I put my daughter on a plane again this week. Waking at 3 a.m. we made the dark, lonely highway drive to the airport for her to continue living the story of her 18th year. I am learning a lot from my girl, and her friends, and my niece, all inspiring young women who are rolling with the transition of becoming young adults with admiral spunk and carefree courage. These just of age women have trekked through Patagonia and to Everest base camp. They have explored cities in Europe, the UK, South America and Asia. Work days began on organic farms in Chile, hostels in Spain, orphanages in Nepal, llama farms in Germany, and Yellowstone National Park. Their friends are now not just the hometown high school bunch but are of all ages and came together from far corners of the world. They earned the money to make it all happen and boarded planes by themselves, not the 18th year I recall from my own youth!
I like long drives with one of my kids in the car, it gives us the time to talk without interruption and often it is where I learn lessons about my parenting successes and fails. On this particular morning my daughter shared that she and her best friend were talking the night before about how old people are afraid. Much to my chagrin at 52 I am now in the “old” category … seriously. From their perspective we are afraid of change. Giving up the comfort zone for something new or letting go of our carefully acquired resources for something different. While I do see adults stuck in unhappy places, jobs, relationships or struggling to achieve the “American Dream”, I know the teenagers lack my perspective of living three times longer than they have currently walked the earth.
My vantage point tells a different story. The transitions may not of required international flights but they did require courage and steadfast commitment and I am now at the crossroads. Exiting a marriage of 20+ years and launching 2 of my 3 kids into their independent lives I am now looking at my future differently. The first realization is that it is time to seriously downsize, so I am learning how to let go of STUFF, decades of accumulated THINGS. The reasons for this process are varied but the driving motivation was the decision to build a tiny house. Yep, one of those tiny homes on wheels that are rapidly growing in popularity. More to come on this adventure of the “Trek to Tiny” as this mid-century woman faces her own fear of change and shakes things up.
Soldier on fellow travelers!