Yes. I’ve cried.

worker on the Khlongfresh crab and  otherRamkhamhaeng

home on the Khlong

Home on the Khlong

Buddha rowmarket near our housedowntown catscollecting almsReclining Buddha

Imagine you are a grain of sand.  But, you think you are a rock.  Or, maybe even a mountain.  You are strong, and big and confident.  Other grains of sand might even ask for advice and depend on you.  Perhaps you are even a “sand leader.”  Things come easy for you because you “know.”  Life is good.

Then, one day you decide you’d like to just pop over to another sand hill and check things out.  No problem.  You’ll just be your majestic, mountain self, and everything will be great!

So, you wake up in the new sand hill and walk out the door and look around.

And in a single second, you become a grain of sand again.

Bangkok.  Mind blown.

It’s the Elephants

I took a job in Thailand.

The response from friends and family about this decision has been varied.  Some seem to understand, while others are puzzled and even alarmed.  While I so appreciate those that support and understand my decision; those that are puzzled have challenged me to really examine myself about this choice.   So, I’ve been mulling on this for a while.  Why Thailand?  Why leave?  Why change?  

Seriously.  I am 53.  I’ve been married for 32 years.  We have two grown children ages 25 and 22.  Up until a few months ago, we lived in the same home for almost 20 years in a small suburban community where the speed limit is 25 and the police will drive by your home when you go on vacation.  Lovely.  Really.  My life is truly blessed and I am quite happy.

So, why?  The keynote speaker at my son’s college graduation, some corporate guy that gives a lot to the alumni association, surprised me with the beginning of this answer.  He asked the graduates, “What is your Why?”  Later, I found out that this quote has become a bit of a cliché, but cliché’s, I’m finding, are a lot like an overcrowded tourist spot – they sometimes have something really good at the core.  

What is my Why? What is it?  What is the inspiration, the motivator, the reason.

My brother says I’m an explorer.  I think he’s right.

While I would never compare myself to the likes of Magellan, there are some “explorer” traits I have.  I could rattle off a list of Facebook moments.   New adventures, new languages, interesting food.  All fun, all good.  But, the explorer in me wants to reach out and experience the world in a more gritty way.  To connect with cultures, people, the earth.  To feel exhilerated and exhausted. To experience life from a different vantage point that challenges my beliefs-and if I’m lucky, cause me to grow intellectually, personally, spiritually.

And in making this decision to go, what has struck me is an enormous sense of freedom. Sort of an inner freedom.  The freedom you feel when you let go of those things in life that have come to feel like an obligation-a “should”.  When you realize that all those “shoulds” were manufactured in your head.  The freedom you feel when you look inside and connect with yourself.

Now, I know I don’t have to move to Thailand to do this.  And this is the other part of the why.

I want to go. Are you kidding?  There are elephants in Thailand.