When I accepted this position in Grand Cayman, I had agreed to three months. My then prospective employer had asked if I might be willing to stay for a year or more. While a year down here doesn’t seem to be in the cards, my three months turned into four and a half, and now looks like it will round out to be just about a full six months here in Grand Cayman when I finally head back to the states as October begins.
A few days ago, I was reflecting with my now current employer about my first weeks here. I spoke about how hard the transition was in my first days here. I told her about the amount of tears I shed that first weekend (it was quite a lot). I told her how intensely my inner turmoil was smacking me in the face. It feels so far away from where I am now.
Now I have the slow Cayman rhythm in my body. Now I, a professed mountain lover, find myself looking out to the water, and wanting to be near it, to let my body be held by the ocean and let the gentle movement carry me. Now, my weekends lead to a quiet afternoon in a natural food cafe, where I chat with a friend and am offered free cheesecake. Now, the gentleman at the farmer’s market recognizes my face, and excitedly shares his goods with me each Saturday; his free samples of watermelon, mango and ackee are one of the highlights of my week. Now the waitress at the smoothie place that overlooks the water knows me by name. In many ways, it’s felt refreshing to my soul.
As I play with the idea of what my life will look like when I get back to New York, while some moments of fear trickle in, the stronger parts of me feel excited about what my life can become. I loved my job in New York for many reasons, but walking away has left me with something of a blank canvas to fill, which feels like a gift. I’m doing my best to let the fresh colors be strokes of passion, joy, things and people that I love; I don’t want fear to be the presiding theme. And those moments when I feel excited about prospects- about having a life that holds more balanced elements of music, connection, people, travel- are the moments that I feel like I can do anything. What a beautiful feeling.
Last night, I was texting with someone, and telling him that my dad had asked if I had thought through all the reasons why staying here through September is the right choice for me. I was conveying that despite my dad’s important question, which deserved time and thought, my strongest rationale for staying seems to be “why not?” After sending that story through my phone, the response that was sent back, which I immediately loved was: “Why not” is sometimes the best reason to do things.
As I continue forward, can I create a life for myself that is filled with more creativity, more flexibility, more time to bike by the water, more time to wrap myself in music, more places to see in the world? Why not? Why not indeed.