The bold and the BEEautiful

Trip Start Jul 17, 2014
Trip End Aug 06, 2014

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Flag of Australia  , Australian Capital Territory,
Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I hadn't intended to blog this trip. But a particularly lovely colleague has asked a few times now if I will. So I shall. After all, what are holidays for if not indulging in the things we love? I have spent far too little time lately putting pen to paper. Or pixel to internet, as it may be.

My last blog (which you can access through my blogger dashboard) ended rather abruptly with my sudden return from life in Canada. The six months following have seemed a repeat, a replay, of a particularly bad time in my life. Losing dad. A flurry of hospital visits, sleepless nights and a parent in the ICU. I’ve watched another loved one teeter on the brink of oblivion, and felt deeply my own powerlessness to save them.

This Thursday I’m headed back to Canada. Just for a visit. But again it feels like hitting replay. Repeating. Reliving.

For some reason, I feel afraid. I feel pressured. It feels like suddenly coming face to face with a lover you never had closure with. When you get that chance, what do you say or do? What is it important to say or do? And what do you let go of? I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about that, to be honest.

So, in keeping with that replaying, repeating, reliving theme… I’ve named this blog the (M)ex files, because:

a)    I take great joy in playing with words

b)    Part of my trip takes place on the sunny beaches of Mexico

c)     I’m going back to an 'ex-lover’ – that ‘lover’ being the city of Vancouver

d)    I’ve spent a fair bit of time recently thinking about how our past experiences – our ‘exes’, if you’ll indulge me that metaphor – influence the way we approach and experience new things.

I tend to run at life with a little too much gusto. Reckless enthusiasm. Despite any past experience I’ll throw myself wholeheartedly into something like the poor science experiment hamster who’s forgotten the cheese is electrified. I can’t help it. And I don’t really care to.

Yes, it means I get very, very hurt. But it can also be very, very rewarding. Ultimately, I’ve found that people are worth it. And experiences are worth it. Despite the outcome.

I like to think I’m living proof that bad experiences don’t break you. Even when things don’t work out the way you wanted, you come out having learnt something. You’ve tried really hard and cared really deeply about a cause, a person, an experience, an outcome. It’s never a bad thing to have tried hard at something, to want something badly, to care and feel and love deeply.

You can learn from, but can’t run from, or suppress, or try to forget the bad things in life. You can’t let them make you hard and cold. I think that gives those things some kind of sick power. It also gives no credit to that really great part of you that tries, that cares, that loves, that hopes. It’s like telling yourself that part of who you are is wrong and stupid. It’s not. Give yourself a break.

You have to take the good with the bad. And embrace, if you can, how the bad things enrich your life. Some of you know how dearly I love Mr Steinbeck and his Travels with Charley, in which he sums up how I feel, really. "How can one know colour in perpetual green, and what good is warmth without cold to give it sweetness?"


I think, what I’m really doing by espousing all this airy fairy crud, is letting myself off the hook. Although I feel apprehensive about being back in the arms of Vancouver, my city lady love, I’m not going to let my past experiences make me afraid.

I’m also not going to let them make me feel pressured. I’m going to feel good when I feel good, and sad when I feel sad. I’m going to embrace the bad feelings if they come, and let them quietly pass. Let them sweeten the rest of my experience. I’m going to do what feels right and not beat myself up for anything I don’t cross off my ultimate Vancity to-do list.  

Sometimes when I’m afraid to do something, because my past experiences are giving me doubt, I think of something my father always said to me, in his booming, theatrical way. “POUR BOLDLY”, he would say dramatically, gesticulating accordingly.

In reality, we were always at the dinner table and I would be attempting to pour a drink from a very full bottle into my glass. He was trying to avoid the mess that comes when you pour timidly. It spills absolutely everywhere!

I like to take dad’s dinnertime advice and apply it more broadly to my life. Despite the spills you’ve had before, despite not wanting to mess up the great big tablecloth of life, if you approach life with trepidation, it gets messy.

The vessel of life is full with rich experiences, and you must always pour from it boldly.

So, off I boldly go. Into the great unknown.

Or into Canada. Which is much the same thing, really.

Love always, your B. xx
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