Increasingly, I have been getting “the look” from people I know and work with. The look that says the person can’t quite tell which one I am, brave or stupid. This “idea” of giving it all up and moving south. “Is she really gonna do it?” is what that look says. Mostly it’s people who don’t know me too well, because the people who know me well also know it isn’t an “idea” — it’s a reality.
I can understand the look. I can understand the thought process behind it. But the truth is, my parents prepped me for big moments like this the entire time I was growing up. Education, education, education was the key to independence, independence, independence. For a long, long time, I assumed it was freedom from depending on someone else. But it isn’t just independence from other people. It’s also independence as my own person. Independence from a job, career path, lifestyle, society, thought, etc. The ability to think for myself and know myself enough to know when to walk away. To walk toward something simpler, easier, more satisfying. Toward a smaller pile of money, sure, but much more happiness. And not just for me, but for my boy, too.
And it’s not all that easy. Some things will be infinitely harder down there. But there will be love. Lots of love. And I guess I never quite stopped believing that love is enough, especially now that I know what true love feels like.
The most interesting part about “the look”? Mixed in with all of the incredulity, disbelief, and sizing up?
There’s more than a little jealousy in there, too.