The next time you get bored and need some real entertainment, try calling a dozen friends and telling them you’re moving to Ecuador. If your experience is anything like ours, three will be shocked, three will be excited, three will start crying, two will inexplicably change the subject, and one will get pissed.
Why pissed? Well, according to those who clearly know better than Diana and myself, “Everyone dreams of just dropping everything and moving someplace tropical, but that’s not reality!”
Apparently, the realistic thing to do is suck it up and stay right here in the Land of Opportunity no matter how miserable it makes you. You know, sit in that traffic jam like a man, goddammit. Besides, who are we to just pack up and try something fun or exciting while everyone else marches to their graves like adults?
Actually, I can answer that:
Diana is a middle aged woman whose father was killed by a drunk driver at age twelve. Afterwards, she would assume much of the responsibility for raising her siblings until becoming pregnant at age sixteen. Demands that she end the pregnancy would eventually give way to pleas for her to give the baby up for adoption, neither of which she would entertain. She went on to raise four children in total, each amazing in his or her own distinct way. Unfortunately, nowhere in her story is the part where she, herself, gets to have a childhood.
For my part, I got a childhood. A pretty great one, actually. I was raised by a mother and father who were both orphaned as children. Their dream for my brothers and me was to provide as much of what they, themselves, had missed out on as humanly possible. Together, they squeaked into the middle class and gave us the tools we needed to chase whatever dreams we chose. Unfortunately I chose poorly in the belief that money was the stuff of happiness. I made some, and it wasn’t.
Moving to Ecuador may or may not be everyone’s reality, but it is–or at least it soon will be–ours. Anyone who thinks they can talk us out of our reality is mistaken. Just ask the people who tried to talk Di into aborting that baby thirty years ago.