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Going On An Adventure May 27, 2013

Posted by shannonmuir in analysis, Book Expo America.
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Last weekend I went back to where my father was born, where my family first lived after my father retired from the Navy, and last week specifically where our larger and extended family said a collective goodbye to my mother’s father – and for me, the last of my grandparents. A lot of what came up I knew, but a particular statement by my grandmother’s younger sister struck me in a way I never thought of before. She mentioned how if Grandma Jeanne hadn’t had the courage to marry my Grandpa Porter and leave the Dakotas for Eastern Washington, that the rest of the family might never have left (both sets of parents and all the siblings all ended up leaving the Dakotas for the Pacific Northwest in various locations). Sixteen years ago, I left behind the comfort of getting to know a family I’d strongly come to know and love and no longer moving to exotic locations for well over a decade to go to the only place my skills could be used then, from the relatively small town that became my life to a giant metropolis called Los Angeles. In some ways that would be a similar leap to my grandmother’s, jumping into the great unknown then. She had no way of knowing their decision to go there would work out and succeed, she just did it. Neither did I. I’m thinking I had more in common with her than I ever realized.

Now tomorrow night, I prepare to take a redeye overnight flight to New York, another major metropolis I’ve never visited, to attend Book Expo America to represent my blog Infinite House of Books. After last week, and then working nonstop in between (including over the Memorial Day holiday), I’ll be getting anything but a breather in the city I understand never stops. This is my first adventure off the West Coast (with the exception of Nevada and Montana but essentially the Western side of the Continental U.S.) in I think nearly 20 years. As I said, I may have left home, but I also stay close to it. I’m excited and admittedly even a little afraid. One of the last things I promised my Grandma Jeanne was that I’d do something for myself, and I chose to go to a city where I’d never been.

It’s also kind of strange, eerie, and appropriate to me that right around the time my Grandma Jeanne first got real sick, Peter Jackson’s version of my favorite book ever came out as a movie. It’s the story of someone who used to dream but has gotten comfortable and put off adventuring as that’s what’s expected of him. Unexpected visitors bring him to realize what he’s meant to do. For those who don’t recognize the film, it’s THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY.

So in the words of Bilbo Baggins (from the movie as that’s what’s in my head): “I’m going on an adventure!”

 

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