“Mission from the Universe” Part 1: The Ides of 2014

20160807 Y Days Blog Photo New FontsI’ve been alluding to my upcoming adventure, which I have dubbed my “Mission from the Universe,” for some time now in random SoulSEAker posts.

Now the real countdown has begun. As my mission will commence in 7 days, I am ready to share parts of my story with you.

PART 1: The Ides of 2014. I was originally supposed to visit Ireland, Wales, and England with fellow teachers and students in April of 2014, but it was not meant to be. My father-in-law unexpectedly passed away the day before I was supposed to leave, and instead of kissing the Blarney Stone during Spring Break, I kissed Poppy goodbye for the last time.

Losing him was just surreal, like every death we all have dealt with I’m sure, but this was POPPY. He was the glue that held us all together, and we were all left shattered, heartbroken, and lost. A few times I just collapsed on my living room floor and lay there, in the fetal position and in solitude, sobbing uncontrollably.

Personally, I was also extremely angry, which at the time was misunderstood as selfishness.

That was the furthest from the truth: It wasn’t because I couldn’t go on the trip. Rather, I was angry that we were all robbed of Poppy and his presence in our lives.

I was still reeling in silence at losing a treasured friend and colleague (who I will call SHE for now) four months prior. I kept that grief bottled up inside ever since I received that fateful phone call from my friend D over winter break. Now here I was again, confronted with another huge and unexpected loss over a break, and I was pissed beyond belief.

I mean I literally saw red a few times. Literally.

I wanted to hit, punch, kick, and scream, and I did up at the beach three times. I am sure I looked like a raving lunatic yelling at the waves and the sand as I acted out like a two-year-old, but man, I had to in order to release the anger from my system. Looking back now, I think that was the angriest I have ever been in my life.

When my nephew, who was 8 at the time, heard the news of Poppy’s passing, he cried, “Things are going to be so different now.”

He was right.

It is true that “This Too Shall Pass,” and as each tomorrow became today, things subtlely returned to as normal as life would be, albeit with that sparkle in Poppy’s eye missing, his compassion and kindness now absent.

I was able to get a refund for my missed trip (sidebar: always spend the extra to get the trip insurance).  As luck would have it, my mother and a longtime friend both agreed to accompany me in July/August on a similar trip to Ireland, Wales, and England. We left on July 26 and returned on August 3, 2014. Throughout the week, we visited Dublin, Killarney, Waterford, Cardiff, Stonehenge, Bath, and London.

It’s now two years later, and I am headed to Ireland again a week from today with the same longtime friend.

This time, we will only be staying in Dublin. That’s by design.

Those who really know me know I am a creature of habit, and hearing that I am returning to Ireland next week might not be a surprise.

Others have asked why I would spend money and time to see someplace I already visited.

The reason?

It’s my mission from the universe, and I must go.

Stay tuned for Part 2: SHE and ME tomorrow.

And, yes. The term Mission from the Universe was inspired by Jake and Elwood Blues. I certainly won’t be causing as much damage as they did…or will I? 😉

“Sea”ing Direction

I was going through an old journal and this is what I wrote on March 28, 2010:

“I’m sitting at the beach, sand covering my feet, listening to and watching the waves roll in.  What is my place in this world?  I’m lost.  No idea about what my purpose is.  Somehow, I expect the answers to come rolling in on one of the waves, but no answers, yet.”

I probably have written the same type of journal entry at least 50  times in my life.  While I might have been distracted at times throughout my years and made more terrible decisions than I’d like to admit, I have led a pretty simple life, comparatively speaking.  But there, always lurking in the background, was a map without any path laid out.  The one constant has been the refuge of the beach and the sea.  Ever since I was young, I looked to the sea to find the answers…answers to guide me on the right path to find my true calling and purpose on this earth.  I expected the voice of the sea to literally SPEAK to me, time after time.

I’ve always felt as if I should be doing something MORE than what I do, that my purpose was something more, but I have never been able to find what THAT is.  For a while I thought it was photography, and I jumped into that arena with my heart and soul.  However, long story short, that detour ended up being a dead end for many reasons (I will elaborate on this at another time).

Prayer after prayer, good decision after good decision, setback after setback, life change after life change, I’m still here, trying to find what THAT is.

Just as I was 5 years ago.

Just as I was 10 years ago.

Just as I was 20 years ago.

Just as I was as I graduated high school.

And just as I was as a kid.

At the end of 2014, a few clicks on a Facebook page I follow brought me to a website I had never visited before, and I found a wonderful writer named Susannah Conway (please check her out, as she is such an inspiration).  She offered a free workbook called “Unraveling the Year Ahead 2015.”  I completed the workbook, and the word I chose for me this year was DIRECTION.  A summary from what I wrote (which looks so similar to what I wrote in 2010):

“For years, I have felt lost.  There are things I want to do, but I do not know what to focus on or how to do them…I need direction on so many levels.  Direction will help me nurture me. Direction will help me nurture my relationships with others. Direction will help me see where I am going, and how I will get there. Direction will help me see the world. Direction will help me focus on a purpose for my writing. Direction will help me find my purpose in life. Direction will lead me there. Direction is my word for 2015.”

2015 happened, and I was once again ready to find my path, looking for direction everywhere…clues to guide me, signs to direct me.  Looking again to the sea for answers, for some whispering just a little louder than the surf, something to show me the way, even just one word to move me forward just one step.

This year I made it a point to be more involved with life.  I embraced my birthday in February and started a blog to document what I do during my 44th year, and have since made progress on my goal list.  I have said “yes” to more invitations this year.  I began meditating and reading books by a lot of new authors to me, such as Mallika Chopra, Brene Brown and Eckhardt Tolle.  I read Susannah Conway’s “This I Know” 3 times. I take a lot more notes and reflect a lot more about my daily happenings and observations.  My planner is a rainbow of “me,” filled with ideas, snippets and thoughts on multi-colored post-its with coordinated ink.  I’ve made great memories with great people and seen a lot of new places, some which were right around the corner all along.

However, through the daily ins and outs, I saw nothing leading me in the right “direction,” if you will.  No clues, no signs, nothing leading me to what THAT is.  Just the same old, same old to do list, meeting agendas, responsibilities and the like.

In June, I began thinking about how half of 2015 is almost over, and I have not found my direction.

And then, out of the blue, it hit me…the idea for this blog.  And hit me it did, like a ton of bricks, in my semi-sleeping subconscious.  And for the first time in what I can remember, I felt like I made it over the proverbial hump of life.

Now, I don’t know whether this (SoulSEAKer) is THAT, my purpose or calling, but what you are reading right now IS my direction.  I do not know where my words and photographs will take me, but what I do know is that I feel a little less lost these days.  I feel like I am ON the right path on my life’s map.  I know that I am headed in the right direction.  And if the answer is not my words and photographs, I firmly believe that my words and photographs will lead me to THAT.  The answer.

When I look towards the future, I am excited, yet filled with calm and peace.  I am right where I am supposed to be, and instead of looking back and wishing “what if”, I am looking forward and saying YES to what might be.

I will continue to listen to the sea’s voice for guidance, because at the every least, it will provide me with solace and a sense of renewal.

And I plan to embrace every opportunity that is good for me with open arms.

While the path of my future is still unknown, my compass is finally pointed in the right DIRECTION.

I’d love to know your reaction to this entry, or something that helps you find direction in your own life…please comment if you’d like.