Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Twelve years ago, I was a 26 year-old single mom. I was going to school full-time, living back at home and working nights cleaning office buildings. Sounds like an awesome way to spend your 20’s, right? In a five-year period, I had been in eight weddings. I was honored to be a part of each and every one of them. Those were some of the most beautiful days I ever experienced. Truth be told, I also was feeling extremely lonely and couldn’t see my own future.
Early in 2001, a friend of mine invited me to go to France with him. He was taking a two-week class in Lille to finish his Masters and wanted the company. He worked for my mom and had asked her first if he could invite me. I’m pretty sure she doubted it would work out.
How many people in my situation would have thought such a trip was feasible? How many people would have thought their child couldn’t live without them for two weeks? How many people would fill their minds with all the reason they shouldn’t go?
I believe if there is a will, there’s a way. Here’s the thing, I’ve always seen OPPORTUNITY. So I said, “Yes!”
My friend told me that the hotel he had in Lille had two beds and was fully paid for included in his cost of the class. He said I’d have to get a passport, pay for my flight and take my own spending money. I’d also have to plan for my five-year-old son for the two weeks I’d be gone.
My mother graciously offered to take a week off from work to stay home with my son. I then called my father, whom lived 1000 miles away and asked if he could come out and take over for the second week. He agreed!
The money came through like a miracle. I had a huge tax return that hit my bank as soon as I accepted the invitation. That money paid for my passport, flight, spending money and then some!
Everything came together. I would have never imagined at that point of my life having an opportunity like that one. The fact that it came to fruition still excites me. That trip encompasses the most memorable two weeks of my life. It was a break, a breath of fresh air. I grew-up a lot and most importantly saw that the world was bigger than myself.
I believe we all need to get a way from the daily grind that is our lives. Take time for yourself and time with your family. Whether it’s for a weekend, a week, or a month, getting away refreshes and renews you. You gain perspective.
Where will YOU go next?