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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Bon Voyage (09/05/05)

TITLE: Do I stay or do I go?
By Michelle Vander Wal
09/09/05


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Bon Voyage

We are contemplating moving to another city. Shakespeare said that parting is such sweet sorrow. Now the sorrow part I understand. You leave behind all that is comfortable routine, all the little landmarks that make up your life. You say good bye to friends and family, some tearfully, never sure when you will have pangs of longing and the urge to pick up the phone. The predictability of the local weather, what plants thrive best in your pots on the front step, all is reluctantly filed away, to be replaced with new arrangements yet to be learned. Everytime you miss something it comes with a pang of sorrow.
The “sweet” aspect is much harder to come by and requires an optimistic mindset. You have to relish the adventure, enjoy looking for a new favorite grocer or post office, pharmacy or dentist. You have to find enjoyment in meeting new neighbours, making friends at work and the cliquiest place to break into—at church. Finding the angle of light that allows your very picky orchid to bloom might become a pleasant obsession. Packing and unpacking unearths a host of memories of where you have been. You might even come across a beautiful but impractical linen tablecloth you’ve been saving for some future party that has not been planned yet. Yes, parting can be difficult but a little chocolate goes a long way to sweetening it up.
Deciding where or when to go has a lot of variables, some random, some personal and some divine. Only in hindsight does a choice reveal itself as right or wrong and even that is not certain. That uncertainty can be part of the fun. I try to consider myself an explorer not only of space but also of time. If you have a self reflective bent as I do sometimes late at night you find yourself rehashing old decisions. The whys of your choices get turned and examined like the facets of a jewel, refracting light in different ways as you examine each motive and dissect each emotion. Is there a flaw in the logic, in the emotion that demanded the decision you made? Such self reflection sometimes feels more like self flagellation and isn’t good for much but occasionally I make a break through in understanding myself and my journey.
Having moved several time already in our marriage my family does approach it as an adventure of sorts. Of course there are all the usual hassles of house selling a buying, although all the new reality TV shows on that topic do demystify it a bit. It is the human factor that ultimately determines one’s willingness to go or stay. The comfort of someone who knows all my stories, knows that I don’t drink coffee or not to bother calling me in the middle of the afternoon because I don’t answer the phone is hard to give up. There is also the nagging sense that I may not meet that bosom buddy in the next community. Of course, I always have my husband to fall back on, the adventure within the adventure. That’s another article.
So as the song goes, “Do I stay or do I go now?” (Violent Femmes) My choice will depend on a variety of factors. Ultimately I trust that there is a purpose in my life which guides me to the tasks that I must do. If my purpose or that of my husband will be fulfilled by moving then I trust that the factors will fall together in that direction. Following my road using that kind of map has not failed me before and I trust that it will not do so now. But don’t start throwing a “going –away” party just yet.


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This article has been read 555 times
Member Comments
Member Date
B Brenton09/13/05
sounds a lot like a journal entry. could have set the scene with that first. but otherwise: yeah, yeah, yeah! Love the references to the awesomely cool music.
Jan Ackerson 09/13/05
Spaces between paragraphs would make this easier to read. Nice essay about contentment in one's circumstances.
sandra snider09/14/05
paragraphs, paragraphs, please. I like the detail.