of the next four years, I do not. What I have is option overwhelm.

I will continue to smell the roses and ask my daughters where they are going and what they want for dinner as I think about my future.

I know I will continue to make clothes, I will continue to write and I will continue to teach. How I configure that and how I organize life on my own is still unclear. These were the changes I sought out as a young woman. I lived in London, I lived in Vancouver B.C., I lived in Portland, and I lived in San Francisco. I moved every two years before I was married. I felt the change of perspective was always good. New coffee shops, new dry cleaners, new friends and different windows to look out of and onto the world beyond.

As the world abhors a vacuum the space left behind by both my daughters will be filled with something new. It is this slice of the unknown that I am looking forward to.

Love and blessings to all.

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