When I was a younger lady, I used to love spending time at the airport people watching. I was fascinated by where everyone was going and why. I loved to try to figure out travel-companion relationships, and how people behaved while they were neither here nor there.
When you travel alone, airports offer a place to be in limbo. Mothers and fathers try to impose order; naps, snacks, washroom rituals, but adults who travel on their own are a fascinating bunch to observe because they have no one else to be but themselves.
This morning at my spa appointment, I learned about my aesthetician coming to Canada as a refugee. It’s always fascinating to hear stories about how people came to be who they are, and what hard lessons they learned along the way. Outside of the waxing room, with my tootsies being pampered in a lovely, hot foot spa, and my shoulders being massaged, I relaxed into watching the movie that was playing.
Today I was almost tempted to ask for a manicure to go along with my pedicure so I could watch the ending. But I kinda had it figured out already, so I saved my twenty bucks for an airport breakfast tomorrow.
The movie was about a successful adult woman who woke one morning as if just waking up from her 13th birthday party. It was a sweet story about reconnecting with her childhood sweetheart, and how the meaning of success gets twisted into something unrecognizable as we mature into adults.
Flashback to my 13 year old self. Where was I? Who was my best friend? What did I want out of life when I was 13?
Sometimes it’s hard to remember what we wanted when we’ve been through so much living and heartache. What we seem to forget as adults is that we need as much love and nurturing now as we did when we were those starry-eyed kids.
I think about how much I work to be ‘successful’, and how one-dimensional that word has become in our culture of glorifiying being busy and having ‘stuff’.
Success, I suppose, means being in the present, and realizing that today, this very moment, might blend in with other memories of living, but at some point, if we’re lucky, we will remember today as one of the best days of our life, from a time when we were younger, more energetic and still had our friends with us.
We depart relationships and life-roles to arrive at others, sometimes years later, without having realized how much time has passed, and who we have become.
As I find a quiet place at the gate, waiting for my connection, I think I may find my mind wandering to those ideas of success I once had, what success means to me now and how I might go about finding more balance between being nurtured and expending my emotional energy.
For a good number of sunsets over the tiny islands in the Caribbean Sea, I will be toasting my vitality, and what it means to live from the heart, with integrity and joy.
Bon voyage my friends! xo