Posts Tagged ‘hopes’

Life is no gift box

Recently I’ve had conversations with friends that further confirm that I’m an adult. If it was not clear already, it’s clear now. I won’t go into the details of the conversations, but I walked away thinking that life isn’t that perfect package that we dreamed of when we were younger. No one finds the man/woman of their dreams in a café in Rome, gets married, has two perfect children, has the career of their dreams, becomes rich all while maintaining the looks and body of a model. Well a small minority of people may have this life, but it’s usually not without some huge bump in the road.  Quite a few of my friends are divorced or going through a divorce. Some thought they were marrying the person of their dreams. Others knew the person was all wrong, but somehow ended up meeting them at the alter anyway. A few are on their second marriages.  Some with kids, most without. Then there is the recent transition from the influx of weddings to births. My Facebook page is full of baby photos of little one’s of family and friends. So now there’s another life in the world and what happens when your child is sick or disabled? All of the “plans” you had went right out the window.  That pretty package you anticipated now looks a little tattered and you’re not sure what to do with it. You don’t even know where to start because you never planned for this.

Many of life’s blessings don’t come in the beautifully wrapped blue Tiffany’s box.  Sometimes the package may be a ripped up brown box that was damaged in transit, dropped in the mud and wet from the rain. When you see it, you’re immediately turned off. You don’t want to touch it. It’s not the thing you want to bring into your house and muddy up your clean carpet.  But you’re not going to let it sit there for too long, because something’s inside. Someone sent you a gift and you want to know what it is. So you grab a paper towel and tear it open hoping that what’s inside isn’t as damaged as the package. Perhaps the sender took care and wrapped it in padding and plastic knowing the fragile contents might experience a rough trip before it got to you. So you cut open the tattered box and pull out the gift that’s securely taped in mounds of bubble wrap. You grab the scissors and cut through the wrap, popping bubbles along the way. The box is wrapped up so tightly that you get frustrated and put it down. You walk away. But eventually come back and see it sitting on the counter and can’t help but start cutting again. After a little time, patience and effort, you finally get down to the box inside. It’s not the blue Tiffany’s box…it’s even better.  This box is unique and even more beautiful than you could have imagined. All of this and  you haven’t even opened it to see the contents. Who would have thought that something this beautiful could be delivered in something so tattered? And to think you almost left it sitting outside. You almost walked away and gave up on it before you had a chance to explore what was inside.


The Acomodador

Just a few days ago, I was so conflicted about what I would do this summer that I almost ended up doing nothing. So how do you go from two wonderful options to nothing? You allow yourself to get paralyzed by fear. Paulo Coelho calls it the Acomodador, or giving up point (see excerpt below). Looking back, I realize  that this is what happened to me. I allowed the fear of the unknown (a.k.a. the “what ifs?”) to consume my thoughts and completely change them. What if I don’t find a job? What if no one wants to rent my place? What if I go broke? What if…What if…What if…? As you can see the “what ifs” get progressively worse and more absurd as time goes on. Just allow yourself to sit with fear and it’ll take you on a mental ride where you find yourself questioning everything. I had reached my acomodador. Fortunately, I knew the source of my anxiety and  did finally  make a decision thanks to the listening ear of a few friends and a kick in the butt from one who basically told me to stop the foolishness and just do it.

So, I’m going to Spain!  I had to take it back to focusing on my dreams and aspirations, and not my fears. I love to travel, I want to learn Spanish, I have the time travel, I have people to travel with, my ideal job is to be a travel journalist…the paella, sangria and siestas are an added bonus.

“The Acomodador, or giving up point – There is always an event in our lives that is responsible for us failing to progress: a trauma, a particular defeat, disappointment in love, even a victory that we did not understand, can make cowards of us and prevent us from moving on. As part of the process of increasing our powers, we must first free ourselves from that giving up point, and to do so, you must review your life and find out where it occurred.” -The Zahir by Paulo Coelho