Monthly Archives: February 2015

Home?

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It’s been one week since I left home, and I hadn’t finished unpacking in Costa Rica, when it was time to repack for Nicaragua. I’ve been in Nicaragua three days, and we will be here 6 more on a life coaching retreat.  This is the same place and same retreat I made my decision to change my life at just 12 weeks ago.

Over the past several days I’ve been asked how much I’m loving life right now, how my new home is, and where I think I’ll be in a year.  The thing is, I can’t answer any of those questions.  I have never in my life been so unable to identify my feelings. I am confused.

I know I am very lucky to have had a roommate waiting for me with a condo, a housekeeper, a group of people who welcomed me with open arms, and a couple of jobs ready for me when I got to Costa Rica.  However, that doesn’t mean that this isn’t hard to do.  To some, my move to Costa Rica was no big deal, easy and simple.  To others, I’m doing something they can’t, and may not even want to imagine.  My point is, it’s all relative and my experience cannot be compared to others’.  This is my dream, I am living it, and it’s scary, it’s lonely,  it’s exciting and fun, and it feels so, so weird!

I am 38 years old and have never lived outside of Cleveland.  I’ve lived a fairly sheltered life in the suburbs, always just a phone call and minutes away from my parents and grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. I’ve worked since I was 14, through illness and through pain, but I’ve never had to worry about money or safety.  If I got sick, my mom would be there for me.  If I needed a home repair, my dad would come right over.  If I wanted to go out, I had a plethora of friends I could call to arrange a last minute evening out. I miss my family and friends, but I don’t want to quit and go back.  I miss the comforts of home, but I don’t want to go home.  I don’t feel at home in my new place, but I don’t want to leave.  I am feeling the discomfort I hoped to feel, and I am loving it and confused by it at the same time.

In other words, I don’t know how I feel, but I don’t think I need to.  I have faith and trust in my own intuition, and in God and my guides.  I can visualize and feel where I need to be, even if I don’t understand why.  The “why” is not for me to answer, or even to know.  When the time is right, I will know and maybe I will share with the world.  In the meantime, this is my journey and my path, and I am grateful for all those who are in my life supporting me on it.

One week in, I don’t expect to feel settled.  I know that home is anywhere I feel and choose it to be, but I have more clarity now that “home” is where my parents are.   I also know that I don’t have to live there to know that, and that feeling is freedom.  I referred to my new place in Costa Rica as home yesterday, for the first time without thinking, because it is my home until I move again someday.  However, no place on earth can replace the feeling of “home” I have when I am in my parents’ condo in the outskirts of Cleveland.  If home is where the heart is, then my home is with them, not a place on a map.

I left my parents with a photograph of the lighthouse in our hometown and the following quote on the back of it:

“You can only be a lighthouse for your children.  You cannot steady the ship of the choices they have made, you cannot calm the sea of consequences, or stop the winds of worldly influences.  But you can be the lighthouse where they can see a steady light of truth, a beacon to show them the safe harbor, and the port where loving parents will always be there with open arms to welcome them home.”

I will gratefully continue on my with my travels, but how lucky am I to know that I have a home to go to if ever I change my mind?!

 

Time to Move On

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Today is the day.  I’m finally on my way to Costa Rica and able to sit and relax.  This is heaven, despite the fact that I am in the unpleasantly fascinating  Miami Airport. It doesn’t matter, I can sit and breathe and do nothing if I want, which I do.  I realllllly do.

Just to recap, here is  the abbreviated and recent chain of events that lead me to this point: November 22nd-Dec 1 Retreat in Nicaragua, Nov. 24th I made a joke about moving to Costa Rica to live with Penny.  By December 1st  my joke turned into my plan.   December 4th I told my business partner at one yoga studio I owned, and by January both of my studios had been sold.  By February 12th I had moved out of my apartment and sold all of my furniture and most of my things, donated two truckloads and moved the rest to my grandparents’. There was Christmas, New Year’s, up to four dates per day with friends and family, and so many going away parties I lost count.  I traveled to Canada for three days to be with new friends I made while in Nicaragua, and to Columbus to be with old friends.  Then there’s all the little incidentals like changing my phone plan, returning my modem, changing my address, etc.  Somehow, I managed to continue teaching and seeing clients up until February 10th, and not surprisingly, ran myself into the ground and got sick the very next day.  It’s been amazing and exhausting both, in so many different ways.

I have been looking forward to sitting in the airport to eat, relax, and write, for weeks! However, as I wander this cold, dark and unfriendly airport, I’m reminded of what I left behind everywhere I look. I’ve seen a handful of men who resemble my father. Probably because his tears seem to be the most frequent image in my mind.  I’ve seen the name of my yoga teacher on signs, little girls who remind me of my nieces, a balding head that I swore was one of my students, and even macaroons just like the ones my girlfriends and I drooled over just yesterday (yes, I bought and ate 4 while writing this).  It’s been a surreal morning.

I slept for three hours last night, with dreams of all the incredible and beautiful things that lie ahead in my future. My alarm went off at 3:00 a.m.  By 3:30 my grandfather had gotten dressed and had coffee waiting for me.  By 4:00 a.m. my parents were at my grandparents’ house to pick me up. Grandma, and even my aunt visiting from out of town, wanted to be woken up to say goodbye to me.  Yes, I was surprised!  Who wants to wake up at 3:00 a.m. unless they have to?!

The energy of the house once everyone was there was heavy.  I know there are all sorts of mixed emotions, especially from my parents.

When we arrived at Cleveland Hopkins Airport it was a bitter -12 degrees outside. My parents were on edge, and I had an overwhelming amount of excitement I was filtering; careful to not make them feel like leaving them was what was exciting me.  How do I be happy for myself and express my pure elation at this opportunity to them when I know that what’s lifting me up is bringing them down?

