“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? – Mary Oliver
When I first read the quote above, it stopped me dead in my tracks. Well, not actually, but it did have me stop the podcast I was listening to on the streetcar, rewind, and replay it a few times to let it really sink in. I wrote it down, and have come back to it several times as a guide for the many rapid fire-decisions that I’ve made in the last few weeks.
I’m writing this en-route to Vancouver about to start an adventure I’ve been dreaming about for awhile now. The last 6 weeks have been a complete whirlwind – so grab a coffee, and let’s catch up.
On February 7, I was unexpectedly let go from my job at a large real estate company as in-house counsel. Although certainly not my dream position and I had plans to leave soon, admittedly it felt like a punch in the stomach at the time.
In the meantime, my wildman boyfriend, also named Jaime (lovingly referred to as the Wildman to avoid obvious confusion…) was scheduled to fly in for a 3 week visit the following week. While anxiously awaiting his arrival, I gave myself some time to process the blow and book enough massage, physio and dental appointments to make a good dent in my benefits while I still had them.
The Wildman arrived and it was pretty quickly decided that there would be no better time for me to head West with him for at least the spring and summer. When he’s in Canada, he’s based in Squamish, British Columbia. I’ve never been, but it is been high on my list of top places to explore so there really wasn’t much convincing needed on my part.
Fast forward, and I’ve since sublet my apartment for the summer to a lovely law student who also wanted to snuggle with my 2 cats all summer, posted a bunch of stuff on Kijiji (anyone need a juicer?), had goodbye teas, dinners and cocktails with friends, and now am writing this while enjoying an entire row all to myself on my flight to Vancouver. Despite the whirlwind and mad feelings of chaos, I’m totally feeling the Universe has my back.
Needless to say, I’ve jumped into this new phase of my life with two very excited feet. That’s not to say I’m not sad to be leaving my family (it’s just a visit, Mum), friends and all of what I know behind. I’m also a little terrified. I definitely felt a few pangs of anxiety this morning when I woke up with one fat cat nestled at my feet, and the fatter one snuggled under my arm snoring away knowing it would be a long time before I woke up in my bed, just me and ‘the boys’. I have always been a girl with a plan (A & B), but longing for more freedom. I’m still wrapping my head this gift of time to really think about what I want to do with my one wild and precious life. I’ve done a lot of thinking around this in the last few months, and although starting to become clearer, I can’t wait to see how it is shaped by this adventure.
Update: I wrote this about 5 weeks ago on my flight to Vancouver to meet the Wildman. Since then, we camperized a van, drove south to Santa Cruz for the Santa Cruz Paddlefest which he competed in, x-country skied, SUP’d, hiked and ran Tahoe, kayaked in Mendocino, explored Seattle and made it back to Squamish just in time to return the van back to being a van, and catch our flight to Toronto. After a quick trip home and pack up of my apartment, the Wildman and I are now driving from Ontario back to Squamish, for the summer. If I had a dollar for all those kms….