I lived it all

These past couple of weeks have felt like busy ones, with running a special needs camp, followed by some personal travels. I’ve now been on this island for four and half months, and yet it feels like so much longer in so many ways. Trying to imagine my life as it was in February, before any of this happened feels like another lifetime. My days have a different rhythm, and my world has opened up in ways big and small on this journey.

Last week, I did some exploring on a nearby island. I realized that it has been since November of last year that I took a journey for personal travel. I loved the hiking, being in a new culture, and trying new things. It reminded me about the beauty of travel all over again. It reminded me that there is an explorer in me. I tend to think of myself who has played my life in something of a safe manner; go to school, get a job, pay the bills, etc. That said, others have been calling me brave, and yes, sometimes crazy, for years, as I do things like spend the night in a desert, or go hiking on mountains for days on end.

I suppose that this jaunt in my life is about pulling  the safe, logical me a little closer to the daring, adventurous me.

My mom told me that she had recently discovered a note I had written as I got ready to head to college. On it, I had written something to the effect that I would go off to college, and then most likely come home, and that would be the last adventure I would ever have. Eighteen year old me obviously had no idea.

And isn’t that a beautiful thing, that a once timid, and possibly a little hopeless, eighteen year old, can now look at her life and see how far she has come and all that she has accomplished. Exactly 18 years later, I can know that the adventures are still out there to be had. I can know that I am able to explore. I’ve found that even though I haven’t necessarily lived my life perfectly, I’ve lived it richly.

Now, four and a half months after moving here, I’m hearing a voice that wants to come home. I’m nearing the end of this journey. It’s probably a good thing that I’ve been here long enough that I’m starting to miss my world in New York. It will give me a new appreciation as I walk back into that life. When I left, I had been living in a world where days ran into each other. I didn’t know what direction to take. Now, I still don’t have the exact sense of my direction, but I feel that in a more hopeful way. Not having a pointed arrow towards my next step means that there is possibility, opportunity. I can cast the net a little wider.

A client recently gave me this quote: “Life can only be lived forward, and understood backward.” I’ll keep living forward, and trust that all of the ups and downs, the frustrations and the joys that have come with this island will be understood with time. And I’ll appreciate that I was lucky enough to have lived it all.

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