Do we actually need to travel hundreds of miles away from our busy lives to rekindle our relationship? Or can we connect now, right where we are? Here are my thoughts on this.
The Illusion of Being Present
It was the morning of a beautiful, peaceful day in Virginia Beach. I was sitting at the balcony of the Fairfield Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront contemplating the mysterious, greyish ocean waves. The sun battled with the clouds over whether to embrace its powerful rays.
As I witnessed this phenomenon, I wondered why these forces of natures couldn’t collaborate and work as a team instead of competing for reigning the day. This question lingered for a while as I wasn’t clear why I care.
I then closed my eyes to meditate but couldn’t find my anchor point. I could successfully close my eyelids, yet couldn’t produce a visual or auditory stimulus besides my awareness of the expansive mass of water surrounding me. The sounds of the crashing waves were so inviting but inaccessible.
The GPS of Our Thoughts
So I opened my eyes, stretched my arms and release a light sigh hoping that I could find the inspiration I was aching to feel. Nothing happened. As I exited the balcony, a thought traveled through my mind “perhaps I should wake my husband and ask him to have breakfast with me”.
However, as I observed him, I couldn’t help but feel guilty for disturbing him from his peaceful sleep. He must be tired after driving nonstop for 7 hours from NYC, I thought. So I allowed him to sleep so he could restore his energy levels for the rest of our stay.
For a few seconds, I contemplated him sleeping in the comfortable bed provided by the Marriott brand and thought to myself, “ wow I can’t believe we purchase a similar bed after being inspired by the frequent stays across the hotel chain”. We wouldn’t stop talking about how comfortable the experience was after each stay. Thus, we ended up recreating a similar sanctuary at home hoping to tap into feelings of relaxation.
That thought vanished with the painful truth that despite our attempts of creating a wonderful sleeping experience at home, we’ve terribly failed. Particularly because my husband is a part-time rideshare driver and works tirelessly on weekends and evenings. On a typical weekend night, he arrives home at 2 am and sinks into bed to start the cycle again a few hours later.
As I thought about this, I felt guilt and frustration because I know how much he detests this job. The commitment to support his family drives him to keep on moving. For months we’ve been planning his exit strategy, we set goals but as we near it, something always came up.
Thus, a 6-month plan turned into a 12-month commitment.
My mind then quickly drifted to my children’s wellbeing and I wonder how my mom felt about caring for them. I know how much they love to run around the house and how she dislikes disorder. So for a few seconds, I worried and thought about calling but then remember that it was too early and everyone was probably asleep.
As I thought about that last sentence, I intuitively entered the balcony, led by a gentle breeze which allowed me to witness a glimpse of the beautiful beach. It was then that I made a conscious decision to pull out my journal and write about this experience.
The Aha moment
I’m still in awe at how beautiful words come together in writing. No need to think about what words to write. Instead, the pen is lead by the symphony of the hands. Reminding me that words can be powerful beyond measure but the magic exists within the space between each word. This underlooked aspect of writing has intent, meaning, and value because it reminds us that invisibility is intimately intertwined with what is seeable. Like the popular concept “read between the lines”.
For instance, I thought I was in Virginia Beach enjoying a beautiful morning away from the daily chaos at home. I thought I was taking time off from my active, loving and joyous boys so I could romantically connect with my husband. I thought I’d found the perfect spot to meditate and centered myself. Yet I was so far away from anything I expected to get from this getaway.
Instead that morning I reflected the things that truly matter in my life; my spouse and children’s well being. As I noticed the space between each thought I realized how much I missed the noise and disruption of my daily life. How important these subtle but active pieces contribute to the larger ecosystem of love, kindness, courage, movement, and peace formed by my daily experiences.
I noticed how amazing my husband is and experience a glimpse of gratitude for all the sacrifices he makes for our family. This moment also revealed that he is spreading himself too thin to make ends meet. His actions showered me with empathy towards his loyal heart.
I also experienced a sense of inner peace as I engaged in the art of writing. Reminding me of my eternal love for writing and how I dismissed it throughout the years. So a new desire to write and express my thoughts surfaced from the depth of my soul.
Most importantly, I had an unexpected realization; where we are is never who we are. As I let that phrase sink for a while, I smiled. And said to myself “I’m here but I’m really not, I feel but I’m not sure what, I want to plan but I need not do so”.
At that point, I made a conscious and intentional choice to allow my getaway to become whatever it shall become. And to discover who else I could be while discovering who else my loved ones could become because of this decision.
My getaway turned out to be unforgettable because I allowed things to naturally fall into place. Sometimes we try to figure out life down to a science. Yet the most life-changing answers lie on the unknown, the unseen, and the unfamiliar.