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Is Mars Made of Cheese? Or Just the Moon?

Is Mars Made of Cheese? Or Just the Moon?
By Jean Harper

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”  ― Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

Try to imagine climbing into a rocket ship, being shot into space, and after a short time you land on Mars.  Upon arrival, someone walks up to you and hands you a box.  There is a beautiful image of a landscape on the top of the box, much like that of a puzzle box you assembled once.  When you open the box, there are no pieces, only a note that says, “Find the pieces and figure things out.” This description explains what it was like for me over the last 12 weeks of my life.

I moved to California on April 1, 2014, after 25 years of living in Florida. One morning, about 6 weeks into my move, I received a text from a friend saying, “You must feel like you’ve landed on Mars right now but don’t worry, in a year, you’ll own the place.”  At that moment it hit me, I did feel like I had landed on Mars and I was a bit overwhelmed with homesickness.  After all, I had moved over 2,000 miles from home, started a brand new job, and had very few of my belongings; as those were in transit inside a truck.  I had left behind all of my friends, family, my partner, and my dog. I sold my home and my car and all I had with me was a couple of suitcases with some of my clothing.  In a sense I felt free, however I was overwhelmed by the fear that, maybe, I had made a mistake.

As if the move, the new job, and all of the other stress wasn’t enough, then I got sick.  It seems I drank some water that was tainted with bacteria which caused some intestinal problems.  I ended up at a walk-in emergency clinic and was given some antibiotics.  My body reacted negatively to the antibiotics and I was getting worse, day by day.  By the time I went to the doctor, the second time, the infection had moved into my bladder and was spreading into my kidneys.   After a few more weeks of different antibiotics, I started to feel better.  What helped me most was that I knew my best friend was on her way to visit me, driving across the country, and bringing my precious dog, Annie, to her new home, and to me, in California. 

When I look back, it all seems surreal. I have always dreamed of moving to California.  I landed a great job, found a fabulous home on the internet- utilizing Google Earth, and even though I had never visited the area where I settled, it turned out to be the perfect spot.  From my back yard I have a beautiful view of mountains.  I am located just 15 minutes from one of the most beautiful beaches in the world- Malibu, and just a short, scenic drive, from the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains.  Most of my business is in the Los Angeles area however I can commute there easily without having to live there- I’m not the big city type!  I live in a small town that is surrounded by beauty and so much to explore.  I am crazy with interest to take it all in!

Life, as you may have noticed, is one great big roller-coaster ride or in my case, a rocket ship! Maybe feeling a little unsteady is actually a good thing. We're brought up to believe that we should do everything we can to live tidy, predictable lives. Map out what you want and have a five-year plan! But the truth is that you might miss some of the best parts of life by living like that. For me, it's the in-between, uncertain times, the moments when I was tempted to just pull the covers over my head, that have taught me the most about myself and helped me to grow.

“Not every puzzle is intended to be solved. Some are in place to test your limits. Others are, in fact, not puzzles at all...” ― Vera Nazarian

So, Mars isn’t made of cheese and it seems that I have not landed in some strange land; rather in a place that fills up my senses, every day, and makes me feel brave for living my dream.  The puzzle is beautiful and all the pieces fit into place.

It seems we are destined to inhabit Mars someday. 
Are you on the list?  View video below:



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