When I was a kid I wanted to be an ambassador. I wanted to travel the world, learn about other cultures (provided they ate well and used indoor plumbing), and be important. That plan carried me through college. It hit a wall called French 202. I was abysmal at French. I thought I had mastered Spanish because I took it all four years of high school. I decided college was the time to become trilingual. My French teacher actually asked me to start over with 101. I transferred my goals to domestic government. No big deal, they still travel.
Lowly staffers who answer letters from disaffected Alaskans about the encroachment of Russian boats into US fisheries do not get to travel internationally. I did get to visit Alaska, which was wonderful. Alaska is like another country. But, they speak English (mostly) and it wasn’t that exotic. I certainly didn’t get to go to Paris, London, Cairo, or any of the places I’d dreamed of going as a kid. After I left the Senate I realized that I’d probably never get to travel to any of those places unless I became independently wealthy.
That’s when my focus switched to the lottery. I come by this fantasy honestly. My mother purchases lottery tickets fairly regularly and has a plan for what she plans on doing WHEN she wins. Also, I am a Pisces and we are dreamers. I don’t buy tickets all that often and I am genuinely disappointed when I don’t win. I even went as far to sign up for Publishers’ Clearinghouse. $5k a week for life sounds pretty good. I would definitely get to travel with that money. Once, I won my $2 back on a ticket that matched the Powerball. That’s the best I’ve done.
I have a handful of Facebook friends who live abroad. I love looking at their pictures of ancient castles, ruined temples and their new favorite London restaurant. But there’s a pang of jealousy that keeps me from being as happy for them as I should. I feel like it should be me posting pictures from faraway places and enjoying fun European adventures.
Let me clarify: I am not unhappy with my life. I love my husband. I love my crazy kids. I am very thankful to live close to my parents and in-laws so they can have a strong relationship with their grandchildren. I don’t mind being a stay-at-home mom, really.
I just thought I was supposed to be more special than a mother and wife in a suburb of Phoenix, AZ. It just sounds so mundane and boring! Jeff has pointed out to me that being special has its own hazards and being humble is more important, spiritually speaking. I’m sure he’s right, and I’m sure that I am not overly concerned with what is important, spiritually speaking.
I suppose this the a classic mid-life crisis. I haven’t lived up to my potential. I haven’t done anything I really wanted to do. I made decisions in my early 20s that have prevented me from being who I thought I wanted to be. Where’s the line I’m supposed to stand it to get my sports car?