Tuesday, November 25, 2008

On Starting Again...

One morning about two weeks ago, I climbed into my husband's truck and drove from our street just outside Cleveland Circle to Logan Airport. It was 6 a.m. and still dark. One of my best friends was leaving on an 8 a.m. flight for Quito, Ecuador, where she had recently decided to take a job writing for a travel Web site. Rachael, one of the most energetic reporters I've ever met, and one of the most fearless people I know, had never been to Quito before, and didn't know a soul there.

On the ride to the airport, I kept thinking about how I could never be as brave as she was being right now. The catalyst behind her decision to move overseas was the fact that her boyfriend, an Army sergeant, was set to be deployed to Iraq. For months, she had applied for any writing job she could find in another country, the idea being that if she was away somewhere else, she wouldn't be home, alone, worrying like mad.

After parking at Logan and making my bleary-eyed way to the terminal, I found Rachael with her parents and younger sister. We hugged and talked; I asked if she was nervous; she was; we took pictures and started to cry. As she threaded her way through the security line, her sister Julia turned to me and said gently, "She's coming back, you know. Don't worry."

I knew she was. But I felt angry. Angry that things we have no control over, like the war in Iraq, have the ability to affect so completely the lives of people we know, and those we don't. I felt sad that Rachael, even though only temporarily, was losing the life she knew. But I was also excited for her, and a little envious even, that she was starting again, in her life and in her career.

While I was checking my email the other day, Rachael IM'ed me from Quito. She's renting a room with an Ecuadoran family, and has made friends with a French woman who works for the same travel site. The other night they went out for dinner; Rachael had tongue, and she loved it. In true Rachi fashion, she's having the best adventure she can.


Jake Wayne said...

Tell Rachie we love her and wish her happy holidays.

Remadora said...

Thanks Jake! Same to everyone there. I think Kristina has too high an opinion of me, personally. I'm really not that brave! :) But she writes beautifully and I'm honored to be the subject of one of her posts. By the by, you should eventually get a little something from my end (if all my package-planning goes well). Love to all!