It's four weeks before the World Domination Summit. I've been dreaming for a year, waiting for months, saving for the ticket to Portland, Oregon I am about to buy. There is absolutely no practical reason I should be spending on a ticket or a trip but I try to forget practicality and groceries and kids' shoes because I want my life to be so much bigger, I need to go further than this day to day. I have dreams. I have plans.
Our still-hyper two-year old puppy so wants to run into the big wide world beyond the leash, beyond the fenced-in yard. She grew up on a farm after all. Oh, how I understand her yearning to be free. She gets out one day as the kids come in from school and I hear the car wheels screech on our busy street, see her tossed like some ragdoll across the road, move forward to pick her up, sick knot in my stomach.
The kids and I wait at the emergency vet hospital, nervous. I know the plane ticket money is the only extra I have. I am grateful I have it, even more grateful when the vet comes to tell us our beloved dog is just fine.
We call her superdog, the cat-dog with nine lives, shed tears and swear it's a miracle. But I know Imma need another one soon if I want to get to Portland.
I give it up to the Universe, throw up both my hands, and hope I can pull off making up the savings to get the ticket. I get another job working 2 nights a week teaching music lessons, half goes to the babysitter. I answer an ad on Craigslist and sell buttons at political rallies, I even tell the customers that of course I support their candidate, not the other guy, throw up in my mouth a little. I tell myself I can hustle. I look for a third job.
I go to the food shelf because I don't have enough $ after bills for groceries this week or last week or next week. I remember I am so grateful for a list of things that goes on forever and this too shall pass and when my son says Mommy are we poor? I say we are rich in all the ways it matters because we have so much love. And that's the fucking truth.
WDS is now only a couple of weeks away. My best friend calls, the only person in my life who knows how important this trip is to me because it represents freedom, adventure, service, and he says you are still going, right? I say I don't think so.
I swallow my fear and ask for a loan from a close family member. I cross my fingers. He says yes, but that I won't need to pay him back. I jump up and down and cry. I'm gonna make it.
I step on the plane in CMH en route to PDX. Even as I am boarding I cross my fingers that nothing stops me from taking off. I know all too well that at any time I may have to surrender to the overarching call of motherhood.
Portland is a revelation. The weather is perfect.
I'm staying at a hostel, which I haven't done since I was backpacking in Europe during college, and I am loving every second of it even though I manage to contract a nasty lung infection on my trip (and surely keep all 5 other people awake all night in my room with my snoring). Nothing can bring me down at this point. Every moment, every speaker inspires, motivates, and activates me. I am surrounded by people who are saying YES to life.
It is a magnificent whirlwind and every minute worthwhile, but I can't be more surprised when we are presented with the $100 Investment.
Because I have been dreaming about how I can make a bigger contribution to the world, and how can I as a single mom with meager resources and daunting responsibilities?
But now here I am charged with this $100 bill and I know it is slated for just this purpose. I won't touch it, not even if the dog gets hit by a car again (which, by the way would be the 3rd time).
Not until I know it will multiply 1,000-fold to bring greater freedom, adventure, and service to my family's life and the lives of many others. And you better believe I am thinking about how I can help empower other single moms not only to get food on the table but also to believe in themselves, to remember that miracles exist everyday, and sometimes, yes, our dreams come true too.