Following your heart

“No I will not lay down/ I will not live my life like a ghost in this town/ I am not lonely swear to God I’m just alone/ I’m back on my feet/ I can just close my eyes and forget everything/ My house is empty every memory blown away” ~Jann Arden

I’ve been feeling out of sorts lately. The heat in Buenos Aires is unbearable and I can’t do much. Even my appetite has waned. On Friday I went out with a few expats, one of whom I connected with through this blog. They were lovely and I had fun but I had an epiphany. These weren’t my friends. My friends are back home in Canada. I miss them.

I’m one of those very fortunate people who has been blessed with a wonderful life. I’ve always maintained some modicum of perspective and don’t allow my ego to guide me. I am grateful for what I have been able to build for myself and even more appreciative that I have such beautiful people to share my energy with. Anytime I’ve experienced something extraordinary in Buenos Aires I keep expecting to find a familiar face, someone who can appreciate the things that make me happy.

No one back home reading this is surprised when I write that I am an excitable person. Like a child, when I am moved emotionally, my whole essence reacts, my body lurches forward and my mannerisms never betray how I’m feeling. It makes lying, a challenge! My friends know me better than I know myself. To me, nothing is better than that kind of purity.

I love Buenos Aires, but I know that my heart is back home in Toronto. Ultimately that is where I want to be. I have always tried to live my life openly and honesty. I’m a bleeding heart, and I take risks. If there is one thing I am proudest about myself it’s my ability to act — to never regret not doing something that I know in my being I have to do.

I think a lot of people travel because they’re running away from a bad experience. I’m not. I know what I have back in Canada is special and that I am a lucky person. This isn’t meant to be cheesy but I am bewildered by how fortunate I have been, and I am determined to pay homage to the life I have been provided, and those who have blessed it. Every day away from Maude, my dog, is a  day I’ll never get back. And it pains me. But I felt I had to make this adventure.

Let’s face it, friends are the most important antidote to whatever afflicts us. Friends can send us to emotional heights we could never reach alone. Sometimes I stray too far from that truth, because I get bored with routine, but I always come back to it, and never too late, thank God.

It’s not that I’ve had difficulty meeting people in Argentina, it’s just that why settle when I already have the best back home? My friends are my family, all of them have been with me for over 15 years and it’s hard that I’m not in Toronto with them to share a beer while reminiscing about old times and creating new memories.

You never fully appreciate what you have until you no longer have it. Maybe I’m beginning to understand how true that sentiment is. I’ve taken a lot of knocks, but it’s been worth it if that’s what I’ve learned. You’re never too old to find humility.

One thing I know for certain: I can’t return to an office job. Former colleagues get upset with me about this because they feel I’m being judgemental. I know that everyone has to make a living but for me, the office environment was toxic. Staff walked around like zombies. Nothing stifles creativity or imagination more than office politics and conforming to how you’re “supposed” to behave.

Many people will think that I’m lost, or that I haven’t yet found my path, and if that’s true well fine. It doesn’t bother me if I’m lost, because to be perfectly frank, I think the uncertainty about my future keeps me honest.

I’ve waited a long time to be okay with who I am. The best part is that as soon as I discovered my truth, I relaxed. I live for today, and tomorrow can wait until, well, tomorrow.

Te amo. Do I sound crazy? Ahhhh…. who cares!?

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Somebody that I used to know

This video has been watched over 63 million times on YouTube. I adore it. I’ve always wondered how couples can be in love for many years and then divorce so bitterly. Someone you used to share your life with is now a mortal enemy, or as this song suggests, somebody that you used to know.

Life can be taken away from us in a breath, and we hold on to astringent memories with a passion we should reserve for empathy and love. From my own experiences I know what it feels like to resent someone, and to carry that grudge with me wherever I go.

Relationships are passing pirate ships in the night for many of us, something I’ve never been able to live as my reality. I care too much about people, their histories are fascinating elements I want to explore. With long-lasting relationships we invite conflict, and with it, negativity. If you’re like me, it can be a lot easier to covet that pessimism as a weapon, but it ultimately leads to our unraveling.

Upon letting go of a lover or a sibling, or a parent’s misdeeds I think we demonstrate how at peace we are with ourselves, which is the ultimate struggle, isn’t it?

In the end, relationships, specifically love, can make fools of us all.