Last year at this time I was in England with family I hadn’t seen in some 15 years. Then I went to Sweden, France, Canada, America, back to Canada, to New Zealand and then back to Sweden. It’s been a whirlwind of a year. A year that took my breath away. Changed me. Made me see myself and the world I had been creating around me. And then I learned to breathe again – once I took responsibility for my life … again.
You see, before all that I took time off and went to Southeast Asia for five months. Five months of traveling on trains, boats, buses, vans and planes. Five months of having to think on my feet in foreign lands. Some people thought I went because I had never really traveled like that before. Truth is, I wasn’t getting any better. I was at an impassé. Stuck on auto-pilot. Just coasting. I knew, deep within, that if I didn’t shake up my life my heart and mind wouldn’t make it through the circus. It was like I could see the exit, but I couldn’t get out.
So five months of chaos and beaches, sun and surf, cheap beer and mosquitoes, scary commutes and corrupt border officials, meeting new people and learning to say thank you in different languages, dancing and scuba, sarongs and hand-washed laundry, hammocks and book exchanges, islands and mountains, McDonalds and Joss and so much more – all of this helped me find myself again. The girl I am now. The girl I became. And I have changed. But that’s not that surprising.
So on this day, this four years after that dark dark day, I can hold my head up high and claim I weathered the storm. A bit battered. In need of a few repairs. But the sun is shining and life goes on. I made it.
So now for the good news.
I met a guy.
I met a guy – I mean, I kind of asked the universe for him to be delivered to me. You know, like wishing upon a star or blowing the seeds off a dandelion. I kind of believe in that shit. So what if I had to go all the way to New Zealand to find him? One surprising thing is that he isn’t a skydiver. Jumpers often ask me, with looks of astonishment on their faces, how on earth we met? It is a curious thing. Then there was the most surprising thing – that I let him into my heart full well knowing that I may not yet be ready, he might have no clue what he’s gotten himself into and he might not be the right guy for me.
But then we had our first fight.
And this guy – who has English as a second language – reached deep within himself to communicate with me and try to sort out how the fight started and what we can do to be better to each other in the future. He was honest. He was forthright. He was patient. He was kind. Slowly he was getting me hooked on him.
And then I had to leave to Sweden.
Work visas are tricky things. The past few years I have spent a lot of time galavanting within foreign lands earning my income as best as I can, but the time always comes when I must leave. Always.
And so I left, but with one difference this time. I’m going back to New Zealand. And maybe it is for a guy. So what? Life can be short. We might not have as much time here as we think. We need to take chances if we’re to get the most out of this crazy life and wonderful planet. So now we count down the days until I go home to the guy who coincidentally holds the same name as the one I remember today. Well-played universe. I see what you did there.
So, my friends, the point is I got my heart back. And I’m gonna use it. And I’m gonna enjoy the change this past year has brought me. Life can change quickly, sometimes without your consent, but other times, and this is when some of the most amazing shit happens, is when you allow yourself to change.