“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears” nelson.mandela.
Upon moving to the States from Australia, my parents chose not to settle into the place where they knew people, the place where my mom was from (-California). Instead–from what I know–they packed my brother and I into an RV and started looking for Something to find in the place that they were not. They drove until they found a place to make their own (-Colorado). And as soon as we were old enough, my brother and I left to find our own places to make ours. It is not that we wanted to leave; we were just always born and raised to Go.
My parents did not stay together, but the lessons they taught us were synergetic. My dad taught us how to pack a bag efficiently, and how to save and budget for the Next thing you are doing, and how to sit in relaxation on a beach and take a moment to look around you. My mom taught us how find a deal, and how to seek connections in strangers, and how to embrace the unexpected and turn every moment into a story. They both taught us how to take off in a plane and how to roll forward in a car. They both taught us to look, and to move, ahead–to Go.
All of the lessons my parents have explicitly and implicitly taught me throughout my life, individually and together, have culminated in this fact: I was always leaving anyway. It was never worth pretending otherwise. Even when the Leaving is hard, the Going is great. There is always Something to be found, Somewhere beyond.
Leaving drives the plot of every story as both an end and as a beginning. My recent stories have ended with me leaving; now it’s time for them to start with the fact that I Left.