It’s 5:16 a.m. and I’m nowhere near tired. Considering I woke up at 6:30 last evening, and I haven’t even been awake for 12 hours, it’s no wonder. It’s easy as pie to change hemispheres and continents, but as for circadian rhythyms – not such a cinch.

I’ve just landed back in Toronto after a 9 month time out in a land down under. It was a relatively uneventful return flight. I mean, I certainly wasn’t surprised when I got to the check-in counter to discover I was 8 kilos over the bag limit and had 5 minutes to lighten my load. Pretty much a repeat of the initial journey so wouldn’t really call that an event. I waited in ridiculously long cues, ran through the terminal at breakneck speed (an impressive feat what with the 7 kilos of carry ons on either shoulder), passed 2 different security screenings, (what the hell are they really even looking for anyway?) and made it on the plane with mere moments to spare. Nothing special.

51E. I looked at my boarding pass, looked at the seat, looked at my boarding pass, looked back at the seat, and just couldn’t get the two images to jive. Why was 51E in between 2 young mothers holding 6 months old babies? Why was my seat so painfully close to the fold down baby bassinet? No. Really? 51E? Really? Holy mother of God. I’m in between 2 teensie, cutesie babe-a-roonies for a 13 hour flight. Wow. It’s ironic though, because during one of my lengthy line-ups, I caught myself admiring a few little miracles, thinking “Ah, maybe I should just find myself a man, settle down and make some babies…that would be alright, wouldn’t it?” The universe has a funny way of testing you, because not 10 minutes later I’m wedged in between 2 devoted mothers exchanging tips on soother brands. Christ. No thanks, and stewardess, can I please have another seat?

Event averted and luckily I did get re-situated next to an incredibly interesting woman. She was a journalist, a foreign correspondent for a well known newspaper, and she had heaps of stories about the trials and tribulations she’d racked up all in an effort to tell the story. Admirable…well, for me anyway…by default I’ve become a bit of a storyteller myself so I guess it’s easy for me to be awe-inspired and see the value in her life’s work.

You know, I’ve stated this before, but reflecting on what my latest chapter was all about, I have to say it was absolutely nothing I expected, but everything I needed. I set sail thinking I would accomplish this, explore that, find a new country and feel nothing but the wind at my back, edging me towards a happily-ever-after. Laugh out loud. It never ceases to amaze me how topsy turvy it all gets, and if you’re brave enough to roll with it, how incredibly rewarding it can be when you open your eyes to the true agenda. Yeah, the wind was at my back, but it also spent a helluva long time in my face, I pushed through a whole lot of storms, and was forced to chuck loads, kilos even, of plans and expectations out the window.

But the diamonds in the rough are shiny and marvelous. I’ve unearthed a few key points about myself that I’m happy to keep in my carry on. Number one is that I’m good enough. I feel a bit like Al Franken in that old SNL skit where he plays the corny life coach that looks in the mirror and recites his mantra, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone-it, people like me.” I know it sounds trite, but holy moly it’s true. I have an inkling that it’s not just me, but an epidemic of our generation that we’re zombie-ing around with an inherent belief that we’re not good enough and that it’s wrong to love yourself. Damn that all to hell. It’s a crock, and I’m done buying into it.

The number two thing I was able to admit was the fact that people, apparently, like to hear my stories. I have been posting a few random musings and was surprised and delighted to realize that the tales I was telling had found an audience. People want to read what I’ve got to write. So yeah, I guess I should do more of it? I’ll be cooking my dinner or washing my hair and I’ll find myself formulating clever sentences, putting together paragraphs, coming up with themes, and connecting ideas. It’s been right under my nose this whole time, but it’s taken me the journey of the whole, wide world and back to be able to say, “Ok, let’s do dis.” Much like my seatmate on Qantas flight 73, I’ve got stories to tell, and come hell or high water, I’m gonna tell them.

So, here I am, jetlagged, a bit delirious, but gungho. Gungho to get started.

My Irish mate, Caroline sent me a text one night back in Melbourne saying, “P.S. Look at the Moon.” Yes, it was particularly amazing that night, but that comment struck me, stuck with me. There was something to it. It was representative of a theme I had hooked onto during my journey. The idea that there are forces and rhythyms and plans that are waaay beyond our control. We don’t operate in a vacuum, we don’t (although we love the delusion) have all that much control over half of what we think we do. I mean, look at the oceans. The tides, the big, powerful movements of the waves in the sea are controlled by the phases of the moon. Why the hell do we think we’re exempt? The universe has got a tune of it’s own, and if we’re prepared to shut up for a minute and listen, we might find ourselves singing a different (more beautiful?) song. And I guess that’s kind of what I want to write about. For now anyway. Variations on that theme. Finding your way and finding the balance between fate and free will. When do we force it, and when do we buckle up for the ride.

I had a dream a few weeks ago, immediately after my trip to Uluru – the hugely spiritual rock in the centre of Australia – where the aboriginals were trying to kill me. I took their killing tools from them, pleaded for my life, and said, “Don’t worry, I’ll leave these tools out for you to retrieve them, but for now I’d feel safer hanging on to them so just leave me alone, please.” Shortly after my plea, I was on a bus ride. I had just turned a corner to go over a bridge and whatever it was that happened, I knew that they got me, my time was up, and the bus was about to flip. Just as I got that flip flop feeling in my belly, and I thought “I knew it, I knew this was the end,” I heard a voice say, “Pssst…LOOK UP!” and there was the moon full and bright in my face. Wow. Intense. LOOK AT THE MOON. I’m happier for it though, I needed the shift.

I don’t know, I guess it means stopping to smell the roses? Taking stock? Rebirth? Moving in your true direction? Believing in yourself? Listening to your gut? Living the good life? We’ll see. For now I’m going to have my dinner at breakfast time, and hope to hell I can get back on track, soon enough…

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