So. It’s been a week I am back from Hawaii and I came straight into a polar vortex. Now, I know I should (and I do) count myself lucky because I was away for the worst part and this has in fact been a mild week, with temperatures reaching low twenties (-10C) but the days mostly sunny and nice. It’s just that after one spends two weeks waking up to birds and going into a warm ocean everyday, it can be challenging to wake up to a construction site symphony and go into three layers of clothes and a down jacket.
That said, inasmuch as I am sad to have left Hawaii, I am very happy to be back and thankful for the week I had. It was a very important week and, because I can, I am going to consider today the last day of that week, because today something very special happened to me.
I learned lots of lessons in Hawaii and, while I am not ready to become a hippie, or chase the summer around the world while I do yoga and meditate, this was - to use a word my friend Tom likes a lot - a transformational vacation.
Now, I have been on vacation before and I have had amazing experiences. I am lucky like that. I have also traveled alone. Many a time. I reckon it’s the context I am in, call it the alignment of the stars, whatever you like.
Last year was a tough one. This year I will be forty. I discovered the power of the smile. Laugh at me, then smile. Feel better? That’s what I am talking about. I have recently reconnected with some friends I have missed for a long time. I have also let go of others whom I will always care for, but who just don’t fit the criteria for friends anymore. I accepted a pretty serious job: I am someone’s godmother now. Maybe I am crazy, but I do think this past month was some sort of culmination of a journey. The end of the first act. And I am ready for the second.
The most important lesson from Hawaii continues to be: paddle, paddle, paddle. (http://fefasmile.tumblr.com/post/74227270358/things-i-learned-in-hawaii-so-far)
But, as the final days approached, I realized what that lesson had really helped me with. And so it is that my journey has become clearer to me. And, again, if you are reading this and you have known me for a while (especially long time friends and family), no, I haven’t been drinking or anything. I am just conscious. And that’s a great thing.
Hawaii was about trying something new. A new place, new food, a new sport - I had tried to surf before, but this time I was serious about learning - and, more than anything, a new attitude. And, without me knowing, I was getting ready for the new things I have ahead of me in act two.
And so it is that my last lesson from Hawaii - and I don’t mean it in a ready-to-buy piece of advice - is to try something new all the time. I had had the feeling that it was going to be it, I mentioned something like that to my therapist this past week, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until today.
Today, the last day of the last week of my first act, I got it. I went to see someone very special, a friend that was put in my path last year and whom, since the first day I met, I knew was going to be special in my life. Today, after generously helping me feel better with his gift and allowing me to understand that I need to connect with myself and the world in a more meaningful way, he left me with a message: believe.
Believe I will. And that will let me try something (or somethings) new. The rest I know: paddle, paddle, paddle.
Thank you, Michael. Thank you very much. I hope you are your family are a big part of the next acts.