You know the story, a grain of sand gets in an oyster and ends up being a beautiful pearl. I think that is how an idea can turn into a dream. I have had a few dreams over the last 4 decades. Some have come to fruition, and some have failed miserably while teaching me important lessons, even if I didn’t realize it at the time.
Last September a grain of sand was given to me. It was an island that was for sale off the coast of Scotland for crazy cheap and so I put out some feelers about who might be interested in something like that. I spent an obscene amount of time trying to reach someone over there that would take me seriously–this american girl(overheard descriptor) who wants to buy an island and live OTG with a bunch of friends. Obviously I did not buy an island, but I was given a tiny grain of sand. First I started thinking about how quick I was to jump into an adventure like that, because it’s not like I have some awful terrible life. I have a great job at a great company. I drive a nice enough car, my kids get pretty much whatever they want, we have a beautiful house in a very awesome neighborhood. If you are ticking off boxes, you’ll see I hit them all. And yet, something is missing.
When I was first introduced to the idea of the island, of course the first thing I did was learn as much about Scotland as fast as I could. At this point in time I could probably give an hour lecture on all the facts I have rattling around in my brain about Scotland. And I started looking at businesses for sale. Since my Hubs had been laid off in 2017 we had books and forms and all this stuff on how to figure out what you want to do in life, so I started looking into it. It turns out that I’m in a job that utilizes maybe one or two of my skills. I sat down and wrote out a new CV, including in all my side-hustles that I have done over the years and I have to say, I was pretty shocked. Maybe shocked isn’t the right word. It was that I finally saw my own value. I saw how the things I have done in my life were laying the groundwork for experiences that happened later. And I could clearly see what kind of person I was, and who I am now, knowing that I can always do/be better.
The reason I wanted to focus on this is because as I tell more people about this dream and how I am making it a reality, the more questions I get. Specifically: Why Scotland? The most simple and direct answer is my favorite: “why NOT?” . We are given one life, why should we not take advantage of that and live every second as balls to the wall as we can? Aside from that, living in Europe would give my children an extraordinary life. If I am going to up-end my life to move around the world, it had to be for the right reasons, so I made a list of requirements: a country that has a great school system preferably with college being included, national health care, and somewhere SAFE.
At the end of the day I think perhaps safety is all relative. And that is connected with the energy of the people, how they act with one another on a day to day basis. When you say hello to everyone and they will stop to chat because they genuinely care, it leads to everyone treating each other with more care and love. They look out for each other. They take care of each other. They want to help. I want my children to be like that. To be Good Humans. To embrace people as they are, not how you have categorized them in your head. When you subtract that hate, the air clears and the world seems a little brighter and more enchanting. I can tell you all about the murder rates being low(only 54 in 2018. For the whole country. For ALL of 2018.) or that the highest rated crime is livestock theft, but the simple and most honest truth is that the entire time I was there I felt safe down to my bones. That is the only way I can describe it, but it was a palpable difference in my overall anxiety because I didn’t have to be on guard for…..anything. Think about the last time you really felt safe. For some people this isn’t an issue, but for over-thinkers like myself, safety is a never-ending loop in my head that I must ALWAYS be prepared for. It’s why my bag is so heavy, why I’m the “Camp Mom”(after whipping out my lavender oil to put on someone’s hand when he burned himself), and why up until I was 8 or 9 I used to get up after I was put to bed and pack a bag with my favorite things–stuffed animals and clothes, and leave it by my door “just in case” we had a fire.
I would be completely full of shit if I didn’t say my job plays a role in this upheaval of life. I am craving big big change. I have worked in News for 17 of my 18yrs at this company. I have watched the best and worst of this country. The night I started was the night they caught the DC Sniper. I cried when they rescued the Chilean miners, I cried harder after Sandy Hook. It was the Pulse nightclub shooting that broke me–my coworker was on vacation so I had to watch the first 5 days for 8hrs a day. I started this job when I was 23. This year I turn 42. Who I WAS is not who I AM. There is no way those two women could exist in the same universe anymore. And that’s a great thing because I was a bit of a twat in my younger years. I’m sure some people would say I haven’t really changed much, but you can be the juiciest peach and some people just don’t like peaches.
I’m going to leave this here and just sit with it for a few.