Lessons on the path to 44
Today I turn 44. The older I get, the more intrigued I am of what will arise in my life. When I was younger, I couldn’t wait to be a teenager, get my driver’s license, legally go to bars. Then after 21, the zest momentarily dissipated. I come from a culture in America, where there seems to be a fear of getting older. Greeting cards exist that are decorated with gravestones on the front. These cards remind the birthday recipient they are “over the hill.” We are told, it’s all downhill from here. But I am curious, could the path continue to be uphill or simply another part of the journey? And so I created a list of lessons on the path to 44.
This year’s life lessons
- The beauty of grief lies in compassion and common humanity
- Allow endings to make space for beginnings
- Cherish those you love and make time for them
- You can always pivot
- Recognize and live in gratitude when your dreams become real
- Listen to the internal guidance
- I’m a forever pilgrim
- Struggle is part of the story
- Those who have died are still with you
- The answer is an open heart
- Learn to trust you will be supported.
Dreams Become Reality
One year ago to the day, I was living in Paris and filming an episode for HGTV’s House Hunters International. It was one of my favorite television shows, and I dreamed of being on it. The director was a documentarian, and I felt when filming the episode it was as if it was a commercial for my life. It was a snapshot of me, after I left my job in the UK, moved with my two dogs to Paris, and embarked on the life of being a writer and sound healer. All rental properties I looked at were on the Left Bank, and I wanted to live the life of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Picasso, and Anais Nin. For a moment in time, I did.
Months after filming, my beloved 15 year old English Bulldog Puzo died. If you watched the show, much of my life and where I chose to live was dependent on Puzo and his limited mobility. I experienced the greatest grief of my life during that time, but people reminded me there was beauty in this. My heart proved it had so much capacity to love another and his loss was a mirror to this. Friends and acquaintances from all over the world offered condolences, even high school classmates who I hadn’t seen in over twenty years. It served as a reminder that all of us suffer and we are here to walk each other home through the suffering.
Shortly prior to Puzo dying, I had intuitive guidance from my deceased great-grandmother that Puzo would die, it would be okay, and I would move to Spain in regards to my ancestry. I didn’t expect this. But after he died, I felt the urge and push to move to Malaga. Signs began popping up everywhere, and I trusted this. Dreams can pivot.
There was much drama and strife to attain this visa, which included needing to go to America for six weeks to the Spanish Consulate in NYC. Friends and family were supportive, as I stressed out, cried with grief, confusion, and frustration. It was unclear where I was going in life, but all of them reminded me it would be okay regardless of the results. There were internal doubts that this would work out. I was going to give up, and simply return to Paris and enjoy my final weeks there before returning to America. As I left for the airport, my visa was being processed.
The Wanderlust Continues
Now that I am here in Malaga Spain, I look at my rental apartment. The New York style I thought I would have years ago when I dreamed of purchasing a place in this city. When I first visited this town nearly ten years ago, I thought it would be an ideal place to live. But I viewed it as more of a retirement dream, not somewhere to live in my 40s. But for some reason Malaga is pulling me now.
As I walk by this Spanish guitar player daily on my stroll with Bella (my 14 year old chug), he plays this romantic Spanish song which is familiar. It was one of the few songs I used to know on the guitar 20 years ago. Each time I walk by him, I wonder am I pulled to that song now because I know it? Did part of me know then I would end up here? Or was there a multiverse where I would have always ended up here? Who is to say?
I am grateful for where I am at 44, and look forward to what lessons are in store for me in this next year.
For a peak into my episode on HGTV it was titled Oh La La Woof check this out https://m.facebook.com/HGTVHouseHunters/videos/paris-is-callinghouse-hunters-internationalpremiereparis-france1030930c-hgtvauth/453602243537526/?refsrc=deprecated&_rdr
To read about previous reflections and lessons learned about viewing my life as a tourist check out this blog post https://amodernpilgrimage.com/how-to-live-life-like-a-tourist/