Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Broken Promises And A Change Of Plans

Never before have I experienced a betrayal of my trust, kindness and openness, which has left me feeling both stupid and foolish, as I have in the last days.  To say I'm flummoxed would be putting it mildly.  It has not only affected me on an emotional level, it affects all of my plans for New Zealand.  I've been left needing to make cancellations and re-bookings, and to rearrange my plans and itinerary accordingly, incurring some inevitable financial loss.  But what of the cost to my heart and my ability to openly trust in people?  Is that a far greater price that I am going to pay?

Everything happened in a whirlwind.  We met, we connected and we began the process of getting to know each other.  Very quickly, we fell into talking openly and candidly about our lives and our past experiences.  It was clear that we shared much in common, in particular a love of travel and the way that we viewed life, and the more that we became acquainted and got to know each other, I couldn't help but wonder how bizarre it was that we could possibly be so alike.  It was as if this woman was my twin, my mirror image in character, thought and life experience.  This was the basis on which we decided to meet again, to become travel companions, and after much discussion of possible destinations, New Zealand was agreed on as our destination.

Very quickly, everything was set, the plans were made and the itinerary worked out.  Between us, all of the key components were booked.  Transportation: buses, ferry, and car rental.  Accommodation: hotels, motels and campsites.  Activities: hiking, swimming with wild dolphins, skydiving, kayaking, ice climbing.  All of it was reserved.  Despite being separated by both time and distance, it had been an easy process to put together, making use of internet messaging, email and Skype calls, each one of us progressing an item while the other slept.  More evidence of our compatibility.  This was going to be an epic adventure, a dream trip and this time, I neither of us would be making it alone.

Then, completely abruptly and with no warning, it stopped.  One day, everything was fine and then it wasn't.  One day we were in communication, discussing through messages which type of sleeping bag would be most suitable, and then nothing.  Not even the crackle of static.  Just absolute silence.  A silence that lasted for two weeks.  No explanation, no word, nothing.  It was as though she had fallen off the face of the planet.  I attempted to make contact, to make sure that she was okay, that nothing sinister had occurred, but there was no response.  I grew concerned, who wouldn't?  She was living and working in one of the world's most dangerous countries.  Anything could have happened to her.  After two weeks of this silence, I wrote another email asking that she could please let me know she was okay, and if she could also let me know if our planned trip to New Zealand was on or off?  Finally I received an email response.  It contained one word: Off.

It is hard to fathom what has happened and I am not going to try.  I have some ideas but to try to rationalise this and make sense of it is a waste of time.  I will find no answer, I will never know.  The facts are the facts.  I do not believe it is healthy for me to try to figure this out.  The old me would have done exactly that.  I would have languished in the hurt, sorrow, self-pity and self-loathing.  I would have replayed conversations and actions over and over and I would have looked for signs and hidden meanings in them.  I would have clung on in desperation to the past, burying my fingers in its cracks, feeling the need to hold on to all that once was, as if to let go, would be to fall into a void of nothingness, in which I would lose myself.

Even during the two weeks of silence, I was surprised at my relative calmness.  I've experienced this wall of silence before, I've known women who have raised protective barriers around themselves, shutting out their heart, keeping it from becoming hurt.  When this happened, I would become like a caged animal, prowling, snarling, testing for weaknesses, not understanding why the bars prevented me from reaching my goal.  It would frustrate me, cause anger, and it would drive me a little insane.  The longer it continued, the more focused on it I would become.  This time there was none of that.  I'm not suggesting the silence was for those same reasons, but whatever the cause of it, the affect is the same.  I did not overreact, I just let things be, content to continue with my life, making the plans for my cycle tour of New Zealand, working my last days in Costa Rica, carrying on with my life.  The times that I did reach out and try to make contact, were from a genuine concern for her safety.     

What have I learned from all of this?  That is what I look for now.  It is more important that I take from this episode of my life some lesson and meaning for my life, than it is to spend time looking back at what might have been.  Perhaps that is the first of my realisations.  I no longer dwell in the past.  Since I began my true journey and since setting out my thoughts in this blog, I am more focused on the present moment and in what lies ahead.  My days of looking backwards are gone.  The past brought me to now, but it is in the now that I am able to make a difference, a difference that will affect my future to come.  The focus needs to be on now, this moment in which I exist, and by living that moment, I take one more step along my path.  Only the dead reside in the past because they have no future.

In that past, I would have looked for an action that I took, some words that I had spoken, even some words that I had left unsaid, and I would have felt at fault for what had happened, as if in some way, I was to blame.  But how could it be my fault and even more than that, why should it be my fault?  Every person has free will.  Every person is an extremely complex mix of experiences, emotions and inherited traits.  I am no different, just as you are no different.  If someone goes quiet and introspective, that doesn't mean that I am the cause of it.  If someone stops communicating and disappears, it is not my fault.  I have spent far too much of my life in the belief that I am no good and as a result of this, I have assumed myself to be the cause of every problem, every moment of silence, every pause in conversation, every miscommunication, every misunderstanding.  And I'll take this thought further.  If someone is not interested in me, if someone does not love me in the way that I love them, then that cannot be my fault either.  All I can be is myself.  It is either a right match or it is not.  It has never been, nor will it ever be, a fault on my part. 

That is what I have learned, but where does all of this leave me and my own plans?  I am still going ahead with my cycle tour of New Zealand.  That has not changed, it was always my own adventure and as such, will remain my own adventure.  I need to make changes in light of what has happened to dates and times, and to my planned route.  Everything has been affected by what has happened.  The details will follow in a new post shortly.  My immediate focus has needed to be on fixing the mess that was created by the broken promise of someone that I trusted.  That done, I can turn my attention back to bringing my dream into reality.  A dream that was always about me, a bike and the road.

I'll finish this post with one last thought.  It is a vow for life, a vow that I make now, and for each day that is to come:-

"I do not need someone else to make my life complete.  I do not need the love of another to make me whole.  For I am love.  I was born perfect and I shall remain perfect.  Since I already walk my path with love, I do not walk my path to seek love.  I walk my path to seek life.  And it is in life that I shall find all that I wish." ~ Andrew M.Smith

1 comment:

  1. Andy, this might have been a test of your emotional and spiritual development, maturity. You seem to have passed it with flying colours! :) You've realised what happened, you didn't hang onto it desperately, you made practical arrangements to get on with your modified plans and you drew your conclusions. Well done for not dwelling on bitter, negative feelings. Well done for sharing it with us!

    I don't mean to be disrespectful of your feelings, I guess it must have been bloody painful. But in a way it makes and excellent break-up story. One to be told and laughed at in the near future with some friends over a glass of wine. I bet you anything this will win all the awards in the most radical break-up category :) I always thought I had an excellent one, but now I see that mine is so lame in comparison that I wouldn't waste time telling it :)