Two days after I turned 18 my mother and sister left me alone in the alternate universe called “The South.”
It didn’t matter how “deep” my Ani Difranco and James Dean posters made me look. I was afraid – that I had made a huge mistake, that I would never find my way outside my dorm – and really, really hungry.
Nearly everyone in my all-girls dorm was at the football stadium, melting their faces in the 108-degree heat for rush week. I wandered down the hall until I found someone and asked if she wanted to go grab lunch. We sat down with another girl at the student union, because that’s what people do their first days at college.
While I have no recollection of who the girl from my dorm was, I bring up this story because that other girl became one of my best friends at school. My reward for overcoming my paralyzing fear of getting out was an unexpected friend and the interesting adventures that came with her… and a real understanding that you will be incredibly disappointed if you just sit around waiting for something to happen.
So here I am,
nearly 13 years later, again new in an unfamiliar place. It could be easy to sit around in my sweats, playing with the baby all day, telling myself I’ll go do something when… when we move into our house, when our stuff gets here, when family visits, when I’m not so tired. But the clock is ticking, and it’s time to get out and go.
I’ll admit, I’m kind of throwing myself at the spouses in the squadron and any mom with a stroller I see around base. I know something will stick. And I’m also telling myself that this mentality applies to my family and our opportunities to see all there is to see here.
Now that we’ve found a place to live (yay!), we’re using the weekends to start exploring. We visited the breathtaking Ely Cathedral Saturday, toured the Abbey Gardens in our new town Sunday and took a family trip into London today. We’ve also become members of The National Trust and English Heritage to motivate ourselves to see more. Though, after years (and I’m adding my years in Nebraska to my years in Indiana, here) amongst cornfields, all it takes is a beet field or a potato field or an onion field to excite me.
I think we’re going to have fun!