Thursday, August 06, 2015

Dreaming of a Life Not Yet Lived

I admit it. When I see people living abroad and embarking on an adventure, I'm slightly envious.

As a kid and a teenager, and heck, even into my early 20s, I always wanted to live abroad and experience new cultures. I even applied to go to graduate school at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Unfortunately, I didn't make it, but that didn't stop me from dreaming about it.

Life has a way of taking our plans and turning them completely around, and I think that can sometimes be a good thing. Shortly after I found out I wasn't accepted to Trinity, I met the love of my life, got married, and had a baby 9 months later. That baby, my daughter, is now 15 and I absolutely could not imagine life without her.

I also went to graduate school two years after she was born and earned my master's degree in history. My thesis led to me getting a contract for my book, Nebraska POW Camps, and has led to numerous speaking engagements and lots of other opportunities. In fact, I'm pretty happy with where I am in life. I've published lots of nonfiction, have an agent who is shopping around my historical novel, have a wonderful marriage (though it's not perfect - it's really HARD sometimes, but that's what marriage is!), a gorgeous daughter, a good job that has given me insight into the state where I grew up that I didn't have before, as well as teaching me about academic publishing, and the ability to be able to afford a few trips overseas here and there. My last trip to England was in in 2008 and I'm taking my daughter with me this time when we go to England in October.

Despite all of this, there's still that thirst for adventure. And if my health would cooperate more (if you're a new reader, I have rheumatoid arthritis) I tend to wonder what leaps of faith I could take here and now.

Picture I took of the Chesterfield Church. Derbyshire, England, 2008
Part of the problem, of course, is that my husband has already had those adventures. He lived in Germany for 8 years, and he's pretty content to stay right here in Nebraska. But me? Heck, I'd love to be able to live in the UK for a few years, travel all across Europe, visit my family in Italy, and see and experience new cultures. Whether my health would allow that is another question. But still...I'd really like to try!

Living the routine, dare I say "safe" life is ok most of the time. I've lived in the same state my entire life and it hasn't been bad. I go to the same job every day, live in a modest house, have great friends and family, and am quite content with how my writing career has progressed.

But that siren's call to adventure catches me every once in awhile and I wonder, "What if I just took a leap of faith? What if I decided to move overseas for a year, experience it, the good and the bad?"

My daughter is convinced she will live in London once she graduates from high school. And to tell you the truth, I wouldn't mind at all! Now if we can just convince hubby to join us...


8 comments:

  1. I think you should definitely give it a go. It's important to you, and I always think that I would hate to be too old and think Oh I wish I'd done XXXX. You'll find a way - and don't feel guilty. Do it!

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    1. I like that attitude, Sue! :-)

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  2. Well, if you moved to England, you would finally get your mom on a plane :-)

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    1. Don't be surprised if your granddaughter lives there someday! :)

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  3. As you know we are about to bark on just that kind of adventure. And really even a year ago I wouldn't have thought it possible for a whole host of reasons. Hang on to your dream and I hope one day it will come true for you :) In the meantime you have that wonderful trip in October - with the added bonus of Benedict! to look forward to.

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    1. I am so excited for you, Sue! What an amazing, wonderful adventure it will be.

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  4. I remember when you went overseas the last time. Has it been that long? Wow. It's funny you talk about wanting that adventurous life. How I envy yours. I have moved way too much. I would give anything to live a quiet life in the country in a home that I call my own. You should have married my husband. He would do it in a heartbeat! LOL

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    1. I think my husband is tired of all the moving he did - he lived in Europe for 8 years. I guess I should have met him earlier! :D (Funny - we grew up about 50 miles from each other, but didn't meet until years later).

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