If I could turn everything that my midnight brown eyes have observed in the past six months into a moving film clip, it would be a tornado of sensory overload laced with surreal images that would leave you wandering if you have fallen into madness.
I took 3 months and traveled to India.
Or how it really happened: Mother India called and was allowed no other choice but to answer her pull and go.
The first month I was spent with my best friend whom is a world traveling freebird and experienced in the ways of navigating through India as a female Canadian. The last two months were spent solo.
There were three cities that were the drop back to this adventure: Delhi, Dharmsala and Rishikesh. There was back peddling in this trip. There were many returns to Delhi. It helped too, as Christina’s previous travels lead us to a Bed and Breakfast located in New Delhi’s Nizamuddin West sub district- address G49. “G-49”, as we called it, was a three floorguest house that featured powerful air conditioning during the Delhi heat wave and an escape from the noise of India.
New Delhi is a fountain of unlimited inspiration for poets and entrepreneurs. I was thrusted out of the safety of routine and structure of my life based in Grande Prairie, Canada, but in New Delhi (India) I found myself centered, calm, and understood; Inspired and curious; Engaged and always developing. There was no other option; only the fierce survive traveling in India solo, especially females. Going home early was not an option. It was my objective to extend my stay in India as long as I could financially support it. I was able to accomplish this objective; I booked my ticket home to Canada for July 10th, on the sole deciding factor of dwindling finances.
I haven’t even been home for 2 months, yet India feels lifetimes away.
“Was it all just a dream?”
I have seven filled journals on my father’s old antique oak desk resting in my bedroom, reassuring me that YES it DID happen.
Transitioning back to Canadian life was not easy- and it is still continues to weigh on me. Luckily I have a few “carpe diem!” spirited friends who confide in me that they too felt this way from returning from extended travels overseas. Leaving is never the challenge. It’s finding yourself when you come home.
The Wannabe Entrepreneur in me would have been very disappointed that debt was created to go on this trip. (“Rule #1 – ALL DEBT IS BAD”. Pay Cash. If you can’t pay cash, you cannot afford it. Get working, then indulge.) I had no choice- I had to leave my life. I was a ticking time bomb filled with frustration, friction and anger. I flirted dangerously close to the sense of leaving everything and just starting fresh. (Luckily I tried this, many times in my younger days – it doesn’t work. Damnit.) India was an investment. A costly investment, but risky gambles are the ones that lead to short term high returns. Lucky in my case, debt was created but I developed what I needed from this trip outweighed the financial burden. But all debt is bad debt and must be eliminated.
Then, cue in the predictability of life; if you think things can’t get any worse, you lack imagination. (“Rule #2- ALWAYS have an emergency saving fund”.) I made the decision to take the money that was in this “DO NOT TOUCH” account and “invest it” into India. Perhaps in the future I would have chosen a different route, but this was the choice I made and I stand behind it. But it does create the tone for an unnerving return home.
Grande Prairie, 2016. Bad recession. Things are hard right now. Not impossible, but hard. I knew this when I left.
As a safety net, I brought along with me on my travels all the paperwork/ birth certificates/ and documentation needed to apply for a UK passport, due to fitting the criteria of a Natural Citizenship via my fathers birth rights. Even though the events of “Brexit” have caused dramatic impact on the British pound, the pound still has intense power over the Canadian dollar. I booked a “7 day layover” in England to explore the logistics of going down this route. Instead of going to London and seeing all the bloody churches and cathedrals, I detoured to an oceanfront town named Brighton. Why? In comparison, the cost of living in Brighton vs London (my first pick for a home base in London) is drastically favoring the bohemian city of Brighton. I wanted to explore the possibility of actually making this work. Once again, I found an interesting gamble: I could explore my heritage in England, while having a stronger currency to pay off my debt. The answer, I found, was “yes!” it was possible, but I did not have the time to get this done or the finances to support myself in England while paperwork goes through and still paying rent for my room in Grande Prairie. I needed to go home to Canada to make some bling bling and sort out a logical game plan.
I am going to reemphasize Rule #2 for any one who is ambitious to build wealth: ALWAYS have an emergency savings fund.
Let me repeat this again.
ALWAYS HAVE AN EMERGENCY SAVINGS FUND.
