I'm reading this great book, Without Reservations by Alice Steinbach. I found it in the travel section of the used bookstore that I frequent. The travel section is an interesting spot to browse. There are all sorts of books stuffed onto those shelves. Some are true travel guides and others are like the one I'm reading, vicarious travel experiences.
Alice Steinbach decided to travel to Paris without any real plan or job or millions of dollars and just experience life without routine, boundaries, or expectations. This idea appeals to the romantic inside me, but the pragmatist inside me is somewhat appalled. Romantic says, oh bliss, no schedules, no routines, excitement and opportunity around every corner! The pragmatist says, well, yes, but you would appreciate it all so much more if you were organized and scheduled and planned out.
One day I would love to take a trip on a whim and be able to savor the freedom of making every single choice on a minute to minute basis, not worrying about anyone else's needs or wants but my own. But I digress.
I really just want to share my absolute favorite line from the introduction. "Over the years I had fallen into the habit - a quite natural one, I believe - of defining myself in terms of who I was to other people and what they expected of me as mother, as daughter, as wife...For a while at least, I wanted to stand back from these roles and see who emerged."
I think this echoes the revolving thought that's been in my mind since I turned 35.