We all have a bucket list. Sometimes we add to it…and sometimes we are able to cross things off of it. I have been fortunate enough to be able to travel quite a bit…recently having someone say to me, “You must have traveled quite a bit in your life, huh?”
Yes, indeed I have. And I don’t believe that only means that I have gone on vacation to a bunch of places. I also believe that means that I have traveled through realms. What does that mean? Well, I can now say that I have been part of a second culture for 8 years, in three different life circumstances…maybe some might even say four.
I have lived the “married” life with a man who I never imagined being apart from…while I’ve lived the life of a single woman…now never imagining being with another man again. (Yes, I am being dramatic and I am sure can be persuaded to change my mind with time.) So my bucket list did not only have the experiences of travel and tourist destinations on it…it also had experiences like what I’ve had in the past 8 years.
It included not only my being able to dive for three years while living in Cozumel as I bartended to American tourists (honestly, it really was a fun experience), but my bucket list also included me trying out the whole “marriage” thing…family…I guess not children since I never had any…but maybe the Universe never thought I ever should. My bucket list included me learning to speak Spanish…now allowing myself to travel to Spain on vacation as a Spanish speaker. My bucket list also included me having survived in a foreign country long enough for me to feel super proud about how I did while being here.
My bucket list also included me buying my own Jeep and feeling so confident and sure of myself while behind the wheel, that I now feel as though I could drive anywhere in the world. (Having learned to drive on the streets of NYC and having spent 5 years driving in Puebla, where I witness the most inconsiderate and aggressive drivers every day, I really do feel as though my road rage should really take me off the road, though.)
But I am NOT dead yet! My list has grown in a different direction as children and marriage are just omitted from it. My list has begun to grow in a different direction entirely. Suddenly I find myself free to do other things. I do not feel tied down by a family (hoping I never would have felt that way), I do not feel as though I have to “stay home” and take care of anyone. I no longer feel as though I owe anyone myself…I no longer feel as though I have to stay in one place.
We have a word in Spanish, “inquieto” which I suffer from immensely! If you Google translate that word, it means “restless.” In my opinion, what it means is just my inability to wait for anyone or anything to happen. I physically have to tie myself down at times to stop myself from making immense changes in my life. I keep saying out loud to myself…”I am just going to sit back, put my feet up and let life happen.” And this only frustrates me to no end! Why? you may ask…because I do not have the type of soul that can just allow life to happen. I am the type of person who likes to make things happen.
I would not describe myself as being restless…I might say impatient…though in the end what I’m impatient about is waiting to see what others will do when I always know it all along. I am a firm believer in my own expression: “Sometimes you have to give a man enough rope to hang himself, but then don’t be disappointed as you watch them swing.” And anyone who has watched me during the past 2 years will say that is exactly what I did to one man after another.
And what has that lead me to? Me returning to the woman I was 8 years ago…the woman who kept kicking the horse so that she would get thrown off, face in the mud…only to learn yet another one of life’s lessons. Do I have friends who would help me? Of course! But what fun would that be? Do I have people in my life who advise me? Of course! But always listening to others is not what I am famous for. Do I ever go to friends for counsel and advice? Of course! But I always have to add my own flavor to it! It is how I play my game. You know…my life, based on my experiences and decisions.
So if I come to you for help with a question…take it as a compliment. But please don’t feel bad when I don’t follow your advice. I am the one with the problem, not you. And while I love to hear how you may face it, or battle it, should you be in the same shoes. I also love knowing that regardless of what you tell me to do, you also know that I will always do things my way, because that is the only way I know how to do anything.