You will be presented with lessons…
Lessons are repeated until learned.
Those are Rules #2 and #4 from the book If Life Is A Game, These Are The Rules, by Cherie Carter Scott. If you haven’t read the book… you should, it’s brilliant.
I’m currently attending Advanced Letting Go 401, and apparently I haven’t passed it yet. So my lessons continue.
Back in April and May of this year, I sold, tossed, or gave away everything I have ever owned. My journals, dating back to high school. My business. The house I grew up in. Pottery my parents made (I am an orphan). Art. Furniture. Clothing. Everything. (Well, Craig salvaged a few things for me and tucked them into his storage unit, bless his heart!)
I left behind my family. Children. Friends. Career. A great boyfriend. A beloved cat. A life.
I thought I had completed my ‘letting go’ lessons as I painfully tore apart my connection to almost every thing and person I ever loved. What else is there to let go of?
Turns out, there is plenty. In Cartagena, we accidentally left behind two Lush massage bars and a shampoo bar (put them in the freezer because they were melting.) It sounds silly, but if you’ve ever loved a Lush product, you know how intense the passion can be. And I realized this will happen every time we move. Losing things is part of moving. And when you own so little, everything matters.
Then there’s Cartagena itself. As we headed to the airport, I thought about the restaurants where we were regulars; the ones where they knew what we wanted to drink before we sat down. It made me sad to realize that I would never visit those places again, never repeat those experiences or smile into those faces and see them smile back with recognition. And people — my roommate Helen, and the members of Helen’s band, who would greet me by name and kiss my cheeks, and Noah, the friendly German bartender. I had to leave behind those tenuous beginnings of friendships to go to a new place.
Craig is back in the states for a few weeks, and I’m having to let go of his companionship again, and learn how to be totally alone. This will happen every few months, and I don’t think it will ever get easier. The longer we’re together, the better we are. We are a team, and alone I’m half a team.
I liked Cartagena, and Bogotá – I can recommend either as a travel destination. But I have fallen in love with Quito, and now that it is almost time to leave, I am in terrible pain.
I love the people here, the most loving and family-oriented people I’ve ever seen. I love their entrepreneurial spirit, their patience with their children, the way they hold hands or lock arms with their spouses, elderly parents, and teenagers when they walk down the street. I love the mountains and volcanos and rainforests of Ecuador. I love the arts here, the street paintings, the music, the dancing, the weavings. I… well, I don’t love the food. But I love everything else about this place and its people. I could live happily ever after here.
Yesterday, I went to the Plaza Grande for the Sunday festival. When the band started playing the traditional Ecuadorian music, I had a sensation like my heart was being ripped out through my belly. I had to laugh at myself a little, because I’m so obviously NOT Ecuadorian. But I feel such a connection. I walked past the Presidential Palace and felt a little surge of love for President Correa. He’s certainly not perfect, but he is a colorful character who has brought a lot of positive changes for his people. He is a remarkable man, and I kind of love him a little. It’s weird.
This whole nomadic world-travel thing doesn’t work if I don’t pick up and move along every few weeks or months. How many places will I fall in love with and have to leave?
I suppose it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. I imagine my heart will be richer for every place and every people I fall in love with.
But damn. This hurts!