This blog posted on Tuesday, October 11th, at www.Bettyverse.com
This is a repeat for anyone who didn’t see it there, or get to comment.
We had a drop in temperature in the Cali desert, going from 97 to 78 degrees in two days. Walking around the lake was a pleasure last Wednesday, and I kept humming the Zak Brown Band’s tune: Colder Weather. I know you’ll think I’m making this up (I mean I am a writer and I have a head full of stuff I’ve made up) but honestly, when I got into the car to drive to the gym, the song Colder Weather was playing. I listened closely to the lyrics, thinking about gypsy souls, and ramblin’ men. And then of course that got me back to thinking about me, and my very own gypsy soul.
As a kid, I was a big daydreamer. Into my late twenties I was a day dreamer and an adventurer, and being single, wherever I wanted to go I went. My family (all “stay at homes” with deep roots) think I’m a gypsy. I graduated as an RN in Australia at age twenty one, and then immediately left my small town for Sydney. Then I left Sydney for Melbourne, and trained as an airline stewardess. After that stint I moved to Perth and went back into nursing. From there, me and a gal pal drove north, taking highway one around Australia. We had all kinds of adventures and took about three months, camping out at night, doing odd jobs, and finally ending up on my mother’s doorstep, tired, broke, but very happy.
At the end of 1973, I was once again itching to roam. I’d just completed a six month course in ICU/CCU nursing, in Sydney. There was a small town in Texas that had a large hospital and a good heart surgery program, and they offered a job, accommodation, and a work visa. They needed more ICU trained nurses. I jumped at the chance, and while working in Texas, applied for and got a green card. I was an official alien…well…at least I held an alien registration card. During the seventies I travelled around the States, sometimes working, sometimes not. I’d taken the American Nursing Board Exam and had reciprocity with many states, and that made it easy to follow my heart and yet still make a living. I even got to work with some of the finest heart surgeons in the country, at Duke University.
I was always a loner. Then I hit thirty. I got married. I had kids. But when the kids were old enough to stay with their dad, and a nanny, I began travelling again. I’d met my match with my mother-in-law. We roamed Europe together. Years later I divorced, and then I started travelling alone again. I still returned to Australia every year or two, but by 2002 I’d slowed down on other travel. The world was changing…or maybe it was that I had mellowed, and had appeased the gypsy soul. Perhaps I’d decided it was no longer wise to roam the world alone? But, can a person really change? Have I repressed my natural longings out of fear? Today, I can’t help thinking about my gypsy soul and where it went, and if it’s coming back. I hadn’t realized how much I missed it, and now I can’t shake that damn song.
Are you an adventurer? Does your gypsy soul still sing to you?