I’ve had perspective on my mind a lot of late. On June 11, I hit the two month mark of being in Grand Cayman. At this point, I’ve killed numerous cockroaches, flooded a car in a tropical storm, seen too many chickens to count, kissed a stingray, eaten conch fritters, been eaten by families of mosquitoes, accidently driven over an iguana (sorry, little guy), and watched beautiful Caribbean sunsets fill the sky with pinks and oranges and yellows and purples.
Somehow, many of these experiences, which felt unique at one time, have started to feel normal. I noticed this when I made a comment about iguana roadkill to a friend back home, and she reacted. What seemed strange to her was quite common for me by now. Iguanas are sadly splattered on many roads around here.
It’s funny how perspectives can shift without even noticing. Sometimes it happens as a result of physical surroundings. Being in the Caribbean day to day has exposed me to new things which no longer feel new. Then again, climbing on a bike and exploring the island on two wheels opens my eyes again to things I’ve passed dozens of times without noticing.
Sometimes, it can be a shift in mood or mindset. I remember after a meaningful relationship ended, depending on the day you asked me, I either believed that this relationship meant that good things were possible and I could find the right person, or that since the relationship hadn’t worked out, it was proof that a good relationship never would.
The other day, on our way to a movie, a friend and I stopped in a parking lot by the ocean to watch the sunset. It was looking to be a particularly nice one. As we sat on a ledge, my friend lay back and hung her head over the edge. I decided to join her. Suddenly, I was seeing the sunset anew, as the water was suddenly floating where the sky was, and the colored clouds now appeared as billowy mountains. It was fascinating. It was beautiful. And it made me appreciate the sunset in a new way.
I wonder about this as I walk through my day to day. How can I see familiar things, and find new ways to view and treasure them? And is there a way to look at my life as a whole in this way- to trust in both my light and my darker moments that a shift in perception can awaken new ideas and understanding. Perhaps it’s time to dangle my head over a few more ledges and see what I can discover.