no, you will not run me off.
no, you will not make me quit.
no, you will not make me withdraw from the fight, surrender the day, fly the white flag of defeat.
i have reserves you have only begun to measure.
I was at the local chicken man a few days ago, and what I observed there struck me fairly forcibly. Not the fact that I went there to choose my victim for dinner – that would have been shock enough for many Americans, to look my dinner in the eyes and say – “that one.” No, this was even worse…..I noticed that the chickens were all congregated together in an open area at the rear of the shop, with nothing between them and the open street but a low, four-inch-tall barrier. They all stayed together, squawking only when the man went among them to choose the next victim, and then settling down again while the newly chosen was slaughtered, de-feathered, eviscerated, cut into portions, bagged and paid for. I caught myself thinking: RUN!! RUN!! as the feathered ones settled down to nap again.
Then I began thinking about me and the chickens. Sometimes I am comfortable in my situation, too, with nothing between me and freedom, settling in for a nap, when what I should be doing is screaming: RUN!!!! I woke up enough, with the help of my husband, to do that once in my life, when we sold our belongings and emigrated from the United States to live and work overseas. We wanted to travel and see some of this wonderful planet we live on, and he suggested that instead of waiting for retirement, that we just work abroad and travel while there, earning a living. It meant that we could travel some while we were still young enough and limber enough to actually do it, and also that we got to live there for a time, which is vastly different from visiting there on a vacation.
Besides, when we got overseas and I began my first job there, it felt like I was on vacation for the first few years, and when I accepted another job in another country, the “on vacation” excitement returned full-force again. Seriously cool. Plus, since I do not make enough money to have to pay US taxes on my teaching income, I have A BETTER standard of living now than I did when I earned, on paper, much more money in the US. This is also seriously cool. And what is best of all is that I am no longer supporting an US government gone totally out of control. I can hardly credit what I read about how my beloved country is rather quickly morphing into a dictatorship, complete with rampant civil rights abuses, scandal and illegal behavior that passes for political business-as-usual. At least I am not helping to finance them anymore. That is the coolest beans EVER.
So, I am an expatriate, like Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and countless other disaffected Americans whose works I read and teach to my Literature students. Wonder if one day my ramblings might actually amount to something, too. Like Bogart in Casablanca, I sit in an American cafe across from the US Embassy in Casablanca, awaiting my woman friend to return from her interview with US government officials to see if she, also, can get her visa to leave Morocco. If God wills, she will, and then we three travelers will embark on the next chapter of our journey through life.
Moving to a new country also gives one the opportunity to start over, begin afresh. So, I will make changes in my lifestyle that I have known for a long time were the right thing to do, but have been too lazy to do before now – a new page, a new life. Time to BEGIN!!
If I was a creature that can fly, I would choose to be a hummingbird, because they migrate great distances, even though they are so tiny, and they stick up for themselves, even though they are so tiny. They are amazing, tiny little creatures.
If I could have any job I liked, I would choose to be a potter. I enjoy getting my hands in clay, and opening a cooled kiln after the firing is always an adventure! I delight in having cool, moist clay slide through my hands on a potter’s wheel. What a treat! Besides, I like getting dirty.
If I could choose the next president of the United States, I would choose a person nobody knows, who has strong character and a sense of right and wrong, who has a head for business, and a strong work ethic, who can set a good example for not only the citizens of America, but also the corrupt politicians still in office. He or she would kick butt and take names, and would have no “pet projects” that they wanted to advance against the wishes of the majority of the citizens (like gun control or abortion).
If I had it all to do over again, I would stand up for myself and tell my husband to shut up and get with the program, that it is not my duty to serve him and keep his house. He lives there, too, and if the damn thing is his castle, let HIM clean it.
I would have saved money earlier, with my very first job, and not have been in such a hurry to spend it. I did not need half of the things I bought, anyway.
I would have become an international teacher much sooner, and would have taken my children with me to learn new languages and new cultures. We would not have spent all our lives in one place like we did. We would have seen the world while we were earning a living!
I would have had more pets. Animals bring a sweetness to life that living without them just does not have. I would tell the people I love that I love them more often that I did. I would put my feet up and relax more often than I did, too!
I would learn to run. I am not sure how to do that, but I would try diligently to run every day I could. Running clears the mind, sharpens the senses, and banishes bad moods, plus uses calories and trims the figure. What’s not to love?