Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Good Traveler

“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” (Lao Tzu)

The Scottish vacation planned by Caitlin and myself is officially off. Since my visa still hasn’t arrived, we had to cancel our trip. We were both, naturally, very disappointed. She had to let go of her imminent vacation plans and I had to let go of my best friend’s hand as I begin a new life. I will now be moving to Aberdeen alone, nesting in my new home alone and meeting people alone. My security blanket (in the form of the most outgoing person in my life) will not be there to help me. And I won’t be there in person to help her with some of the major changes going on in her life.

Not surprisingly, we both knew that we need to embark on our paths alone. We have adopted the following radical notion: “Where I am right now is exactly the place to be.” We practiced being in the moment by eating fine chocolate, breathing deeply, and letting go of control of that which we cannot influence: The British Government. Of course, the blessings have poured in.

We called American Airlines and learned that she can change her ticket to Thanksgiving without spending a dime. In fact, AA will actually pay her the difference for the cheaper fare. I was nervous about spending Thanksgiving away from family and friends so this idea is very comforting. We are currently planning a trip to Colorado next week. Everything is falling into place to visit friends and family who are happy to see us on short notice. Going to Aberdeen later in September will actually save me money and I’ll start the school year in better shape, without having to eat ramen for a month waiting for my October financial aid check.

I’m starting to see August 2010 as my personal month of Zen. It began in Wales with beautiful scenery and lovely people. Then entered chaos, followed by acceptance. It continued with three weeks of bonus time with my family and friends in the Austin area. Then disappointment, then more acceptance. It ends with bonus time in Colorado and a huge dose of gratitude. I have learned perhaps the most important lesson of my life this month. Many things will happen that are out of my control. Rather than torture myself about it, I will drink a cup of chai about it. I will breathe deeply about it. I will pet the cat about it. And I will let go and live in the moment. What a relief!

Song of the Day: Thank You by Alanis Morisette

“The moment I let go of it was the moment I got more than I could handle. The moment I jumped off of it was the moment I touched down . . . Thank you terror. Thank you providence. Thank you disillusionment. Thank you nothingness. Thank you, clarity. Thank you, thank you silence.”

No comments:

Post a Comment