Monday, June 6, 2011

Misadventure to Miss Adventure

I can’t believe I haven’t written anything since Malta. I am so behind because I am slammed right now and trying to fit in any number of adventures while still not getting fired or collapsing from exhaustion. There just aren’t enough hours in the day, which has led to a series of unfortunate but somehow grounding setbacks of late. The first of course was the realization about my camera. The second, the loss of my ID card and the third, was the morning I woke to the buzzing of my phone when my supervisor called me because I had turned off my alarm by mistake and was now thirty four minutes late for work. Can’t claim traffic, I’m on a ship. So I dress in a record six minutes, including makeup and hair, and rush upstairs but in my haste, I am so frazzled I make rather a mess of the entire morning. I had to comp to everything and confess to my manager, make apologies all around and of course there is the punishment to be had. The problem is at this point it is a punishment because I was late. I didn’t make some mistake I can learn from or grow from or make better next time other than adding a second alarm as a backup. At least, that’s what I thought. But something really strange happened. I went in to talk to my supervisor, and asked what next I should do. His response? “Process it, compartmentalize it, learn what you can from it and then let it go.” Really, my manager said this? Now, my usual response would be to analyze it, beat myself up about it, get depressed and defeated by it and make myself generally miserable and crazy while I mourned the thing that I had done that I could not undo. So, in short, a rather typical female response. Sorry ladies, but you know it’s true. But instead, I took what he said to heart and decided to let it go. I just didn’t fret. And it was much easier than I thought it would be. Maybe that’s what Heath and so many others in my life have been trying to tell me. I can’t change what has come to pass and in some cases, I can’t even learn from it. I can only move on; something that doesn’t come easily to me, so I have never understood why it comes so easily to others. I always thought it was because I must not be worth holding onto. But maybe it really is because nothing changes when you hold on, except your own level of misery, which seems to become greater the longer and tighter you draw that fist. It’s weird that I needed to hear my supervisor say the words, to have his permission to let it go. Ironically I realized that every breakup was really just permission to move on whether I chose to accept it or not. Not always the most pleasant of permission or dressed in the most beautiful finery but an opportunity none the less. The choice to end it may not have been mine, but the way I felt about it, how hard I fought against it, and how miserable I made myself and how I responded was. So, now it is time to give myself permission NOT to mourn and suffer and to not create my own punishment. There is no merit in it. It will not change the past…it may only taint the memory of it. I may have actually changed the past to something bad and regrettable because of my need to hold onto it. I hope that with time the memories will as they so often do, filter into only the good, for everyone, not just for me. Who knew that I would gain so much from my fouled alarm.

The greatest irony in all this was in looking realistically at what happened, the actual event was an hour of my life. Not a horrible year, not a terrible month, not an impossible day but one lousy hour. From there, it was up to me how far-reaching the impact would be. I noticed my posture had changed, my facial expression had changed; everything had changed because I started to let that one stupid hour get to me. And guess what? I’ve been doing it for months, letting something short-term and small effect every other aspect of my life. Ok, not everything is small and compares, but the analogy is accurate and in some small way, it makes me feel better about everything that has transpired, good and bad. Maybe I’m off base but since I’m alone, who cares. The idea that it wasn’t worth fighting and making things worse, well, it makes me feel better. And feeling better is my new goal. Better, best, amazing!!! I suppose in the end, it’s about judging when the fight is more detrimental than the resignation and about keeping an open heart to the world, even to those who may not know or care that they still hold a residence there. If my alarm hadn't been silenced, this siren song may never have sounded.

Ironically, as I sit in a café in Villefranche writing this, there is a slow melancholy version of Sexual Healing playing quietly,plaintive and serene in the background. Funny and somehow appropo.

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