Seven Years Since Kansas City

Colin and I met when we both lived in Kansas City. This June we will have lived away from Kansas City for 7 years.

We left because we felt the call of life all its opportunities. We wanted to launch our life on a raft of experience we could build together.

On Understanding Risk

I am not sure if we knew this definitively when we got together, but this attitude towards life was essential to what holds Colin and I together. Even though our some of our interests and our careers are different, we have a parallel vision of life.

Life is risk. The human frame takes on Mother Nature at every turn. Everyday we wake up, we don’t have the answers to what is to come. We can’t save ourselves from certain death by any means!

If we want to delude ourselves into thinking “we know” or we are “safe,” well that is a choice to make.

As for Colin and me, we prefer to ride risk, love it, and find what is there for us.

Colin lived that way before he met me. It was the sort of life that made him quite happy to ride his bike from North Vancouver to UBC everyday. And back. It was the sort of mindset that makes him love skiing and rock climbing.

I lived that way before I met him. I quit my stable job as a TV news director to work freelance. I took internships at Disney World, and I was a live-in volunteer at a soup kitchen and halfway house when I was 19.

It was natural that we continued our lives in that way. So even though we both had dozens of friends and a happy life in Kansas City, we chose to move on.  We felt life and all its risky expectations calling again to test the boundaries of our joy. We sold it all and moved to London.

In the seven years since we got married and moved away, our life has been a domestic roller coaster. On the outside, it looks quite suburban and blase.  We even have white pickets and a minivan. But our life of risk rolls on in magnificent tumult as we say “yes” to the unexpected twists and turns of “normality.”

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Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes literary non-fiction, haiku, cultural rants, and Demand Poetry in order to forward the cause of beautiful writing. She teaches and speaks about the rhetorical impact of beautiful writing. A recent transplant to Connecticut, she calls London, Kansas City, and Iowa home. 

  2 comments for “Seven Years Since Kansas City

  1. April 9, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Elizabeth,

    Seems like your approach to life is the healthiest one a person can adopt. Life will do what it does, no matter what you personally think or believe, so rolling with it can keep you much saner than railing against it. Might as well run at life and make choices, you know?

  2. April 9, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Risk is a good thing – but it can be bad. I was telling one of my teenage sons today about AIDS – and how many who have it took bad risks. But good risks can keep us alive. Like now I’m starting out in a new job adventure. It was time for a good risk. Scary – but my pulse is beating again (some mornings at 3:30 am – too fast – but that’s just part of the deal).

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