I was reluctant to venture North, in the beginning. Hearing the eager tones in dad’s voice as he put his plans to me was enough to make me go and knowing how worried he was that I’d back out last minute was enough to make me see it through, although secretly, I wished I could stay in the south where it was warm and familiar. I am a homebody, a title that’s taken years to own up to and one that only my closest friends know to be true. To the rest of the world, I am as adventuresome as I am courageous. Fearless as I am strong. In reality, I am the world’s best actress. “We’re going on an Arctic adventure,” were words that served my purpose of trickery and deceit. I used them liberally so as not to expose my true self to my (somewhat) adoring public. Leaving my family behind was like jumping into an abyss of the unknown. I simply couldn’t see it.
I honestly didn’t accept that I was actually leaving my husband and children until the night before my planned departure and I faced the truth in my tearful farewell to them. I, in 15 years, have never done anything by myself. I’ve always had the love and support of MY family and plans have always been made together. Suddenly, here I was, leaping into the uncharted, the unknown.
Some say it’s the unknown which shapes us. The fears we face determine our journey on this planet. The cracks in our character can be, if properly determined, smoothed over to become the pillars of our very humanity.
I can never express the magnitude of the gift my parents gave me, by showing me their North. They showed me themselves and, extraordinarily but not unexpectedly, they showed me myself.
Because of this, I am special. I belong to an elite group and I now know that I AM adventuresome as I am courageous. Fearless as I am strong. It’s funny how the biggest lessons in my life were taught to me as an adult. And I’ll remember them easily, every time I see my dad smile.