I would leave for Mars tomorrow if they’d let me. I would pack up whatever I was allowed to bring or leave it all, and I would go. I don’t think I would ever look back, though I would most assuredly miss who and what I left behind.
Now, let’s put that in context…
I think my life choices qualify me as a pretty dedicated mom. I decided before I had children that motherhood would be my primary occupation if I did procreate. Being a parent is a calling that I answered; I’m proud of my work.
Also, my kids are awesome. I like my teenager even more now than I did when he was a child. I didn’t know that was possible. And my little guy? Adorable, articulate, and the most imaginative storyteller I’ve ever met.
I like my kids.
I’m blessed to have found a spouse who is a ridiculously good fit. I mean, seriously, if you had any idea how odd I really am, and how perfectly, equally nuts DH is… It’s an understatement to say that I love him. It’s insufficient to state that I admire, respect, and enjoy spending every minute I can get with my husband. I have brought myself to tears by imagining that someday the world will exist without this man in it. I wish everyone could have the joy of knowing a love like we share.
I like my husband.
But to travel the galaxy?
To leave the confines of the planet Earth?
To be an explorer of the cosmos?
To be a colonist is outer space?
I would leave tomorrow.
I don’t think there is any other cause that would find me abandoning my family. Most scenarios would see me fighting to the death for them before allowing us to be torn apart.
Some couples have those “impossible lover” cheating exceptions. We don’t. But maybe this is like that?
I warned my husband before I married him: I will go to Mars if the opportunity ever presents itself.
I’m not an astronaut, so this is highly unlikely. He accepted my terms. Fast forward a decade and a half.
I’ve warned the kids: children, I love you more than anything, but I will go to Mars if a mission ever accepts me.
None of my family members share this insanity. They’ve all agreed that they understand (sort of), but they wouldn’t go with me.
My husband reminds me that I like to wash my hair every day. I’m arthritic and occasionally phobic and I live within a set of routines that allay my anxiety.
But I would shave my head, tolerate constant pain, and give it all up to go to Mars, and I would do it tomorrow. I would turn my back on planet Earth given the chance. Because, if I had the opportunity to reach the farthest frontier available to humanity, nothing would stop me from running toward it.
This is the penultimate human experience, as I see it, and I would never turn it down.
I would miss my family forever, but I would leave them for this one thing, unlikely as it is.