Last spring, one year ago today, I was sitting at my fifth Little League game in a week and my five-year-old was under the bleachers crying because eight days a week of anything is just too much. Bottom of the 6th, no hits for two long hours, and I had this overwhelming feeling that it was time to change the game. It is remarkable that in those moments I realize I am free, I either become happier where I am or change becomes imminent. This time I knew, with every fiber of my being, it was time to go. I had swallowed the American Dream whole and lost track of the ability to shape impressions that do not fit within that box. I had also internalized some of the less positive myths of motherhood, such as “you better travel before you have kids, having kids is a sacrifice, getting to the grocery store is a major feat.” Playdates, activities, and tutors, I WAS doing it all and I lost my way. My actions were no longer aligned with who I was or who I wanted to raise.
My husband and I were ready to try something different. It takes all of our fortitude each day to choose intention over convention, the present over the planned and the moment over minutia. It takes courage to admit that our All American Life felt less like a dream and more like a marathon we forgot we signed up for. We tried to change course in incremental degrees but it proved too tempting to go back to what we have always known – the prescribed path of education, career, family, picket fence, baseball and apple pie from Costco. We had to go big for little reasons. We sold our beautiful house, fence and all. We sold our well-maintained, safe, cars. We donated our toys, sporting goods and household items. Everything we own now fits into five carry-on bags. We did this because we wanted our moments back and taking care of our stuff was distracting us from taking care of ourselves and each other.
After more than 300 days on the road in Europe, we have spent time in nine countries and counting. We have learned how to shop at markets and run errands and “live” our day to day lives in seven new languages laden with hundreds of new customs. Most importantly we have spent every day together exploring Europe for almost a year. Each day is precious. When we decided to only pack 5 carry-on bags on this open ended journey, I had to research how to not compromise on style or function and that is when I found Anatomie. My Skyler travel pants are the cornerstone of my wardrobe. I have worn them hiking in the Alps and on beach walk on the Southern tip of Portugal. I have worn them to fancy dinner engagements in Tuscany and to poolside barbecues in Provence. As a mom, it is rare for me to have fully functional and practical clothing that also makes me feel feminine and put together. I love Anatomie of that reason. I haven’t sacrificed any style by getting rid of 99% of my wardrobe. If anything, having less makes me more particular about style and function and I won’t settle if I can only fit one pair of pants in my suitcase.
We left because we wanted to regain the freedom we lost in “struggling” to keep our American Dream alive. We feel it now as a family. We feel like anything is possible and as my son said this week on the cliffs of Normandy, “We do a lot of living in a day!” We are grateful every day for the gift of time together. Thank you Anatomie for being a part of this journey!