Sunday, 29 August 2010

Grateful for Gratitude

I think it’s impossible to not miss the cruise ship life, even if it’s just a little. It doesn’t just sound cool to be travelling from city to city everyday for 6 months getting to see half the world, it actually is exciting. Well, there is a point where it just feels like everyday life, but it’s still easy to get excited about walking along Cococabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, the steep alleyways in Vigo, through the historic streets of Gamla Stan in Stockholm, or down Nevsky Prospekt in St. Petersburg. Every port that you haven’t been to before was like a new present at Christmas time!

And it’s hard not to miss the people (mostly the crew, but some passengers as well), even with the corresponding negativity that comes from being around them. I just found the environment so infectiously pessimistic, that before I knew it, I was a key part in the depressing side of my own adventure, completely unable to just be grateful; all those years of people telling me I had such a positive energy thrown away in a matter of months. The hardest part in the end was dealing with how disappointed I was in myself for not being stronger and for having been na├»ve enough to believe that optimism is something which requires no effort to maintain.

I see why everyone says it is addictive - you cannot help but want to go back and try again. Hindsight leaves me wondering if knowing what to expect will better prepare me for the internal challenge of fighting negative ship life. But then, I just imagine myself having to dress up for 70’s night one more time and it makes me want to hurl a little. Sometimes I think sitting through another 2 hour session of ceramics might make me tear my hair out. And if I have to teach one more person how to use an elevator, or explain that the stairwell goes up AND down, I may strangle someone.
 
In conclusion, being back in Canada (where people really ARE nicer; it’s not just a humourous myth) has made it easier to view the entire experience as a positive one, and as always, reflect on the difficult parts to find life lessons in them – and most prominently this time: Gratitude does take effort.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

The Non- Plan: Phase 1

I’m flattered by the number of people who have been telling me how much they miss reading my blogs and asking why I’ve stopped writing. I think most would excuse it to lack of time or just plain indolence, but the truth for me is that I just haven’t felt so inclined. I’ve really been enjoying life and the single precious seconds within it – or at least, attempting to.

Right now life feels… enjoyable… and satisfying… and really exciting. I feel very present in every moment.

I’m doing the opposite of what my high school guidance counselor advised and attempting to make as few plans and timelines for my life as possible. 

I want to live simply and, still, in the most fulfilling and giving way feasible.

I will continue to try and act as selflessly as possible, while being true to who I am.

I know very little of what my life will look like in years to come, and personally, I’m fighting hard to keep that view of the future a clean slate.

I have ideas, as I always have.
I imagine I’ll attend med school at some point in time.
Marriage and children will come up eventually.

Here is what I’ve learned about how I enjoy my life: Planning… makes me miserable. 

All I know right now is I want to be here, in Canada to take care of my Mom, and on September 16th, I’m hopping on a plane to England to join the love of my life where we will ride ponies and go for walks and enjoy whatever shape this part of our life together will take. 

That sounds like a pretty good… err… um, non-plan (???)… to me!