I’m sending you love

I had a huge fight with my cousin two winters ago. We were both going through very tough times. We used to Skype a lot and talked about our projects, life, relationships. We confided in each other quite a bit.

We were pretty close when we were little and we remained fairly close growing up.

But that winter, we clashed. He came to Calgary feeling depressed. I was going through a huge bout of depression myself.

He triggered me with some of his lifestyle choices which I saw as extremely offensive. I swore I would never talk to him again. He triggered so much hurt and pain in me, that I used awful words of anger towards him.

I don’t think I had ever seen myself this angry.

The next day, he was gone on a plane to L.A. and we haven’t spoken since. I’ve had no desire to reconnect, no desire to have him in my life. The pain was too strong. The things he told me disturbed me too much. He surprised me beyond words of the person he had become. I knew him to be better than this. I trusted him. I didn’t understand what had happened to him. It frightened me and I told him to go.

And he did.

I met a girl here, in Greece, with similar issues with her cousin.

She told me she had chosen to keep her cousin in her life despite the triggers she had felt with him.

This made me reconsider where I stood with my own cousin.

I hope we can forgive each other some day as this pain has weighed on me for a long time.

I wasn’t ready to understand this pain and let go of my prejudices. I’m learning that we are all dealing with our pain the best way we can and know how. We all have childhood traumas and beyond that trigger us and that have shaped us into who we are today – perfectly imperfect beings who are wanting to be loved and understood despite our flaws, stubbornness and immoralities.

Cousin, I’ve sending you love deep as the blue of the ocean. Its vastness has been so healing for me. I’m sending you its deep blue intensity your way. I hope New York’s been good. Heard you finally made it out there like you had dreamed of. I’m so proud of you.

 

windy nights in kini

The wind crashes

Like the waves of the ocean

Onto my bedroom window

The mosquito buzzes

Into my ear

I’m wide awake, suddenly

I screw on my headlight tight

So I can write

Can I sleep?

Will I sleep?

Should I sleep?

Or should I keep on scribbling non-sense

Until I turn myself off

Like the bulb of my lamp

The heat of my stove

And the rumbling of my fridge

Starting from scratch

Moving to Greece was a big deal.

It meant I had to untie the many knots that kept me anchored to my city. It meant leaving people who meant a great deal to me. It meant leaving my comfort zone – my home for the past 19 years. It meant replacing what I knew with what I didn’t. It meant letting go of any expectation, big and small. It meant replacing the speedy highway for the gravel road.

Back home, I held a 9 to 5, helped on a local publication, and, on occasion, picked up some freelance work. I had a bountiful social life and have made some very dear memories with some of the best people.

But the truth is, I was burnt out. Burnt from work, burnt from starting from scratch over again from relationships gone south, burnt from moving from place to place within the constraints of my own city and not really feeling “at home” anywhere I went, burnt from being caught in the burning hands of capitalism.

I was tube-feeding myself with a glorified dose of “busy” – like most millennials.  I had become rigid and disengaged with my environment.

A month before packing up my life, I had no idea where I was headed, if I’d be going straight to another job or back to school. Greece sort of happened –  just like that. It came together so effortlessly, like magic.

While I was road tripping in New Mexico last May, an expat storeowner in Taos told me about Greece. He had lived in Greece for 10 years as a retail buyer, and that stuck with me, subconsciously almost, as I never jumped on the idea right away.  He drew me an impeccable little map to Arroyo Secco on the back of a receipt. He was incredibly helpful and eager to share his knowledge of the area.

“Travel is the best education,” he had said. I’ll never forget his words because I couldn’t have agreed more.

The past three years, I can honestly say I do not remember well. Everything is a little vague, yet, crystal clear at the same time.  Things are only slowly coming back to me now.

There are periods in time that stick out and periods where I feel I had my head down the entire time and watched as life floated by.

Summer of  2016, my cat died, I quit my airline job to go on a campervan adventure around the U.S. and Canada that never happened (see break-up), I worked the Calgary Stampede and cut my finger in half on the very first day, my car window got smashed to pieces, and, I broke up with someone and still believe, to this day, that it was one of the best decisions I have made in life. I know some of these events may seem trivial but sharp objects and glass have often symbolized upcoming change in my life. I’ve taken note of it ever since.

For someone who is extremely indecisive, it was the very first time I stood firm in my needs. What I wanted in life mattered. I had a choice. It was OK to say no to loving someone back just because they loved me. That mindset was no longer an option for me.

I wanted to no longer be in toxic relationship after toxic relationship. I was exhausted of taking care of everybody but myself. I wanted to go live my best life without unhealthy compromises and the feeling that I wasn’t really supported in my dreams and goals by the one person who was supposedly “closest” to me . I needed adventure and I wanted to experience all of it.

If you’re reading this, I don’t care how young or old you are, it is never too late to start again.  We still have time but time is always ticking. I wanted to live now. Not in 20 years, not in one. Now.

And I’m happy that, two years later, I’m finally on the road.