Not unlike the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun” my life was in a rut. I was spinning with no place to go but feeling that there had to be more….something. Then I was handed a ticket out. Like the character, Frances, I took it. Leaving family and friends, I began a new life under the Palatine skies.
It happens to me in twenty year intervals. My spirit seeks something….something new….a new place to live…a new life…just something. If I ignore the something a crisis will happen and you-know-what will hit the fan. And then I remember the warning, too late.
Twenty years earlier, the something and crisis, brought my family to Silver Spring, Maryland from Chicago after our apartment burned nearly to the ground. Luckily, earlier the same year, I had visited Washington, DC and Silver Spring, Maryland on its border. Like Frances and Tuscany, I fell in love. As my children and I lived in a half-burnt building, a call came from Silver Spring. With three children under the age of eight, I took the leap and moved to Maryland.
Looking back at my former life in Maryland with three adult children -- one returned home, one who never left and the youngest happily married with a family of her own -- I felt pleased. On my way home from work one day, stuck in traffic, I looked at the setting sun and felt it again -- the…something. Months later the crisis hit. I lost my job of 12 years to a company takeover. I didn’t ignore the something; I just was not ready for the change. My youngest daughter was a mom with a four year old son and a set of twin girls barely two. She needed me. I scrambled to find another job rather than leave.
But the sign were here. It was time to leave, this time alone. I remembered sending my young children home to their grandma in Chicago each summer. The break was wonderful for me and they looked forward to going home to Chicago each summer. My daughter promised that she would keep the tradition going and send my grandbabies to me every summer, no matter where I moved.
I did find another job in Maryland at first, with a small government contractor who just happened to be a Chicago native as well. Major crisis hit us both. She lost her dad and I lost my sister in the first couple of months that I worked there. She moved back to Chicago to care for her mother and decided to move the company within the next year. Once again the crisis of losing a job loomed, but instead I was handed a ticket…to a new life under the Chicago skies. I took it!
I am now living a very different life, on my own, in Oakbrook Terrace, IL. My children are far away, but I am closer to my own parents and siblings. I have more time for me. More time to think. More time to write. It’s a good life. And, like Frances, I am grateful that I answered the call of the…something. Next time it calls, I won’t hesitate.