I understand that they want me to be happy, they are excited for me, and they’ll miss me in ways I can’t understand because I am not a parent.  It’s so hard to know though, that I am the reason for my parents’ tears, my grandparents’ worry, and my own anxiety. At the same time, I know that I have to go.  An aunt reminded me this week that those are their fears and emotions, lessons to learn and grow from.   Whatever is ahead for me, it’s going to make this all worth it, for me and for them, and in time we will all be ok again.

Shortly after I arrived in the Cleveland airport, my Father’s friend showed up for his own travel plans, and kept me company.  As we talked about what’s happening in his life currently, I was taken back to my own similar history of illness and heartache.  He’s healing and growing, doing the right things.  It seems most of the people I know are going through some sort of transition in their lives right now.  Whether we bond through blood, interests, pain or pleasure, the most important thing to remember is that we don’t break that bond.  We put our differences of opinions, our own personal fears, and our egos aside, and we focus on growth, love and the bond itself.  Somehow, changing the focus of any situation from the petty and the ego, to the love and positive truth of our initial connections, seems to make everything ok. At least it does to me.

That’s not to say I haven’t cried.  I’ve cried almost daily.  I’ve felt pain on my heart the past few days that can only be described as a feeling of something being pulled, or ripped from my heart.  I’ve felt much appreciated grief for the life I have healed from, and sadness to be leaving friends I’ve just recently become close to.  I’ve sobbed for my father, and ate my feelings 5lbs heavier. I’ve cried with my girlfriends and even my ex-boyfriend.  I’ve blogged, prayed, boxed and danced, I’ve even tried to “yoga” the emotions out of my system.  It all felt good to do, and it all was healing.  So, why am I doing this if there is pain involved? I think about how much pain I would feel if I didn’t do it, and that thought is unbearable.

What about you? I’ve loved asking others through this process, what they would do if they had all the means to do it.  So, what would you do if you could.  If you were absolutely free to do whatever you wanted to, with no fear.  I’d absolutely love it if you would post your answer in the comments!  You’d be keeping me company, and maybe even giving me some new ideas too!

A friend made me the best travel cd, and on it is a song by Tom Petty: “It’s time to move on, time to get going. What lies ahead I have no way of knowing, but under my feet baby, the grass is growing. Ya, it’s time to move on, time to get going.”

You’ve got to hear this song.  It captures the hope, the knowing, the pure joy, the sadness and the readiness I feel.  Maybe it will do the same for you in your transition too.

Time to Move On

 

It’s Only Stuff Mommmmmmm!

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I remember back to one of the first few conversations I had with my mom about how I was planning to execute this transition. I had big ideas of how I was going to sell or donate everything I owned, and how easy that was going to be to do.
My mom kept insisting that I let her and my dad keep some things for me for when I decided to settle somewhere. “That’s not the point!” I told her. “It’s only STUFF mom, I can get more stuff anywhere at anytime, and I don’t want the “stuff” to hold me back, or weigh me down.” It’s so important to me to go all the way, or not at all. She tried again, but she knows me well enough to know that I need to figure out what’s right on my own. However, I don’t have a problem with admitting I was wrong from time to time, which I was.

So far, I haven’t felt remorse about getting rid of my furniture, selling my yoga studios, ending the lease on my less than 1 year old apartment, or leaving the only county I’ve ever lived in. In fact, I’ve been so bothered by the amount of “stuff” I have, that it’s felt good to unhand it. How many drawer organizers, paper clips, pens, spatulas, measuring cups, binders and nail files does one person need? How is it possible for me to forget I have 7 rolls of scotch tape at home in my closet? How many measuring cups can I use at one time? I’m pretty sure that I can only file my nails with one file at a time, so I’m not sure why I have 26.

Last night I moved on to sorting through my closets of clothes, beauty products, and shoes. I narrowed down my nail polish bottles to 16, and my lipsticks to somewhere around 50. YES. 50. You don’t want to know what the original was count before I narrowed it down.

“It’s only STUFF Mom!”, played on repeat as I stared at the ridiculous amounts of colorful tubes and bottles laying on my hallway floor. I tried to choose which colors should stay and which should come with me. I tried so hard! How could I possibly be ok with selling and donating all of my beautiful furniture and so many of my books and clothes, but when it comes down to nail polish and lipstick I am stuck?
My mom and I were on the phone while this madness was going on, laughing, with me admitting I was wrong about the ease of non attachment.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve come to realize that keeping a few things back home isn’t such a bad idea. My Ninja for example. That was an expensive piece of magic that I got for half off! It can’t hurt to have that waiting for me one day, can it?
Someone suggested to me awhile back, that keeping some things here while I’m gone isn’t a way to hold me back, it’s a way to allow me to proceed with comfort. I know that I will either have my Ninja, for example, when I settle down some day, or I will have a very nice item to donate to someone who needs it. Changing my perspective changed my plans.

The most beautiful part of this whole adventure has been spending quality time with so many people, and hearing their stories, suggestions, and experiences. I didn’t come up with this brilliant plan, people I’ve met and taken the time to listen to and connect with have. I’m not the first person to do what I am doing. I just heard a great idea and liked it. That is why my plans change everyday. I can’t assume I know what the future will hold, I have to be flexible and willing to go along for the ride. Like my stuff that I am letting go of, I need to let go of what I think I know, or want, when it holds me back from experiencing a beautiful life.

As far as the nail polish and lipsticks, I’ve decided to deal with that later. The idea of not having just the right shade of gloss or sparkle is just too much stress for me right now.