I finished up my UNSETTLED trip on March 4th and made a pit stop on the way home in Mexico and stayed with my family for 2 weeks. I had plenty of time to write and gather my thoughts from an incredible UNSETTLED trip in Colombia and yet I just couldn't bring myself to write anything. And it wasn't from lack of trying. I went from the deck chairs, to the pool side lounge chairs, to underneath Palapa trees on the beach, to underneath Palapa trees beside the hot tub...I tried it all and nothing worked. Am I getting any sympathy? My first writer's block. And what a shame after such an incredible career and continuous run of a whole 6 posts. 6.
Well, now I have been back in Calgary for almost 2 weeks and my epiphany of how to summarize my experience has hit me!
One of my favorite movies is Stand by Me. And the quote “We'd only been gone for two days but somehow the town seemed different; smaller" always resonated with me, I just don’t think I really knew why until now, and not for the obvious reasons of the quote.
I didn’t know what to expect when I boarded the plane for my UNSETTLED Columbian adventure. I think a part of me thought I would come home completely agreeing with good ‘ol Gordie Lachance, that Calgary was different, smaller. That there was a whole world out there for me to explore and that I can’t be defined by the boundaries of the city I grew up. But I think I realized that quote resonated with me not because I agreed with Gordie, but because I didn’t. Does Calgary feel different, yes, but not in a smaller, confined way, but different in an exciting way that there is so much for me right in my own backyard, and that getting unsettled in Columbia made me realize that it doesn’t always take an 8-hour plane ride and culture shock to achieve the same exciting adventure. We can get unsettled every day. It’s about continually pushing your limits, testing your comfort zone and being open to changing and evolving.
As I navigated my way through the part-holiday, part-retreat, part-work trip and tried to truly defined what it all meant to me, I realized that, like the movie Stand by Me, I was in need for that time between childhood and adulthood (or in my case adulthood and more adult-ing!) where things are changing, either because they are naturally evolving or because I am pushing them to change and it’s about leaving behind the naivety and fears and to take hold of what I want out of this life. Like Gordie, I am often alternately optimistic, pessimistic, self-realized and self-doubting, and it took getting Unsettled to help me confront, discover and accept the person I already am and am ready to be.
You have to make up your mind about certain things you would like to experience in your life and start making an effort to bring them into your life. And for me, it helps to have a partner in crime that picks you up when you’re trying to go through life on your hands and knees. Someone to hold you accountable and remind you that the important things aren't the comb but the train (another Stand by me reference!) To me, that person is my business-partner, my confidant, my sister. So in summary, a huge thank you to Unsettled and their entire team for showing me there are so many Stand By Me adventures to be had. And thank you to my sister, Erynn for not letting me worry about the really nice but unimportant comb and start moving my ass across the tracks so we can get where we need to be going. Which might be rolling in a dusty ball beside the tracks but that could be fun as well.