My riding shotgun days have come to an end, at least temporarily. For various reasons, I’ve settled back in Indianapolis while my husband continues his journeys on the national highways. It’s been just over a month and so far I’ve missed him, but not so much the tiny living space. I’ve enjoyed sleeping in a bedroom with a bathroom just outside the door. An actual kitchen with counter space, a sink and an oven are also fabulous. And an actual couch to relax on while reading or studying–super fabulous!

Of course, there are downsides. As I mentioned, I don’t get to see my husband very often at this point. I also don’t have as much time for knitting because I have a full time job and will soon be involved in school full time.

One of the most important things I’ve learned in life thus far is that most everything has good points and bad points. We give up something and get something else. We lose something and gain something else in the process. Sometimes those things are more obvious than others. As my husband and I discussed our current changes, the pluses of being stationary were pretty easy to see because I’d spent so much time living in the tiny space he calls home. From my vantage point then, I knew from experience what some of the negatives were going to be when I settled back down, but the positives tended to be easier see.

Making big decisions well has been a lifelong learning experience for me, as it is for many of us. I’ve met a few people who seem to learn their lessons early in life, but most of us seem to repeat some of the same mistakes a few times or make new mistakes in the process of trying to fix previous ones. Unfortunately, my vision tended to be seriously clouded by my previous experiences and hurts when I was in the middle of those early years. I often times couldn’t see the good points in some possible choices because I was so afraid of the bad possibilities I knew could happen.

They say ‘hindsight is 20/20’. At nearly 50 years old, I believe that saying more than ever. There are decisions in my past that now–with my added years of insight–I would make differently. Other decisions still don’t seem so cut and dry as that, but I still wonder if they were the best choices. I’m finding regret is a painful thing to deal with.

My decision to leave my job and ‘regular’ life behind for a time and join my husband on the road was one of the ones I think I did right. We spent a lot of time getting to know each other again after so many years of mostly relating by phone. We watched movies and listened to audio books. He was able to share sights with me that he had tried to describe over the phone when he’d seen them the first time. We discussed some serious things, too, including some of those past decisions each of us had made that had hurt the other unintentionally.

All of this struggle with past mistakes mixed with the time I spent riding shotgun helped me see some possibilities for my future now that my daughter is almost on her own. I did a lot of looking at both positives and negatives of various paths I might take for the next chapter of my life and I settled on getting a job doing what I know–which is cosmetology–while going to school to work toward something I believe will be more rewarding for me in the future–something administrative. Thus, my current job at a hair salon and my current status as a business administration major. Here’s hoping I’m doing it right this time.

Thanks for following me on my journey as an American nomad. Drive safe out there šŸ™‚

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