Recently my friend and I visited Powell’s Bookstore in Portland, Oregon and I was on a book high. When walking all around the different rooms, looking at the books on the shelves, my friend and I pointed out good books to each other.
“Oh, I’ve read this one. It’s good.”
“This one is so funny!”
There were just too many good books and I just wanted to buy them all and eat them up like caramels.
And I love caramels. (And it’s car-mels. Not care-a-mel. Am I right, or am I right? … I am right.)
My friend pointed out Wild by Cheryl Strayed and said it was like Eat, Prey, Love but with lots of F-words.
I never read Eat, Prey, Love because I thought it would make me want to leave everything and move to Indonesia. (But now I’m kinda doing that anyway.) And I love F-bombs! Wild sounded RAWResome. I was on board.
Checked out the e-book through my local library.
Then I thought to myself if there was any way I could keep checking out e-books through my local library while we live in Taiwan for two years? Must add that to my “figure out how to do” list.
Anyway. Got the book. Came home from work last Friday afternoon and poured myself a glass of yummy sangria. Turned on the TV and The Sixth Sense was on. Added a little more brandy to the sangria. The Sixth Sense went to commercial so I started to read my e-book version of Wild.
Wrong book to read at this time in my life.
On the first few pages, she talks about the progression of her thoughts when she decided to leave everything and hike the Pacific Coast Trail all by herself. Now, my adventure to Taiwan may not be as extreme as that (at least I will have things like plumbing, refrigerators and scooters), but the evolution of her thoughts are very similar to how I’ve been feeling lately.
And how I expect to feel in the next few months once we actually make it there and then have to get used to a new way of living.
Also, wrong movie to watch while I read this wrong book. The Sixth Sense is a really sad movie! I hadn’t seen in since 1999 when I was 15 and went to see it at the local movie theater with my then high school boyfriend. Everyone in the theater screamed at all the scary parts. After, when my boyfriend’s dad drove me home, he pulled up to the wrong house and had to reverse his van. And the moment he looked back so he could see where he was going in reverse was the same moment my boyfriend decided to French kiss me for the first time.
But the kid in the movie is so sad, how everyone thinks he’s a freak. Those boys were so mean shoving him into the closet with the ghost.
And poor old, dead Bruce Willis. He was dead the whole time and never noticed because no one ever talks to him. What a sad life he was living.
So Friday afternoon with my sad book, my sad movie and my sad sangria (I’m joking, the sangria was great!) sent my emotions all over the damn place.
Saturday afternoon, Man-Beast and I were driving around, doing some errands. I saw a yard with cute pink flamingos whose wings spin when the wind picks up. And I found myself crying because I want a yard with cheesy pink flamigos whose wings spin, but we’re moving to Taiwan, to an apartment in Taiwan, and I won’t have the cheesy American yard for at least two years.
Doesn’t that sound ridiculous? Well … yeah. Because it is.
So I started crying in the car. Have you ever had that moment when you’re waiting at a stop light, you look around and you see someone crying in their car and you feel embarrassed for them?
Well, then, you just saw me.
I couldn’t stop crying because I wanted the flamingos. Because all I thought about are those catty ass bitches at my job. Because I had a dream the night before about taking four contacts out of my left eye because I mistakingly put too many in there. Because of the realization that I’m not going to see my mom or dad for at least a year and a half is slowly creeping up on me and it scares me. Because I didn’t really want to go to REI on a Saturday afternoon.
Because of so many things.
But mostly because I related all too well with Cheryl Strayed and her decision to do something crazy. Reading her range of emotions and thoughts for when she made her crazy-ass decision to walk across the country alone just makes the reality of Man-Beast and I moving to Asia all the more in the fore-front of my mind.
I was so busy with catty people at work, selling our stuff and blogging on here (which is a very welcome distraction!) that I hadn’t really meditated on moving to Taiwan. How fast this move is coming up. How long that flight is really going to be. (Fifteen hours and I hate, hate, hate to fly. Hello, NyQuil!) How much I’m going to miss the people in my life.
I know that people are an extremely important part of life. They drive us nuts, but, like Cheryl in Wild, when we lose them, then we realize how much we need their presence in our lives.
So where does travel and adventure fit into life?
Man-Beast and I are doing this two-year jaunt because we want to see the world. Sometimes I feel sad thinking about when I’m 90 and dying and I haven’t been able to see everywhere in the world. I want to see every country. Every shoreline. Every street market. Every animal. Every neighborhood. Do I have really weird thoughts, or what?
But after my study abroad to Oxford, I came back with such a great sense of myself and the world. I felt so confident and capable. I’m hoping I’ll feel the same after Taiwan.
There have to be sacrifices, though. And not seeing our family and friends will obviously be the big one. We’ve signed the contracts, so we have to go.
And I still WANT to go! I’m excited for noodles, monkeys and scooters. I want to learn Mandarin. I want to have my own classroom. I want to have a nap time every day after lunch. (No jokes.) I want to try stinky tofu at night markets. I want to try surfing. I want locals to laugh at me when they see try surfing. I want to travel to Papa New Guinea during our Chinese New Year’s break (no Christmas break, obviously.) I want to experience so much that I would never be able to do if I just sat here and didn’t follow my crazy-ass decision.
I just wish I could pack up my family and bring them with me.
And maybe when we are back after two years, then I’ll give Cheryl’s book another try. It really is written well (for the 3% of it that I have read) and I know there’s going to be a fantasical moral of the story. And I can’t wait to read it.
I just need to figure out the moral of my own story first.