Often we find it, when we lest expect it. Rummaging for a scarf or pair of gloves we touch it.... dusting a book shelf we see it quietly in the corner, then again maybe it just comes to mind with the scent of cumin or a flash of red silk.
It asks the question, "What might have been..?" What might have happened had I chosen that path over this or........
In the back of my drawer is my old passport. My first passport. I was twenty-two at the time and you were allowed to smile. It makes all the difference. I applied for it, in my in my second year of teaching and subsequently went to England the following year to teach and travel.
What I didn't do with my passport, however, was join CUSO (Canadian University Services Overseas). I did want to go somewhere adventurous, Africa, South America, Asia. I had heard stories of friends, friends of friends and colleagues who had gone to Peru, Tanzania, Malaysia. Instead I went to England. I moved just marginally beyond my comfort zone - I left home.
Yes, I did travel extensively in Europe, hitchhiking most of the time. However, I always came back after a few months to Maidely Rd., where I paid for a room in a flat with four other girls. I did not, for example, hitchhike across North Africa, as the two Australian girls, I met in Italy, had done. Nor did I head to Nepal with an old schoolmate, whom I had accidentally met on a ferry to Crete.
So it is, that I often think of the missed opportunities. "What might have happened..." There are still opportunities, of course, to go...somewhere... That little book on the shelf is a handbook for Executive Services Overseas - a grown up version of CUSO and the thoughts.....They happen often. In fact just yesterday I was reminded that there are websites for house sitters and I had promised myself that I would look into these.
Maybe what keeps us from the greater adventures of our lives are the little lies we tell ourselves about the evils of the unknown - snakes, disease, strangers, strange customs. These keep us from experiencing what I will call that flash of red silk - the richness beyond the fear!
Writing this post now, I can see, that I relate my missed opportunities to travel. Others may relate the events that didn't happen in their lives to careers, relationships, circumstances. However, what there still is - is opportunity.
I had an Art teacher once who said that, if you think you can't do something, you have to find a way to make it happen. He gave the example of tap dancing. He said - if you can't tap dance, you might build a box and put a recorder under it with the sound of tap dancing and then you could stand on the box and pretend to be dancing.
Did I ever tell you that I wanted to be an entertainer? I am working on making that happen :)
The pictures - random travel pictures - go figure!!