This has become the quote that my family has come to live by. My brilliant son, Camden gave us these rallying words in some recent moments of uncertainty and stress. Since then, it’s been our motto, driving us forward, giving us courage and helping us to deal with a lot of changes. I find myself being drawn to encouragement at every turn, watching movies about daring and bravery and change and taking comfort in them.
I’ve always had a bit of a wanderlust in my spirit. Loving the idea of taking off, going someplace new, starting over. It’s only through a bit of circumstance, some consideration of others and a little fear that I’ve been in this area for my entire life. I used to dream of doing something different. And now, finally at 42, it seems that I am.
It all started with an “in-the-moment” email inquiring about Culinary Schools. Within 6 weeks, I was registered and had a start date. Then it was about finding an externship. Disney was coming to the campus and since I’d done Disney before, I thought, “Why not?” Easy, stress-free interviews and I knew I’d get in. It really was a cop-out on my part. But the thing is, it’s a good fit. I want and need high volume kitchen experience but I don’t know if I want to work in a kitchen forever. Disney gives me options and I like that. So I got accepted. And then, I continued in school. WIth each class that ended, my stress grew. “How could I possibly leave my family for 14 weeks?” “How could I possibly come back to Texas after 14 weeks with no job?” “Is my family so incredibly happy with where we’re at that it would be difficult to start over?” (The answer to that one is most definitely a no.) and as we neared the date of my imminent departure, life/God/the universe seemed to find ways to tell us that change wouldn’t be so scary. What if I went to Florida and the boys just followed when school was out? We pondered this quietly for a while before deciding it was the right thing to do. I would go to Disney in May and Ty and the boys will come down in June. This seemed like a decent plan, although a terrifying one.
So Ty put out a few feelers learning that he could transfer to one of the Apple Stores in the Orlando Area. More importantly, Ty contacted Al. And this is just one of those cool God things that you don’t think much about until the plan comes together. But Al is and has been Ty’s best friend for decades. Al was around long before I was. He was the best man at our wedding and truly the brother my husband never had. Shortly after we married, Al packed up and moved to Miami. Since that time he has created a great life and a great reputation as a digital caricature artist in the Florida area. He had also introduced Ty to Ryan, another digital artist who is about an hour outside of Orlando. When they all became friends, I was not in school and no thought of moving to Florida had ever crossed our minds. Kismet. Another great thing is that for some reason, Florida is short on caricaturists. Disney doesn’t put them out the way that Six Flags does and there aren’t enough to keep up with demand. This is the complete opposite of what’s happening in the D/FW area. Al and Ryan both assured Ty that they could keep him busy and that he was, not only welcome but encouraged to come. This was a relief and seemed to be the point at which we said, “Let’s do it”.
And so we planned a nice family dinner to talk to the boys. We were apprehensive. Of course, they had heard rumblings and they were not terribly excited about my leaving them for 14 weeks but they didn’t know for sure. When we broke the news we were met with smiles, and cheers and genuine excitement from both. Collin wanted to know if they had good baseball in Orlando….(Umm…. YES) and Camden just uttered those words “What’s Life Without a Little Adventure?” and we were set. The truth is that they want something different too. They want to start over. No one is so happy here that moving doesn’t seem like a fun idea.
So today, I booked my flight. I will be going to Orlando on May 15. Ty and the boys will be coming after school is out at the end of May or beginning of June. I will live in Disney housing (required) and they will live in an extended stay hotel until August. Hopefully by then, we’ll know exactly where we want to settle. Collin is already researching high schools and select teams and everything in our life has become a question of “do I love it?” or “do I leave it?” Hopefully Al and Ryan can get Ty working quickly and he can begin marketing himself in that area as soon as he arrives.
We’re not totally saying goodbye to Texas. It’s still our home. Our parents are here and that will undoubtably bring us back regularly (though I half expect my dad to start planning his own move before we’ve been gone too long). I’m packing up my Cowboy boots and Tex-Mex cookbooks and pictures and paintings of bluebonnets because you can take the girl out of Texas….and well, you know.
So I will be blogging again. Partially simply because I’ll have stuff to say. The Disney Externship alone will give me great material. But also because I need to say stuff. If I don’t, I might explode. So follow along, you can revel in our successes and snicker at our failures. I’m sure there will be plenty of both. But in the end. It’s nothing but an adventure and my gut tells me it’s not one we will regret.
Because this is life…. and “What’s Life Without a Little Adventure”