On a recent trip back to Canada, I was on my way home from wherever I’d been wandering, and I decided to stroll through the Public Gardens off Spring Garden Road. I exited through the old wrought-iron gate that drops you out onto Sackville Street, across from the CBC Radio-Canada building. I thought a lot about opportunities I had lost in recent years, including the maybe-sorta if-you-lived-here offer from CBC two years ago, following my interview on Weekend Mornings. At the time, I was still married and living in Miami, and I thought if things had been different, that it would have been a tremendous opportunity to work for Canada’s most respected broadcaster. We all risk losing wonderful opportunities when we hold on too long to what we may already know is not right for us.
Walking out of the park that day, I felt a pang in my heart, and asked myself why it had taken me too long to see, and so long to get out of that relationship, and what I’d lost by being so haphazard in my decision-making throughout life.
Many circumstances during my most recent trip amounted to a final decision for me; that I would sail my boat home in the Spring. I’m perhaps famous for deciding on a road to follow, reasons for which I probably possess at least momentarily, but then quickly forget, then end up following through with, more-less blindfolded. That hasn’t always worked out so well for me, but I’m no longer sure that I know any other way to live. What other instructions are there to follow, but intuition, right or wrong, telling you this is where you belong, if only for a while?
As I prepare to sail home, it doesn’t feel like anything is about to change. Every day feels like the other, aside from a slightly increasing stress of bringing everything together by my self-imposed deadline. It’s all very reminiscent of my departure for Cuba seven years ago. Some days it can feel like you’re going nowhere, and the tedium of mediocre repetitive days leave you with the impression that you’ve accomplished nothing. But, when I sum up the last 7 years, I’m able to reassure myself that I have packed in some life experience; some of it good, some of it horrific, and others are moments of absolute bliss that I wouldn't trade for any amount of comfort and certainty of an ordinary life.
But, I know myself, I have all but stalled-out here in Miami.
As a good friend recently helped me see, not everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt. I’ve spent a lot of my heart on people in whom I thought I could see more, only to learn it was never there; it was just a projection of my own hope, for both them, and for myself. Right now, I feel like it has been a lot of wasted time. But someday, I am sure, I will see a greater value in my treading water in Miami for as long as I have. There’s a reason, and whatever that reason is, it has led me to a new beginning.
The Miami River will soon be in the rear-view mirror, and along with it, past hopes of what I once thought would have, could have, been a good life.
A good life still awaits… anywhere but here.