I suppose it was always destined to happen.
In having my brother so graciously make the long-haul flight from Canada for a much-needed Christmastime reunion in Asia, I was bound to experience a whole host of emotions.
He arrived, adventure ensued, and then the second I sent him down the road in the colourful tuk-tuk towards the airport, I found myself stifling unavoidable feelings of disappointment and loneliness.
It’s in these moments that I begin to question everything.
But I suppose, if anyone, family has the potential to do that.
Twenty blissful mornings of waking up to the peaceful sounds of monk’s chanting, surrounded by a human who unconditionally loves me, eating mango oat French toast for breakfast from our favourite cafe down the road have left me wondering what the hell I’m doing saying goodbye to something that feels so right.
Asking myself if it isn’t possible that all the happiness I’ve been searching for is right here.
Amidst the crazy-eight countdown competitions over lunch.
During evening bike rides through the bustling local street markets.
Amongst the beer-tower induced laughter at the late night bowling alley on Christmas Eve.
And deep within every unforgettable moment spent exploring an unfamiliar world alongside someone who so generously reminds me what it feels like to be part of a team amidst a lifestyle defined by unwavering solo crusades.
For me, it’s the best and worst part of reconnecting with loved ones after far too much time spent apart. It seems that for every moment I find myself immersed and happy in their familiar presence, is an equally consuming moment of heartache when they eventually disappear from my world and return back home.
And it’s not just them that I long for when they depart; it’s everything about my comfortable ‘old’ existence that somehow seems to be represented within their presence – or lack there of.
They come and they go, and I’m left sitting alone on my guesthouse balcony foolishly missing my marriage.
Wistfully missing my home and the glamorous life that surrounded it.
However, in closely scrutinizing these feelings of anguish for an underlying deeper meaning, I can say with certainty that – although there is (and will continue to be) moments where I yearn for the people, pets, and things from my past – I do not want or need them back in any capacity of my everyday life. And in the absence of spending great amounts of my precious time dwelling on what used to be, I’m choosing to enter 2018 with a feeling of appreciation for what was from a place of contentment and peace. Recognizing that, for perhaps the first time in my life, I’ve manifested a reality that is complete and whole for everything that it is in this moment.
A state of being free from fear, omitting of frivolous desire, and with no sense of lack.
Having said that, I’ve invested far too many years exploring in my inner landscape not to acknowledge and express every last one of my emotions as they come to me. And, in giving myself permission to occasionally allow waves of nostalgic memories to flood back into my heart, I’m not oblivious to the notion that these heartfelt recollections will, at times, begin to flood my eyes and slowly roll down my cheeks as well.
And I’m okay with that.
Bravely meeting my past and granting every teardrop the power to take me right back.
Back to that unforgettable moment three years ago when I lay sprawled out on my crisp white duvet, uncontrollably crying after I’d finally spoken those buried words that so openly confessed my numerous flaws as a wife, as a daughter, as an employee, and as a friend. And, although there was a time when I felt it necessary to mask the shame and guilt that I associated with this period in my life, I now realize what I did when I had the courage to speak those truths. For, it wasn’t that my confessions led only to the release of every out-grown relationship I was unintentionally holding onto, but somehow every honest statement became the catalyst required to bring me right here.
To this very moment.
To the blissful space that I now reside.
And, when I reflect back on my vast array of thoughtless words and careless actions, I don’t necessarily feel happy about it, but I also don’t feel completely disappointed. I don’t feel proud of the slightly blemished girl I used to be, but I don’t feel remorseful either. I only feel that, in spite of doing a lot of things incorrectly, I must have somehow done some things right in getting myself here.
This doesn’t mean that it never hurts.
That I don’t, at times, wish I had treated some precious hearts with a little bit more care. However, in deciding that it will be of no benefit to anyone should I continue to persecute myself for situations that I can no longer control, I’ve made peace.
I’ve forgiven myself.
And although I am deeply sorry, if I was gifted the opportunity to go back in time and do it all over again – the truth is, there wouldn’t be a whole lot that I would change.
Because exactly where I’ve been has made possible exactly Who I Am – and Who I Am is not by accident.
So, I guess on some level I was always destined to mess it up.
I was meant to encounter drugs and alcohol so that I could learn a thing or two about recovery.
I was supposed to fail as a partner so that I could experience the truth about what it really means to love without attachment.
I was intended to become careless with the responsibilities of my job so that I could be directed towards a profession that offers me a fulfilment I knew nothing about.
And, I was fated to lose everything amongst the relentless yearning to find a way out so that I could inevitably be granted the opportunity to find a way in.
It has proven time and time again to be the most precious gift I’ve ever given myself – the willingness to accept the past as nothing less than a contribution to my remarkable storey.
A storey that renders me a heart-full of compassion, a head-full of smarts, and a deeper understanding of Who I Am.
A storey that continues to amaze me with it’s ability to create meaningful connection.
A storey that denotes a better me – not only for me – but for the extension of myself to others in hopes that they, too, will become everything they were always destined to be.
Drafting a legacy that I aspire to have far outlive my years spent on this planet.