With hands trembling, she carefully reached out and grasped the new little book. It was brighter and the pages were stronger, ready to be used. There was an emptiness to be found among the new, crisp pages. There was an emptiness in her gut just from holding it.
Carefully she reached into the envelope and pulled out the old one. Punctured with holes along its spine it was a sad thing to look at. An ending of an era. Glancing at the girl in the picture, she was struck by how young she looked. She remembered the day so perfectly. The hope of something wonderful just around the corner, with a hint of desperation and anger giving her just enough fuel to make the leap.
Her new picture was not of a girl but of a woman. She was strong, determined, but also emanated a calm.
Ten years later and the adventures changed. The thrill is no longer found in the unknown, but in the calm that surrounds stability. Holding the old little blue book she flipped through the pages, intoxicated by the smell of freedom that filled her head with memories. Each page was marked with a destination explored, a land discovered, a part of herself that was healed.
She knew she would never have a book with more stamps than this one and that very thought made her heart stop. Was that really the kind of person she wanted to become? Could she really find happiness in the stability of her new home? She looked up at the buildings and the people around her. They were familiar now and yet somehow still thrilling.
There was calm but there was also excitement. This was a new kind of adventure.
One that had been earned. She was proud she had come this far and carefully slid the weathered passport back into the envelope. It would be there on days meant for dreaming and reminiscing. But today was a new day. A new chapter. Maybe there wouldn’t be any new destinations today, but she stood and started walking to her favorite café. She knew exactly which one made the best coffee and loved it when they greeted her by name. These are the simple joys of stability.