It’s a good start when everyone we met since our arrival in Seattle tells us how lucky we are. This is what spring time should be – flowers blooming, sun shining, birds chirping and a clear blue sky.
Apparently it wasn’t like that before we came. It was grey, wet and cold. I packed a raincoat, an umbrella, heat packs and whatever needed to brace for a crazy weather. Now these items are stuffed away in a corner of my luggage hoping not to be used at all during this trip.
Tomorrow is Easter, a beginning of sorts for me and my son. He will be starting his new academic year in a community college in suburban Auburn, while I will be spending the next 3 months away from home finding a new purpose in a different chapter of my life.
I met other parents, just like me feeling the tender strains of letting go and reluctantly taking the necessary steps away from our children. Jet lagged with mixed emotions, we met at breakfast each day in a small hotel three long miles from the school. All of us sharing the same concerns and hopes as parents sending their children overseas for the first time.
A month before I made this trip, I met Thaddeus Lawrence, Singapore’s bold and bald runner of ultra-endurance racing. I was not totally moved by his motivational talk but he did stir me enough to buy his book, Runaway Success.
Reading the book made me realize that we have to take chances in order to live life to the fullest. Otherwise we’ll just be living like frogs in the well and thinking that the sky above is the entire world around us.
There’s always a first time for everything.
When we were growing up, we made many firsts as we tried new things, met new people and visited new places. As we get older, we tend to stick to familiar routines and old habits.
“Play safe” is the unspoken motto of people getting old. It’s this playing safe that quietly kills the creativity and potential of our true self. Getting old doesn’t have to mean that we stop growing.
Having new experiences is part of growing and living life to the fullest. It’s about taking chances, making new friends, exploring new ways to do things and opening minds to new ideas.
So here I am – alone in Seattle. Enjoying the cherry blossoms no doubt and feeling like a newbie in every way.
Last evening, I tried to buy a US plug adapter because I thought I left mine in the hotel. After two hours searching the neighbourhood, I couldn’t find what I wanted. But I did find interesting cafes along the way, a yoga place where I signed up for lessons, the public library, a laundry shop, an art gallery, Fred Meyer, three churches and a small Buddhist temple.
When I got back, I found my adapter in a side pocket of one of my bags. Funny, if I didn’t think I lost it, I would not be venturing out and finding about the places around me.
Well I’ll be here for another month or two. Let’s hope the weather remains as perfect as this week.
Stay with me as I go solo in Seattle.