Where does the excitement end?
My initial plan was to spend a year traveling over here. I haven’t known exactly why but for a few years now I’ve had this desire to “arrive” in this place that I was sure would be the crucial step towards my success. I found travel so enlightening the last time, I assumed after a few years of waiting, it would only be only more so. Well, I suppose I was right, but I didn’t need a year to come across something enlightening.
A lot has happened in the past few years, the time I’ve spent waiting, creating a paradox within myself, just waiting for the present moment to arrive while it’s always already been here. But I’ve realized well before leaving the US that certain things had proven time and time again to be more important than the rest. I’ll list them:
Love: it’s not a romantic thing or unachievable except by the pure of heart. It’s what we all feel at some point or another when we feel like our best selves. When you are certain that you’re doing the right thing, you’re In Love.
Family: it’s not just the people you’re born to share the same blood with (although I believe it includes them), it’s your circle of influence.
Jim Rohn — ‘You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with .’
I think this is deeper than the usual translation or perhaps even the original intention of Mr. Rohn. Yes, if I want to be a writer I could surround myself with writers and probably accelerate my productivity. If I want to be a firefighter, well, I should get some firefighting buddies. Etc, etc.
However, if you look at my list of priorities (the extensive list that’s at 2 so far..) love is number one. So shouldn’t I surround myself with the people I love most? Or shouldn’t I love the people who are always around me? What about learning to love those who have loved me since I came into this world?
I think that when we are born into this world, we immediately have primordial relationships: our parents, and whoever we grow up closest to. Those relationships undoubtedly influence every other relationship in our life, from the point we begin, ad infinitum.
To focus on bettering all of my relationships, and in learning to choose my circle of influence, it may be wise to focus on my primordial relationships, aka, my first ones, so that I might learn to love better.
Baba Ram Das said, “if you think you’re so enlightened, go spend a week with your parents.” I’m sure what he meant was that the world out here can be easy, but returning to the place you were first loved is hard and ultimately the most rewarding, or enlightening.
I’m not just going to spend a week with my parents, I’m going to spend a few weeks with them 😉 More importantly, I’m moving home with the intention of staying home, of creating home. I’m giving all of myself to something again, and that will be this thing, this crazy concept I’m trying to define with these silly human sounds: home. What could be more important than pursuing what’s been discovered as, to paraphrase myself, “more important than the rest”?
It’s said that most people, at the end of their lives, when they are dying, ask the same questions: “did I love well?”, “did I learn to live fully?”, and “did I learn to let go?”
So number 3 is enthusiasm.
What enthusiasm is not is waking up and pressing the snooze button, it’s not starting the day with procrastination. It’s not dragging out of bed and dreading the car ride to work.
It’s also not a step up from that: “this is where I am and this is how it must be so I accept it.” Although, that’s certainly better than the first.
Enthusiasm is living out your joy. It’s rolling out of bed smiling, knowing the day ahead of you is the best day of your life, even if you have to choose to feel that way. It’s knowing what it is that you’re most excited about, the thing you geek out about to your friends or partner, and being able to pursue it in some way that day.
We wake up, in a state of enthusiastic living, and we know that whatever happens that day, we’ll have the opportunity to take a step in the direction of living more enthusiastically, however small the step. I don’t mean living frantically or annoyingly giddy. It’s about confidently striding along the ever present path of what you love most.
So, for me, these things all go hand in hand, link to link, cheek to cheek.
And I didn’t need to travel a year away from the US to realize it. Apparently two months was enough.
Kenny and I are flying out of Madrid on Wednesday. No one can understand how surprisingly sudden this happen. And while at first I was resistant, I’ve realized it’s the perfect opportunity to lead me closer to living my enthusiastic life. It’s the perfect step because it’s the one God has presented to me at this moment. I’ve been focusing on these three things, these three virtues of home, and I’ve realized that heading back is a step in the right direction.
With such a strong desire and excitement for rediscovering my home, it’s an easy decision to accept an opportunity to work with my brother down on the Gulf Coast. Holding all of these intentions, these prayers, so consistently close makes me certain in this next step, regardless of how drastic a change from the plan at hand. I’m trying to love, trying to learn to live well and letting go of that which doesn’t serve me any longer.
More on the job details later, when I’ve got more information. For now, here’s some more photos of our last bit of time in Portugal.
Ramble on, Rose.
follow me on instaham at whearn0624 and mi amigo Kenny at klnapper