Lessons from Puerto RicoApr 06, 2021
After three long years of contemplation, my fiancé, Nick and I finally decided to make a big leap and move to Puerto Rico. This Caribbean island called Nick's name for work and mine because if you don't already know me: I am an island girl through and through.
My heart has been set on this tropical latitude as long as I can remember, but it always seemed like something was getting in the way. Career, relationships, family, money, the state of the world... and all the fears that come with making a big move.
What happens if we don't feel safe there?
What if something happens to a family member?
What if someone back home gets sick?
What if someone DIES?!
When we finally decided to say yes to this adventure, it seemed everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong:
My OBGYN discovered an alarming cyst on my ovary.
Nick's blood test results came back with abnormal levels of calcium.
The house we were squatting in during COVID (my parents' lake house) was finally getting offers for sale, leaving us with no comfy ideal of a "home-base" in California.
The first week we arrived in Puerto Rico, things got even more serious:
Our rental car broke down three times.
Our rental fell through leaving us scrambling with all of our belongings to find a home in a place we didn't know.
We had to find a way to navigate the used car dealerships in a territory that had been blown apart by Hurricane Maria only three years prior - damaging many on-shore vehicles.
And within 24 hours of each other, my uncle passed and my dad had to get an unexpected heart surgery.
Oh, and this is old news, but this is all happening during a global pandemic.
After my dad was released from the hospital, I plopped down on a chair outside, exhaled and sobbed. My nervous system had really been through it. I felt anxious, weak and overwhelmed. So much was going right for me in my personal life, but interdependently, shit was rough. I wanted peace. I wanted ease. I just wanted to breathe.
Then I remembered what my meditation practice teaches me everyday: accept what is. Lean into the discomfort. Feel the feelings. The only way out is through. Just be here now.
So with all the bravery I could muster and all the fighting thrown to the warm trade winds, I leaned into it. I felt all the fear, all the sadness, all the grief, all the worry, all the stress - everything. I let myself experience it all, just as it was.
And something profound happened: I felt peace. I felt ease. I could breathe.
Not only did I recognize the beauty of the present moment, but I recognized the wellspring of these qualities within me. Living there. Always there - waiting to be noticed...
There, I also found healing. I realized this move and this saying "yes" to myself gave me the opportunity to face some of my greatest fears. The fears of sickness, of loss - of the sheer unknown. Like an expert-level video game, I was given it all in the first round. Leaning into it was beating it, releasing me from the shackles of my very own fears only to discover that nothing would have changed if I had stayed.
If I had stayed, my sweet uncle still would have passed.
If I had stayed, my dad still would've had a health scare and chances are, I wouldn't have been there.
If I had stayed, Nick and my results would've remained the same.
If I had stayed, I wouldn't have learned this lesson.
If I had stayed, I wouldn't be living my truth.
You see, control is an illusion.
Control is an illusion.
Control is an illusion.
I finally learned this. Finally.
I am in good health, monitoring my little cyst. Nick discovered his test delivered false information. We bought a perfect, beat up Suzuki with no scam or water-damage. We have a roof over our heads. I created a Facebook group for my giant family to keep in touch and support one another during this heavy time. My dad is in great health (better than ever) and Nick and I are planning a wedding from our new home in paradise.
I wake up grateful every single day. I sway with the palms and flow with the ocean waves.
I finally learned that control is an illusion.
And I am at peace.
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