On Tuesday I will get to travel to a part of the country I never dreamed of visiting. I am going for a short time to bring my youngest to college. To say I am excited for her is an understatement. I have watched her nervously pack and answer the same question over and over again by friends and family. “Why Montana?” To be honest I don’t even know the real answer to that question. I know that she went to college last year and hated it. To be fair she went to a technical college because, since she was small, she wanted to be a chef. It was too small a place, the path to a career was too laid out, planned and it stifled her nature. I was not surprised when she came home. I was not disappointed either. I know an education is valuable and gives people a step up. I also know that deciding your life’s path at 18 is really a lot to ask.
I have known ever since she was little that she would be the one who wandered. She is quiet and shy but never stops. She goes from dusk to dawn. When she is not on the go I hear, “I’m bored” over and over. When I started running, she ran with me. When I moved for work three times in her high school career, she was right beside me packing. She would make new friends and start again in a new place. She never complained. She put herself into each place she went and she succeeded. I told my parents at one point that she could dance in a fire. Change should have been her middle name.
A few years ago I bought her a camera. She began to express herself through her photos. Each one better than the one before. This Christmas I bought her a better camera. A Cannon T5 Rebel. I joked when I gave it to her that she was going to have to start selling her pictures to pay for college. So I don’t know why Montana. I don’t know why she is taking herself thousands of miles away to get her degree. I don’t know why she chose to go somewhere so cold. I know that she will love it. I will see one of the most beautiful places on earth with her on Tuesday and then through her eyes and photos after I leave. I know that she might find it hard at first being the new kid at the new place but before I leave I will remind her that she has done it four times before. I will also remind her that each time she succeeded.