In a small act of self-care I enrolled in couples therapy and a writing class on the same day. On that September afternoon, the golden light pouring through the ponderosa pine trees, I felt like a revolution had been started. My own personal revolution against letting life slip into the groove of what is easy. The place where life goes when one is not intentionally building, creating and guiding.
It felt invigorating to show up each week and write with others. Everyone had something to say and some new perspective to offer. It was like going from the high desert, dotted with Juniper trees and sage brush to Kauai with it’s lush variety of flowers, trees, and leaves. Suddenly, I could see all the color and variety. I began to realize, I hadn’t been stuck, I had quit looking.
Arriving one cold October morning to class, 5 minutes late in my usual fashion, I came into class feeling particularly messy. I had attempted to foster two retired sled dogs the night before and had them in my car to return that morning. These dogs were yet another failed attempt to fill the enormous hole in my heart since Abbey died. What I didn’t realize was how feral and wild these dogs would be. They played when they wanted to play, peed when they felt like peeing, and were terrified to stay in the fence and more terrified to come in doors. Thinking back, I am uncertain how I survived that night. Listening to them play in the living room, realizing the mess they were making, and missing Abbey even more.
When the woman leading the writing group began the day with, “I will be hosting a writing group like this one in Havana Cuba in January, I hope all of you can join me,” it lit a spark. I knew I had to go. I owed it to myself. I owed it to the thousand variations of my past self that all had one thing in common, a passion for travel.