I believe in getting out.
As a regularly grounded teenager, I never wanted to be the girl who lived with her parents, worked a “good” but boring job, and waited around for prince charming to find her. I wanted to get out in the world and experience all that I could. I wanted to drive long distances alone, travel to all fifty states, and let my independent and determined nature shine through. I wanted to get out of all I was familiar with in life.
I experienced New York City for the first time alone. Just because my friends had cancelled didn’t mean I wanted to admit defeat when the intended goal was only an hour away. Trying to deter my worn ’91 Corolla from getting broken into, I locked my CD player and purse in the trunk and walked across the unattended lot; companionless. With my money tucked into my left shoe and only a car key in my pocket, I stepped onto the rainy, dark Scarsdale train platform not knowing when the next train to Grand Central Station would be, let alone exactly how to get to SoHo if I ever found the subway.
I believe that when I experience something new I become stronger and a more complete person; it’s like I’m bench pressing 125 for the first time again. When I get out of my habitual life and take those first steps into the darkness, the adrenaline rush gives me power to keep on walking, not knowing what’s going to happen next, and loving every minute of it. Because of getting out my life has been stretched, expanded, and molded into a great adventure.
A few years later during my twelfth move since high school, I was shocked when the clichéd red and blue lights appeared out of the black night on a deserted Kansas highway. The speed limit was 80, and I had set the cruise control on my polished ‘06 Corolla at a respectable 85 to help the miles roll by more quickly. The officer asked which address was correct, the Virginia address on my registration or the Utah address on my license. “Well, Sir, the Virginia address was correct yesterday, and the Utah address will be correct tomorrow.” This was not the first time I’d been pulled over during a cross country move; it was the third.
Thankfully, my experiences have been good ones. That moonless Kansas night the officer let me go with a warning and with the help of a chatty stranger on the train, I did find the crowded SoHo loft where I danced the night away. Because I’ve gotten out and pushed past what others expected of me, I’ve traveled to thirty-seven states, danced among some of the best swing dancers in the country, and received only one ticket along the way.