Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.
– William James
When I asked my mother if she wanted to go to Italy on very short notice, I knew she would say yes. One doesn’t issue half-hearted invitations a woman who has lived more than 80 years unafraid of life. If she’s afraid of anything, it’s that her life will end before she’s had enough excitement. She doesn’t want to miss anything.
Her habit of finding excitement in unlikely places mortified me as a teenager. As if anonymity would shield me from the slings and arrows of adolescence, I wanted nothing more than to be unremarkable. I yearned for a normal life that would be spectacularly unworthy of note. And there I was, plagued by a remarkable mother who was not afraid of life. It was my curse.
If I could tell my teenaged self anything, it would be this: calm down. You can’t imagine how fast the years are about to spin away. Long before you’re ready for it, you’re going to find yourself middle-aged and hoping you inherited some of her spunk.
And so it is that Mom, who still doesn’t act her age, and the middle-aged me trying to live life as fearlessly as she, are going to Benano next month. I’ll keep you posted.