I have some now. I cannot believe that I'll be on a plane heading to Paris in less than 48 hours. I cannot believe it.
As I've mentioned before, I wasn't raised with money. We didn't go on vacations. In fact, I didn't leave Texas until I was 17. It was for a school trip. The high school band drove to Orlando to march in the Disney parade. I guess I had already been conditioned at that point to not count on things. To not get too excited too far in advance because you never know when plans are going to fall through. When did I get excited? About the time we crossed the state line into Louisiana. Seriously. When did it hit me that we were in Florida? When I saw Cinderella's castle.
My first plane ride was just short of my 21st birthday. It was to exotic Phoenix to visit a friend. I only flew one or two handfuls of times between then and when I started traveling for work.
When I started my first job in research, the luck of the draw landed me and one other person on a study where I only took two trips. Both times to St. Louis. We were not wined and dined like our co-workers. We did not get fancy hotels. Heck, we didn't even get hotels that smelled good or had wall-to-wall carpeting that actually met the baseboards. I'd like to say that at that time I kept a positive attitude and thought that my time would come. I really didn't. It just didn't feel like my time was coming. And it didn't while I was at that job. Getting pigeon-holed in one position was part of the reason I left. That, and you know people who worked in fast food restaurants made more money than I did. With a Masters degree. Bygones.
I started my last job 3 years ago this month. If I knew anything, I knew I was going to have the opportunity to travel. A lot. I went to many places I'd never been before--some exciting, some not. Other people who were worse employees got sent abroad. And there was that site in Hawaii...never made it there. Again, I'd like to say that I wasn't bitter. I really would like to say that.
My current job came almost 2 years ago. I'm not sure where the time goes... I thought that this really could be my chance. It's a huge, global company and I heard of other people working on projects that sent them to different continents. Several people I knew--not just faceless names--got sent abroad. I didn't get the opportunity until last month...an opportunity I had to turn down because of one of the weddings. But something has changed in me over the past year or so. I wasn't thrilled that I had to turn down a trip to England but it really didn't bother me for long. Oh, well. So it goes. Something will work out. And here? Now? It seems it did.
Instead of feeling anything negative at all when my friend won, I just felt joy for her. I didn't think I'd go with her. It was a purely selfless reaction. Finally, after 31+ years, I'm getting off North America. I'm getting to Europe. Finally, after 31+ years, I'm happy enough with where I am and where my life is headed that I can stop being jealous of other people. I think that may really be the most awesome thing that's happened this week.
(And fortunate people of the past? I'm really sorry my reaction was tainted with jealousy. Would call "do over" if I could. Love you.)