Yesterday’s attempts at inner peace didn’t work, and last night I was irritable, moody, impatient and sad. Poor Brad is a little bit nervous to be around me right now, and I don’t blame him.
Because I was too ill at ease to go to bed, I stayed up late dealing with iPod and iPhone issues. It wasn’t going well (syncing, restoring, losing things…totally annoying), which did nothing to improve my mood. After only making things worse for my sleek little black units, I gave up and went to bed, where I decided to read to help quiet my mind.
I’m reading a typical chick lit novel featuring fashion and friends and men. Normal stuff for the genre. Predictable. It’s set in Dublin and London and for the duration of the book didn’t stray from those locations. Then, in the last chapter, one of the characters up and went to Fuerteventura of all places.
Remember my post about coincidences? Well this is the king of all chance happenings. It shocked me so much I almost threw up.
Fuerteventura is what I’ve been trying not to think about for the last 12 years. Fuerteventura is what has been making me irritable and moody and impatient and sad last night. Fuerteventura is actually causing me physical pain this year – aches and nausea, a headache and tremendous tightness in my neck and shoulders. I think it was Fuerteventura that nearly kept me in bed two Sundays in a row – the effort of lifting my head from the pillow seemingly monumental.
I’d almost forgotten its name. I talked about the Canary Islands a few times a year, but nothing specific. I certainly haven’t said – or seen – its name in a long, long time.
I have very few memories of that trip. I don’t remember flying there. I don’t remember being in either airport – Stockholm’s or Fuerteventura’s. I don’t remember checking a bag, but I’m sure I did because I’ve never packed lightly in my life. I don’t remember how Lisa, my friend from Sweden, and I got to the hotel or what it even looked like. I have no idea how I got my bag packed and got to the airport. I must have slept through the majority of the flight, though I remember waking at one point and wondering if it had all bee a dream.
I also remember that I the only book I took on that trip was Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie. Nice, light beach reading. I remember this because in the ensuing 12 years, I shudder and get chills whenever I see it referenced.
Is it any wonder that I stick to Chick Lit and magazines now?
So tomorrow is an anniversary of sorts. 12 years since I was in Fuerteventura and the course of my life was forever altered. Sometimes I wonder how I’d have turned out if none of it had ever happened. If I’d made it back to the hotel safely, or if I’d never have gone away for Spring Break in the first place. If I’d never gone to Sweden. Who would I be? Would I have gone to Penn State? Would I have stayed in Pennsylvania or on the East Coast somewhere? Would I have fallen in love with the mountains? Would I have met and married Brad?
But then, I like who I’ve become in so many ways. I like that I think to protect myself, that I’m not naïve. I like that
Right now I feel a little bit like Derek Zoolander outside the coal miners’ bar, asking God for advice just seconds before his very tiny phone rings. And just like they did nothing to help Zoolander, these questions aren’t going to help me. It’s a waste of time to wonder about how things would be different, because they aren't.
In a yoga class recently, my instructor mentioned that focusing on the negative was like “praying for things we don’t want.” In mountain biking, if you look at an obstacle, you’ll run right into it. It’s called object fixation. The goal, then, is to look where you want to go instead of at the tree, the rock, the huge and scary drop-off.
So now, instead of continuing to dwell in this place, this memory, this pain, I am going to focus on where I want to be, on HOW I want to be.