I hope my childlike sense of wonderment never leaves me about being here on our big adventure.
Sometimes just getting on with life, ferrying children around, doing the washing etc - sometimes I get so involved with everything I forget to look up and remember where I am, and I suppose more importantly, where I've come from.
I am a woman who's mental health only a few years ago trapped her in her house in darkest, deepest, wettest Shropshire (and don't me wrong, I do love Shropshire, but it was the fact that I'd let my head convert my home into a prison).
I was a woman who, when friends and family discussed that we might go on holiday to France, Italy or even Egypt, it would be said of, "oh no, Sarah would never do that".
I'm a woman who, when starting CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) to help me learn to cope with my cyclothymia, wouldn't be able to sleep for nights before each week because of the fear of leaving the house, driving the car, the biggie: parking a car (I'd convinced myself I couldn't do it anymore) and having to talk about myself.
And now I'm in the flipping United States of America! And I'm driving around without a second thought, even at night (something it's taken me years to accomplish). I'm getting up on stages and performing to hundreds of people. I'm talking to other Mums, or more correctly here, Moms (instead of hiding away in the corner thinking myself not good enough). I'm volunteering in a school. I'm about to travel on my own to Seattle (aargh, why did I have to remind myself about that one, panic panic but also excited excited).
And do you want to know what brought on this latest epiphany?
I'm sat in a bookshop - in a cafe in bookshop.
Yeah, I know some of the big bookshops in the big UK cities have coffee shops....but it's not the norm is it?
I'm out, in public, and not with the immense crushing desire to run away in case someone talks to me (as well as the cyclothymia, I'm a diagnosed social phobic...and some days are good, and some days are bad...but if you ever see a British woman scurrying out of your shop when you ask her "can I help you at all?" dear American shop assistants, that is why).
Which means I can sit here and enjoy this gorgeous pastry (I love appley things) and people watch.
There's a group of happy older folks in the corner - they look like they're mall walkers (another American phenomenon, they arrive in the mall about 9am and power walk, in their trainers (translation fro Americans: tennis shoes) and tracksuits, around the air-conditioned walkways before the shops open at 10. I think it's quite delightful).
In front of me are two college students with a huge pile of algebra books - some from a library and others 'borrowed' from the Barnes and Noble bookshelves. I don't think I'm jumping to too much of a conclusion to think that the one doing the most talking is tutoring the other one wearing the basketball gear...or have I been watching too many movies again?
To the right of me is the main bookshopstore, which is huge, airy and well-lit.There are sections full of books on nearly every subject you can imagine.
There's a woman over there making herself totally at home in one of the many huge comfy chairs dotted all over the store. She's dangling her legs over the side of one of the arms whilst balancing her notebook computer on her lap and making full use of the shop's free wi-fi.
And that's how it dawned on me - I'm not in Kansas Shropshire anymore. I'm not the 'scared to live' person I used to be anymore either (although there's always going to be bad days, they're just getting easier to climb out of). I'm living in America...cue Mr James Brown:
...eye to eye, station to station....nope, I've no idea what that means either :)
But I hope the day never dawns when I find all of this 'normal'.
Because I'm quite enjoying my big adventure....and in many senses I've come a long, long way. And that's very, very cool :)