I do not regret anything. I had to make a series of tough decisions and I made the best decisions based upon my priorities given the information I had at the time.
As I’m working through this, my “dream car for right now” which I purchased in 2012 and had paid off in two years- my all black Mitsubishi Eclipse sports car – has sadly become terminally ill and is resting now until more money can be invested into a new engine or taking the financial loss and selling her as is.
Because I am a believer that I set the tone for my life and for the opportunities that have come my way, I have made the best of this situation. Juggling the desire to get “Davey H Productions” up and running, my role in helping with promotions at The Den, serving at the Country Club Golf Course and teaching Yoga, I am working this shit out.
It hasn’t been easy.
The last week, I haven’t had a chance to even pause, running (erm.. walking & cabbing, I guess I should say) from job to job, just trying to survive.
On Tuesday night, I had a particularly rough night. My day began as I caught a ride at 8 am to the yoga studio I can teach at 9:30 am. After, I walked to the Golf Course to work from noon until 8:30 pm. Then I had to walk back to the Yoga studio for a 9:30 pm staff meeting. When I started walking away from the Country Club, I struggled. I fought all the desire in my soul to detour and walk home.
I created this situation from my decisions and I need to follow through with the aftermath.
It was cold. Really cold.
Tired, so damn fucking tired.
The last time I even had time to eat was at noon. I was fueled on frustration and accountability.
An overwhelming sense of defeat over took me. It stirred a lifeless chill.
A vulnerable thought over took me; the sense of needing help. Being able to admit that this was too much to endure on my own.
It made for an isolating and emotionally draining hour long walk in the cold.
And THIS- this is where India comes in, the return of my financial investment.
As I made it downtown, nearing closer and closer my final destination, I observed the brilliance of the street lights romantically illuminating the way. I observed my breath and the energetic double inhale, quick exhale. I observed the chills of sweat drenched clothing. I observed the tension I was holding in my jaw. The feeling of my blistered heels hitting the ground with each step and how I was able to lessen the pain if I chose to soften my pace.
But most of all-
I observed the flowers, decorating down town Grande Prairie, vibrantly emitting floral scents.
Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.
I know if my car had been running, I would be missing this moment. I would be mindlessly running from point a to point b, music cranked, missing the beauty of each scene, racing against time.
Where I was in that moment was not comfortable.
But life is not a luxury of comfort, infact, my Buddhist studies would reaffirm that life is filled with suffering/ discomfort. But you can overcome this suffering if you can heal your mind, or in other words, learn how to strengthen your focus/ concentration, so you can observe the reality of the present moment without all the feedback and noise.
Perhaps I did a terrible thing, but while I was waiting for the traffic lights to turn at a 4 way intersection only a couple blocks from my final destination, I picked a flower from one of the radiant selections. An earthy brown flower with hints of golden hues, with a shape reminiscent of a sunflower. I wanted a reminder of this evening. Once I returned home, I placed it in a cup of water and placed it on my desk. It’s easy to learn how to deal with life in a text book. Applying it real life? Not so easy.
When you open yourself up to be the observer, you are able to objectively take in each experience it and neither label it good nor bad. It simple is. For in every moment there is both beauty and darkness. You can appreciate both for what it is.
Winston Churchill is quoted as saying, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
The Buddhist would add on to this, by saying all we have is temporary.
If you’re going through the darkest days of your life, keep going, and enjoy this moment, because soon it will be gone.
If you’re going through the highest days of your life, keep going, and enjoy this moment, because soon it will be gone.
As my head is crawling with agitation with apprehension about a weekend of double shifts, I have been gifted with the training to know that all the dread for the upcoming weekend is natural. But is temporary. I observe my mind is feeling overwhelmed, agitated and even scared- so I understand that before I start my day, I MUST take a minimum of 10 minutes of sitting still, focusing simply as breathing. They call this meditating. I call it strengthening my concentration so I can walk into a stressful situation and try to remain neutral. Calm. Centered. In control.
I would not have this strongly enforced in my repertoire if it wasn’t for my experience in Dharmsala, India, home of the refugee Tibetan government and Dali Lama. I made a decision that resulted in a bad outcome. However the good out weighs the bad.
I now know how to navigate through bad outcomes and remain in a neutral peaceful state of mind.
Yes, it carried a heavy financial burden.
But that’s ok.
This too, will pass.