About Me

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Born in the US, raised on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, lived in Italy, the US, and Canada. Lover of language, travel, colour, and the natural world.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Courage looks like this

I read a blog entry this evening by Jennifer Pastiloff entitled "What does courage mean to you?" It was a great article, and it made me stop and reflect on the last few weeks of my life, and how many people have told me how courageously I am living.

It is interesting to me that I rarely recognize as courageous behaviour that those around me consider to be so. Isn't it always like that in life though? Our most powerful, inspired, strong, empowered, or courageous moments are ones in which we are so immersed in whatever we are doing that we do not actually stop and take a step back from what is happening and see it for what it is -- truly miraculous!

On December 28th I caught a plane back to Prince Edward Island. I had a two-week ticket, which I was secretly praying I would never have to use the return portion of. Since arriving so many things have happened, and so much is STILL HAPPENING that it is quite clear to me that there has been considerable amounts of divine intervention on my behalf being dispersed into the universe over the last six weeks. Here are some of the incredible things that have happened:

1. My computer stopped working (as in it was completely, utterly dead, friends) and then after ten days of not working miraculously (not) started again one fine day.

2. My incredibly generous, patient and encouraging friends have welcomed me into their homes, given me a bed, fed me (I have done some of the cooking!!) and let me use their washing machines, showers, and internet connections for over six weeks. For free. And despite a few minor miscommunications, we all still love each other. Doesn't scream divine intervention in capital letters? You tell me.

3. Someone is willing to hire me and help me apply for a full-time work visa (fingers crossed....so far so good).

4. Two acquaintances have offered to have me move in with them (and their husbands and kids...I'm telling you....I am surrounded by guardian angels) if I have to find a room and still do not have full time work when this happens.

5. I was at the farmer's market two weeks ago at the end of the day when everyone was packing up and going home and someone gave me a freshly cooked meal for free because they had leftovers, another person gave me two home-baked cookies and two scones for free (again, too many left over), and a third person gave me two bags of organic bean sprouts. Add that to the farm-fresh eggs that Ricky, my former boss's brother gave me ON THE FARM where they were laid, the organic beef that my former boss gave me last week, and the organic pumpkin that my former boss's mother gave me that I used to make pumpkin mushroom risotto for friends a few weeks ago.

6. I may have just scored an absolutely AWESOME social media job for a local coffee shop that sells tea and coffee from local businesses..... I offered to do it for free until I get my work visa, but the manager has offered me free tea from the company I used to write for in exchange for my work. SWEET!

7. I am currently house and dog-sitting for my dear friends Ann and Stephen. They live in a gorgeous home in one of the cutest neighbourhoods in town with a fake fireplace (fire currently burning to my left as I type), and the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in. AND they left me their car too. I cannot tell you how blessed I was feeling driving home from a study circle that I was facilitating tonight, instead of walking in the cold, sitting on a seat that actually heats up at the push of a button. As if having wheels were not enough, the seats heat up. I mean, really friends :-)

8. My dear friend Louise, who has put up with having me as a house guest longer than anyone else since I arrived, bought me a box of dried figs that she gave to me when I left to move over to Ann and Stephen's house today. Figs + fireplace + time to blog in the late quiet hours of the night = heaven, pure and simple.

9.  Whenever I start running low on funds, someone steps up and asks me to pet-sit, clean their kitchen, babysit, or take notes at a meeting.

10. I am meeting one of my best friends for breakfast tomorrow morning.

There is more I could list here, but I think you get the picture. The universe is smiling down on me.

But to get back to courage....

Coming back here has required a lot of courage on my part. I rarely stop to recognize it as such, but it is true. A lot of people have questioned this decision. I was after all living in California--the land of opportunity. And I DID leave Prince Edward Island two years ago after much prayer and soul-searching to follow my heart. But it is the very same heart that has led me back here, and I am learning to trust it despite the doubt and confusion being expressed by family and friends. Why am I back in a country where I have no legal right to work and where I cannot actually afford rent until I find full time work and obtain a work visa when my priority is finding stable work? Why am I back in the North Atlantic where the temperature drops below zero and usually remains there for many months before rising above freezing again in the (very) late spring when I could be living in the land of sun and warmth? And why am I returning to a place with so few single men my age when one of my reasons for leaving was to meet someone to share my life with? Good questions, and ones that I do not have very good answers to. But for the first time in a long time I am not questioning where I am or why. I am not wishing I were elsewhere doing something other than what I am doing. Sure it is tough to have to walk everywhere in the cold, and staying with friends non-stop has meant that I have had to learn to be more flexible and adaptable, and trying to live on random jobs here and there is far from ideal, but I am surrounded by people whose company I adore, land that I love and feels like home, and non-stop opportunities to be of service to my community. Things just feel right. Even when they are tough.

I am not sure, of course, that I will be able to stay here. But I will be here until the end of April, and I am incredibly grateful for the extra two months to work on trying to build a life for myself here again. Sometimes you have to leave a place to be able to come back and call it home. And sometimes you have you trust that a foothold will be set in front of you even though you cannot actually see where you are headed.

People tell me all the time that it must be really stressful to be in my situation, but to be honest, it isn't. I have not felt much stress at all since arriving here. I feel some deep-rooted certainty that everything is going to work out somehow. I call that faith, but I guess another word for that would be courage.

1 comment:

  1. Your courage is definitely showing, Ariana. May all your dreams and visions be manifest.

    We have to be willing to receive the bounty of the universe. That takes courage too! And to recognize it in all the ways it shows up.

    You go girl,