When you have relatives in New Orleans, DC, NYC, Austin, Philly, Cali and Ireland…family obligations often override vacations. I love family, but if any of you are listening, you’re welcome to get your asses out to see us.
For three years, I’ve been bicoastal, living and working between LA and NYC. This year alone I’ve already made about a dozen trips between the two cities. Lately, the last thing I want to do is get on another plane to go anywhere but HOME.
My work schedule is always unpredictable and up in the air. It seems as soon as I book a ticket for some time off, I book an important job that shoots just once a year.
Bottom line, Chris and I prioritize work and social obligations and tend to put off plans for fun. We’ve been talking about traveling to Europe for a decade, and the last real vacation we took was over three years ago.
Enter our friends John and Jordan to put a stop to this pattern, with an invitation we couldn’t refuse.
This time, the main reason we were motivated was to marry and bless our dear friends. Chris and I wrote out a ritual and were ready to celebrate. Our teary time together under a tree was as beautiful as this couple….
Sure, social media tends to showcase everyone’s highlight reel, but this trip was pretty much perfect.
It’s tough to complain in a place that looks like a scene from Lord of the Rings…
But leave it to Choid (the a-hole alien in my head), and he WILL find a problem in paradise!
On the drive back to the resort, shortly after we all swam with sharks and stingrays, I began to reflect on how attentive John was with Jordan. He tuned into her the entire time, gently encouraging her into the water…and into his arms.
Meanwhile, Chris said nothing to me – just swam off by himself and left me to swim solo.
Oh the familiar feeling of fending for myself while no one’s around (except lurking danger). It reminded me of MANY moments much earlier in my life. Swimming with sharks was a cakewalk compared to previous times I’ve come to terms with my comfort zone. Heck, if I had been coddled all my life, I might still be sitting on the shore, afraid to get my feet wet.
After feeling sorry for myself, and wondering if my husband would care if I was eaten by a big fish, something in me snapped. In a moment of complete clarity, I was suddenly filled with what I’d call ‘unconditional love’. That lone-ranger part of Chris I’ve found fault with for years was momentarily replaced with an expanded sense of acceptance. His distance didn’t mean I wasn’t important to him, or something was wrong with our relationship, or that he loved me less than John loved Jordan….
It only took a decade of being with this man to realize it ain’t personal when he runs away. The remote-man I sometimes struggle with is just a part of him – something he learned early on to cope with his own scarce comfort zone. In that moment, I fully loved and embraced the WHOLE person. (Hopefully I’ll hold on to that perspective now that we’ve re-entered the real world.)
My most potent spiritual downloads have happened during trips to the tropics. It’s amazing how much metaphor a simple sunrise can offer about the unpredictable/inevitable clouds of life, and the ever-present light behind everything. Everywhere I looked in Tahiti, there was great insight into the NATURE of things.
It’s important to hustle and make stuff happen, yet it’s just as important to take breaks, reconnect to nature and loved ones…and what matters most.
Thank you John and Jordan for the special time together. May your marriage grow and continue to inspire LOVE everywhere you go!