“I was thinking that I’d take this year to plan, and then take off next July,” I explained to a friend over the phone as I sat in my room in Rhode Island, waves crashing just outside my window. Traveling makes me not exactly long for home, but long for more travel. “First, I’ll go on my Writing Retreat mid-July. Then I start my four month stint at the Folk School July 30. I’ll finish that around Thanksgiving, and then just keep going,” I said. “Keep going?” he asked. “Yeah, I’m not sure where yet, but I figure I’ll give up my apartment next July. Spend some time WWOOFing or live in Asheville or something. ”
He listened attentively. I went on. “Sometimes, though, I wonder why I don’t just do it now.” “Why don’t you?” he asked. Such a simple question. This guy is good. “Well, I committed to teaching at the college on Fridays already.”
“That’s the only thing holding you back?” he asked. Having had countless conversations with this guy about going with my heart versus my head, he said, “That sounds like a very rational reason to me….What does your emotional side say?” Yes, I know a guy who is not only in touch with his emotional side, but can actually talk about it. They’re a rare breed.
“My heart says to just jump ship now,” I said. Then quickly added, “Well, in a month or so. I have some furniture I need to get rid of.” He stops me right there. “You hardly own any furniture.” He’s right of course. My apartment doesn’t really look like me at all. It’s furnished with my mother’s antiques. All of which can easily be returned to her. “Ok…well, that’s me being rational again,” I said.
Honestly, my heart says to sell some furniture on craigslist, loan my piano to a friend, get rid of most everything else and go.
Yes, my application for a doctoral program gets mailed out today. But I could do it from Italy. It’s on-line. (No, it’s not a scam. It’s my alma mater – a very reputable institution.) How cool would that be? Even if I end up hating the course, I could tell people years from now, “But I was taking it in Italy, so it wasn’t so bad. I just went out for gelato every night. And every morning if I thought it was going to be a tough day.” Sometimes I don’t wonder if that’s the secret of life: gelato. Maybe it’s time I found out?