Posted at Jul 10, 2012 6:12 am
I drove my daughter to the airport yesterday.
She went to Dublin, Ireland for 3 weeks as part of her studies at the University of Kentucky. This was a trip that she arranged. She wanted to go to Europe this summer, went to the information meetings at college, met with her advisors to discuss classes, gathered all the information, then finally sold her dad and me on the idea.
All summer, she’s been writing papers and emailing her professor in Ireland. Then, of course, she’s been packing and packing and packing. (women in this house do not travel lightly!)
Then, as to be expected, she got a real bad case of the nerves. She was the only student from UK to go…what if she didn’t make any friends? What if she got sick? What if, what if, what if…??? In short, she worried about all the things she’s always worried about, and then some.
I’ve learned that sometimes it’s best just to listen. For days I’ve been biting my tongue, letting her vent and worry-I knew part of what she needed was just to talk about everything she was feeling.
But yesterday on the way to the airport I knew that it was time to give her a little pep talk.
So I started talking.
I told her about how proud I was of her to go on this adventure. I told her that I was sure she would make friends. I told her that phones were made to be used, and that everything that she forgot could probably be bought in Ireland if she really needed it.
And then I told her the most important thing-at least from my perspective. I told her to try to be positive. I reminded her that it was very possible to look at her experience as a never-ending parade of long plane flights, crowded tour buses, dingy dorm rooms, too-hard classes-all filled with annoying, rude people.
Or she could try to enjoy every bit of the trip. She could use the plane flight as a reason to see in-flight movies, read a new book, or get to know all the people she was traveling with. She could enjoy the differences she was experiencing instead of missing what was familiar. And she could make a few new friends and ignore any and all mean girls.
Little by little, she started smiling. And when I walked her to the group of students right outside the United Ticket Counter, I knew it was time to let her go. I gave her a quick hug goodbye and told her I loved her.
But, of course, she knew that.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that little pep talk a lot this morning, and I think I realized that I needed it as much as she did. Things have been a little stressful around here, and I’m often tempted to wish things were different. But I think I need to embrace the excitement, too!
Today, I’ll be having my own little adventure. I’m off to northern Ohio, to the Stark County District Library in Uniontown tonight, and the Sparrow Christian Bookstore in Middlefield tomorrow. Along the way, I’ll be stopping in Canton to sign stock.
Here’s my secret: I’m doing all this on my own.
My husband was going to go with me, but he’s got too much work to do. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve been pouting a bit about this. It’s tiring making the drive by myself. And I really do get nervous before every booktalk and signing.
But I’m going to remember my own pep talk and be a bit more positive. I really am excited to visit with booksellers and librarians and thank them for carrying my books…and, of course, nothing makes me happier than to meet someone who reads my books. And it really is nice to spend a day or two away from my computer!
(speaking of which, my laptop finally died last night, so I’ll have to wait until I get home to post updates. )
So, if you get a moment, try to send me a positive thought or two…and I hope you, also, will have a Great Day!
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