Was it all just one big mistake? Were the past five years of her life one not-so-glorious situation-normal-all-fouled-up? Had the decision to buy a 41-foot diesel pusher motorhome and travel full-time for a year or two or five or been the worst of her life?
Such angst coming from an ex-type A. The young girl who believed her parents when they said she could do whatever she put her mind to. The teenage girl who told her fellow McDonald’s crew members only a little in jest, “I thought I made a mistake once but I was wrong.” The young woman who at 27 held a bottle of Korbel high as she graduated from college summa cum laude, point-oh-three points shy of a perfect four-point-oh, and in three years too by the way. Eyes bright as she looked east towards Washington, D.C.
She’d always wanted to go to Georgetown and she usually got what she wanted. “Because you worked for it, honey,” she heard Mom’s voice in her ear. “And because you’re smart,” Dad added, “I don’t know how you knew what you did.” And Dad had a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Loyola University. And everyone knew that electrical engineers were the smartest of them all.
Yeh, she was so smart.
Her plans started falling apart after graduate school. She wanted to be a spy but flunked the CIA’s psychological exam — too empathetic the penciled-in ovals concluded. Then she interviewed for the Foreign Service to be a diplomat but wasn’t good at game playing. None of that mattered now, almost 30 years down the road.
What did matter now was that the woman — never married, no children, just a dog but an awesome one at that — decided to start from scratch at age 51. Was she insane? Why did she chuck it all — a comfortable life pieced together over twenty-five years, a handful of close friends, a job if not at the top of her field then close?
“I have no choice,” she told her friends and co-workers as she methodically disassembled a predictable old life to create the foundation of an unknown new, “It’s either do this or die a slow death.” And she meant it.
And so she did what she did best. Put her head down, researched, planned. Finding the Newmar Dutch Star motorhome near Dallas; buying and paying off a Honda CR-V to tow behind; learning all she could about living on the road as a full-time RVer. The hardest part was selling her hobbit home in the Reston woods, her refuge.
Yeh, and then she had a plan. Her brilliant plan: No plan. Nope. No plan. Let’s see how that works out. And you said she was smart? Ha!
Life hasn’t turned out quite the way she expected, definitely not how the she at 16, 27, or 51 thought it would. She thought she’d be happy by now, or at least happier than she is. She thought she’d be at peace.
She was mistaken.
Or was she?
You tell me, I mean “her.” You tell “her.” (Not fishing or anything here but actually I am.)