Posted By Em
If I were to trace my love of adventure, I suppose its beginnings were an offshoot from my early love of reading. Almost every single evening during my formative years was spent snuggled next to one or both of my parents, avidly listening to stories that took me beyond the boundaries of my own tiny midwestern town. I crossed the prairie with Laura Ingalls, braved the tundra with Julie’s Wolf Pack, and survived the wilderness with Brian and his Hatchet. These literary journeys kept me satisfied until high school, when I took my first real trip away from home (on a band trip to Canada for a week); the combination of the reality of those new adventures combined with the rapidly depleting options in my local library suddenly made travel less of a maybe-someday goal and more of a priority. Then I met Joel.
Though I was drawn to Joel for a number of reasons (kind, empathetic nature, generous spirit, not to mention a d*** fine sight in board shorts) I was also immediately taken with his capacity for dreams. Before he started working, he was, as TE Lawrence once penned, “a dreamer of day”. Nothing was impossible; if he could dream it, he could do it. Then he became a radiation therapist; over time, I could see some of that optimism fade as he witnessed lives of many whose dreams became indefinitely deferred by that plague of our century, cancer. And so, I completely support the plan for the months ahead.
Many might consider Joel’s quitting his job reckless, and our plans to take our boat to the gulf even more so. We’ve gotten some incredulous looks over the past few months as we try to explain “the plan”: Joel quits his job, I keep mine, I join him in the summer, he uses the summer to do some soul-searching, and together, we figure out a way to keep the sails filled for both of our dreams. As fate would have it, I found my niche in the world just as Joel decided he still had not found his. I love my job; I work at a beautiful school with truly outstanding teachers, coworkers, and students who respect me and seem to think I’m “hip” (they’ve obviously never seen me try to dance). And, all of this comes with the added bonus of having time over the summer to travel and fulfill some of my wanderlust needs (don’t be hating–we teachers work our ASSES off to deserve this; I dare anyone who says otherwise to sub for a middle-school or high-school for a week that coincides with a full moon and an approaching break). Anyway, I digress.
Our dream may not be a conventional one. It also will be challenging at times. Yet, I can say without a moment’s hesitation that I feel and know that the decision we’re making is the right thing for both of us. More than anything, I want my husband to feel that same sense of fulfillment that I have found in the last two years. And more than I can say, I’m so excited to be blessed with this opportunity to make our dream a reality. Many people in this world never get the chance to pursue their dreams. Others miss the window. For us, this is that window, and we’re not going to wait until it suddenly slams shut. Or, when I think about it, this is that chapter in the adventure tale I never read, simply because it had yet to be written. Though the pages are blank, they are not daunting. Why? Because this book is meant to be coauthored. 🙂