I am fairly certain that upon my return from Umbria, I’m going to want to sell all my possessions and move to Tuscany to crush grapes. I am just warning you. Requisite eye-rolling may commence now. That’s what vacation is…wanting to move to the place where you saw the sights, relaxed, went out every night…didn’t go to work, most importantly. Not once on vacation did you have to do laundry, run to Duane Reade for cotton balls, stand in a grocery line, and clean your apartment. Of course you want to move house and home to the place you went to on vacation. That is proof that it was money well spent…proof that you had a great time. Now am I ready to give up college football and Dunkin Donuts, and replace them with Vegemite and badminton? TBD.
I suppose my reasoning is an attempt not to limit myself on my quest to find meaning. My hunt is going to reach from San Francisco to Europe, Scandinavia to Australia….possibly a desperate attempt for a shake-up.
With all of this rolling around in my head, I went to the barn to help my friend with her therapeutic riding program. These children suffer from behavioral disorders to Asperger’s to severe autism. Surprisingly, although the day brought many challenges of patience, it was incredibly rewarding. I haven’t smiled that genuinely in a long time….it was important to get out of my own head, to leave my problems behind, and see these kids challenge themselves in even stringing words together…words that made sense in their heads but not to the ear listening. So today I was taught to listen harder…because they had a lot to say. I can’t wait to go back regularly. They have many lessons to teach me.
It made me stop and think about my desire to find more meaningful work, to find that something that I was put on this planet to do. As I sit on my couch, dejected after receiving my first SF winery rejection letter, I’m realizing that it is possible to find our life’s meaning in other ways. Ideally, yes, it could be found in your nine-to-five. But if it cannot, that doesn’t mean that your life will be absent of it. You find your life’s passion in the spouse you’ve chosen, in the children you create together, in saving lives, in your favorite sports team …or in your ability to bring a smile to a misunderstood child when you tell him to sit tall on a horse as if he was a soldier in the Army…only to have him then salute you.
This sense of purpose can be found in many shapes, sizes, countries, jobs. Maybe the key is letting go of the reins, and learning to trust. For the important things in life are never said at all. It can be as simple as standing next to a kid on a horse and promising him you won’t step away. Standing beside someone and not leaving ends up being the most therapeutic of all.