Ever been stuck in a place you didn’t want to be?
Whoo boy howdy, I have!
No, don’t get me wrong, Saudi Arabia was a very interesting place. Warm, sometimes a little too much. Near the beach, even if I didn’t go often because I had nobody to go with and I was brought up with the buddy system for swimming. I’m sure it would have been fine. I might have been rescued by those same four greek guys who picked up our car with us in it to get it unstuck from the sand.
After two years, my contract there was up and I had decided to return to the US and further my education. I was all ready to leave. I went to the airport, checked my luggage. And then went to my companies office at the airport to retrieve my passport. The man who worked there searched through all the passports but mine wasn’t there. By that time it was too late to retrieve my luggage. My bags were on their way to Spain, my first stop on the way back to the US. Now what?
The person who had my passport wasn’t at work since it was the weekend (nobody was at work, except the guy at the airport). We couldn’t call him, because in 1980 very few people in Saudi Arabia had phones in their homes. I was told to just go back and I would be paid for that extra day in Saudi Arabia. I went back to my apartment, where my room was still mine. And I went back to work the next day to say goodbye to everybody again and fill out the paperwork for one more day of work. So, not really a problem, but I was ready to leave and now this.
There were no direct flights to Spain the next day, so I got a flight there via Greece instead. Nice stay over in Greece. Lovely country! I got to Spain and started searching for my luggage – nowhere to be found. No problem, I still spoke semi-fluent Spanish. Between my Spanish and English and the airport personnel’s Spanish and English, we couldn’t find my luggage. Just fill out the form and you’ll get reimbursed. Probably more than the luggage and everything in it was worth. But I had gifts in the luggage which couldn’t be replaced – not outside of Saudi Arabia. We finally figured out that my luggage was in International and I was in Domestic (or vice-versa). I found my luggage and all the gifts were there!
I booked a nice quiet hotel room to get a nap. The hotel was quiet, but across from my window, children were at recess every hour of the day – no nap. I cancelled my plans to stay longer in Spain and caught the next flight back to the states. I had been stuck too long in a place I didn’t want to be.
I realized the other day, that I still hadn’t shaken myself totally loose of the trauma of that event. So, where was it I really wanted to be? I had actually come close in Saudi Arabia, and again in Greece. When I recently asked myself that question, the answer was – on the water, in the water, or next to the water. I come pretty close here in Olympia, but the water’s much to cold to get into. Same deal in Northern MN, sometimes the water there is warm enough, but I’d prefer it warmer and I do prefer the ocean to lakes. So ideally, the next move will be to Hawaii. Between 20 or younger and 47, I forgot that that’s where I wanted to be, so even when I was where I wanted to be, I didn’t realize it.
But, how do I shake off that bit of trauma so that when I’m where I want to be I can really enjoy it. A few more days of listening and I heard the answer. I had to let my heart lead me there. And when I had let my heart lead me there, then I was able to be happy no matter where I was. Because everywhere I was, was where I wanted to be. I’m always on the water, in the water, or next to the water even when my geographical location doesn’t support that.
However, that doesn’t preclude dreaming of moving to Hawaii. Instead, it enhances it.