I got my first passport last year. I've never had a passport before. I've never done any world travelling, although it has always been in the back of my mind. It was just never a consideration for many years, for many reasons. Financial being one of them.
Of course as life would have it, the moment I received my passport my friend who lives in Bermuda told me that she had a friend who was going on vacation for 10 days and needed someone to housesit. Someone who likes cats and I was the first person she thought of. Yes I jumped at the chance to go and it really was a little paradise. Talk about lighting a writer's imagination on fire about moving to an island and writing for the rest of her days. At the very least, I'd like Bermuda to be one of my regular destinations.
The main motivation that got me off my backside and going through the challenges of getting a passport (didn't have a proper birth certificate nor photo id) was my Aussie chum who invited me to come and visit him in Australia. Really it's all the motivation anyone needs. I simply couldn't be the person who passed up this chance. Plus Australia has always been a dream long before I met my buddy. I bought my ticket back in May 2013 and I leave this Wednesday evening.
This morning while I got ready for work in the middle of the shower I exclaimed out loud, "OH MY GOD, I'm going to AUSTRALIA!" ha-ha! Better in the shower than on my walk to work.
At work, I emailed a girlfriend to say that I was so distracted that I kept forgetting what work I was working on. "I'm going to Australia and a Boy called... THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE!"
And so there is so much going on in my head and my emotions. I'm trying to learn how to live with happiness. Can you believe that? I realize I'm never shy in anger and I'm used to dealing with the bad things or hard things in life. But the good? How do I move into that reality with comfort and keep it?
It's been an interesting few months because there are these parallel attentions that are so clear cut. There have been the work issues and frustrations, as usual, and there is this good stuff, really good stuff that is happening. It's like I'm skate boarding in traffic and I've got to pick a lane quick. I veer into the lane of frustrations and have to catch myself and remind myself that , "no Shelley, all this other stuff is happening that is wonderful beyond your imagination, put your thoughts back over here and let go of obsessing on that crap."
It's interesting to find this out about myself. I can honestly say that I've worked on getting myself to this current place for at least the last 6 years. And now I'm here and I'm still scared that I could jinx it.
I love Louise Hay's affirmation, "All is well in my world," and I've been saying it as much as possible everyday. I slow my mind down and slow my breath down and remind myself, All is well in my world.
For the first time ever, I feel like my life is making sense. Being at my current job makes sense. Living with my cats and planning my own life with my own beliefs and rituals makes sense. Healing all that I've needed to heal makes sense.
And as always, in keeping with my themes, this year's theme is Love. Actually I BELIEVE it's the theme for this year and beyond.
I love when the writer Nancy Huston talked about people who are single for a fair amount of time, she asked, "where does the love go?"
"It doesn't mean that they don't have any love in their lives or they don't give any love. It's just not seen in the traditional ways."
I love that thought because for all the jokes that people have made about me loving cats or ending up being an old lady living with 30 cats, that's one of the places that I put my love. I love animals. I've loved animals since I was a kid. I will never be embarrassed for loving animals.
I love my friends. I make it as easy as possible for particular friends to say yes to spending time with me. Whether it's taking the subway to their part of the city or going to Australia, that's where I put my love.
I love to write and I've got to find what ways work for me to put my love into my writing. And it may not even have to be being published in the traditional way.
I see the purpose that my job serves, aside from being an arts subsidy (ha-ha!) And there are a lot of aspects that I love about it but if I'm going to be there I've got to commit in different ways. My company has companies around the world. If there was ever a thought of living somewhere else this is the work that could get me there.
And I've met this adorable man. A sweet, gentle guy. And it feels really, really good. And who knows where this is going? And that's an excruciatingly wonderful feeling. You know, the wait is excruciating and the contact makes me grin, right?
And this is my life, that is making sense to me. The wonderful things and people of my choosing and a couple of things (my job and writing) that need to be re-worked. That's life too.
I'm getting to travel and my next big plan to save for is to go to an elephant sanctuary in Thailand to volunteer for a week or more.
So I think I'm becoming conscious of the question I didn't know I'd been asking all along, where do I want to put my love?