Throw Off the Bowlines

Last year, I had the most amazing, remarkable and surreal experience. I had just been laid off. My children were about to go on two-week vacation with their dad and I didn’t know what I was going to do with all of that time. (You know, besides look for a job.) I called my friends and family. No one was available on such short notice. Just for giggles, I googled air fair to Italy. It wasn’t that bad. I quickly dismissed it. But, I talked to a friend about my lifelong dream to go to Italy and mentioned the air fair.

Serendipity. She had just met a woman who had recently moved back from Tuscany. Long story short, Elizabeth and I connected on many levels and less than two weeks later I was on a plane to Italy, alone. Elizabeth was stateside and I was off to a place I’d never been, not knowing a single word of Italian, knowing no one! Talk about trusting. Talk about jumping. Talk about carpe diem!

To understand how incredible this was for me, you need to know that I am pretty risk adverse. I graduated from college with exactly 120 hours, never changing my major, never having smoked a cigarette, let alone pot, never having done anything crazy or unexpected, and my adult life wasn’t much different. To go around the globe alone was life changing and to me, a big risk.

Just before leaving, my dad sent me an email detailing how dangerous it could be, reminding me that I didn’t have a job and asking if I was making the right decision. There was also the fear that my ex would find out and have a fit. He still harps on me about a trip I took to Hawaii eight years ago to see one of my best friends. (We’ve been apart 10 years).

The trip was relaxing, beautiful and filled with wonder. It was also empowering. I would have never considered doing something so rash before. I would have been filled with fear and trepidation. I would not have been strong enough to go.

I loved Italy, and I will write about the wonders I experienced at another time. This blog is more about me coming into my own and knowing that I can do it. I can do anything. And so can you. I sent this quote to my dad in response to his email and I still believe it. Live your dreams.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ by, H. Jackson Brown, Jr., P.S. I love You

One thought on “Throw Off the Bowlines

  1. Derek says:

    I can’t believe you went to Italy by yourself on a whim…it blows me away..I can see me doing it. I went to the first bowl game in Hawaii by myself. I went to Costa Rica by myself for vacation. I traveled a lot by myself teaching camps..but you MK.. you.. going to Italy..just doing it…amazing

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