Time flies!!! Wouldn't you say so?
One minute it is October 4th & I am being met by my dad at the Halifax International Airport to head to Margaree for a some R&R AND somewhere within the normal travel planning hustle and bustle of applying for a work visa, booking flights, stalking trip advisor and eventually submitting accommodation requests, formulating resumes, purchasing medical insurance, obtaining the necessary vaccinations, researching travel destinations, & ordering last minute trip essentials, I look up and it's December 5th! :)
The last 8 weeks of rest & relaxation have been a real treat. These weeks in review:
- Observing what most believe is "the best of Cape Breton"- the fall foliage
- Sneaking a brief peak at some snowfall (I`m still not convinced that a Korean winter should be classified as "winter" seeing as how I lived in my vest for the majority of it)
- My leisurely walks "up the road"
- Healthy meals consisting of fresh vegetables (and not something nuked from a frozen box)
- Getting reacquainted with some of my favorite television shows like ER and Survivor
- Reading a total of 11 books (an activity I hadn`t had the time for in the prior months)
- Weekly coffee breaks at good `ol Tim Hortons
- Soothing bubble baths (something I probably wouldn`t have attempted in the places I had been staying)
- Not ever waking up to an alarm clock (God knows that those daily 6am wake ups were getting to me. Then again- waking up at 1pm every day has probably been pushing it! :P)
- Getting updated on all of the "Margaree News" (I`m still extremely lost when it comes to keeping up with "who lives, who doesn`t"...)
- A real bed with linen (and not a half deflated air mattress wedged between two walls)
I admit that from time to time I have felt a slight (***meager) twinge of guilt over my "vacation/retirement" days when considering that I could very well be out in the world working, but I like to think that I had earned them. A typical day for myself in Banff involved waking up at 6am to be at work for 7am, working until 3:30pm, getting home at 4pm, and then leaving at 4:30pm to walk down to my second job for 5pm, to be finished at 10pm, to get home and go to bed only to relive the same routine day after day! I worked overtime during the months so that I could afford to take a little bit of time out of life for myself. And it`s like Elizabeth Gilbert (the author of the inspirational biography "Eat, Pray, Love") points out: "Taking time for oneself is not selfish. In asking ourselves "Is what I`m doing directly hurting or taking away from someone" we learn that making time for ourselves is not a selfish act.
Having this extended time to finally sit down and breathe is probably exactly what I needed to be able to evaluate the grand scheme of things: my life. Over the past few years, I have been preoccupied with work and studies, or both. What I probably really needed was to remove myself from both situations to be able to gain some perspective on things.
This being said, I have learned the following things about myself:
1). That I don`t need to be afraid to admit that my Tourism & Hospitality studies weren`t for me (and that it`s time for me to accept it, forget about it, and move on...)
This past year, I struggled to regain my footing because I was only allowing myself to contemplate future studies in an area at least somewhat related to business. Since being home, I`ve come to learn that my past "Mount" mistake doesn`t have to dictate my future path.
2). I would like to help people in my own way.
I was having difficulty "looking outside the box." When I thought of people helping others, I drew up images of nurses, doctors, and other healthcare workers which I could never in a million years succeed at (seeing as how I`m afraid of my own shadow). I`ve had the opportunity to branch out and research some careers which might better suit me.
3). I would like to be a better person
Maybe it is the influence of Oprah or maybe it is the influence of all of those third world biographies I`ve been reading. Let`s face it- I am the the "me" generation at its best!
4). I would like to be more Subjective and less Objective
This statement speaks for itself.
5). Fictional works no longer get a spot on my bookshelf.
I can no longer be bothered absorbing literary information that isn`t "real." I guess reading the biography, "Infidel" was my true turning point. (Strangely enough- this realization has no bearing on my love for fictional television)
My weeks of rest & relaxation will soon be over. It will soon be time to pull out the bookmark and continue on to the next chapter of my life---
Chapter 2: "World Travel (x2)- Marcella once again sets out to attempt to find herself on a year- long journey around the world"