Lesson 3: Take the Road Less Travelled
One of the most challenging things in life is experiencing disappointment. Often times we are faced with unforeseen obstacles, roadblocks and things that don’t quite go as planned.
.Hatchelorette n. It’s the last hurrah before one gives birth (“hatching day”), happens in the third trimester when the final countdown begins. A journey that celebrates the mother to be as the women she was, is and will be. It must also be a solo adventure in the wild, an adventure than emboldens you and reminds you that your are amazing and capable of anything. – Melba Seto.
When I was younger, I didn’t have the skills to adapt to things that “ruined” aspects of my life. I often felt frustrated, angry, helpless and I did not particularly like how that made me feel. Living under tense bipolar conditions I was forced to keep emotions inside and as neutral on the outside so as not to “disrespect” or “talk back” to my stepmother. I used to just hold it all inside until I could be alone and scream and cry until I was exhausted. Though it seemed to be my nature, I refused to accept that, that was the only way to deal with things.
So I made an active and ongoing decision to work on this. I am still only human and this practice took years and is still something I must continue to nurture. From my late teens, I started to apply my ability to problem solve and be resourceful, to more than just physical situations. I think this mindset really kickstarts when I read the comic book, “Zen Speaks,” by Tsai Chih Chung. It’s a comic that explains Taoist teachings. From then I started to problem solve my emotional side.
It took a long time and being consciously consistent with my day to day choices on how I perceived and reacted to things. From missing the bus to breaking something valuable to not having enough money to pay for food, I turned to more productive responses instead of anger and frustration and my life began to change.
When something happened that wasn’t conventionally ideal I started to wait. Think. Solve. Then respond. Whereas before, I merely got frustrated, angry and anxious. Like I said I’m still human and things still don’t always go they way you want, but life has become infinitely more rewarding since I began this journey.
How does this apply to my Hachelorette journey? Well I guess today gave me a chance to reflect on how happy I am. How everything is wonderful and then I thought to myself, “that can’t be right? You didn’t even get to do most of your tick list!” It’s because I realized all my years of hard work has culminated to this. The ability to take a road, any road and be content with where it takes me.
I began this journey with the hope of reaching potentially four undeveloped hot springs to play in and so far the two main ones I wanted to go to are inaccessible due to seasonal issues and the third is not hot at all but barely warmer than a cool river.
My pregnancy symptoms are getting more painful by the day, my hips are separating and the Little Human feels like it’s trying to emerge from my belly (not unlike a scene from Alien). To top it off Dragon peed on my extra blanket.
Yet even with that… each time something disappointing happened, I decided to choose another road. Another option and so far it’s proven to be better than I could have imagined.
Today I made it to Renova Hot Springs. I travelled upon a bumpy dirt road for half an hour passing through what seemed like private land, worried I might be facing an angry shot gun any moment. It just didn’t feel right but at the same time it didn’t feel wrong? Worse comes to worse I get turned around and find something else to do.
Cattle gate, after cattle gate and ranch after ranch I’m thinking “I hope I get there soon, because if I get a flat tire the spare might not make it out of this road!”
Then signs of humans and hotsprings appear. Right off the dirt road, along side a little river, and down a steep bank. I see two manmade stone pools of genuine undeveloped natural hot springs. I made it.
The funny thing is even a couple of the other hot springers commented “did you come from that way?! What’s down there?”
On top of that, these were the most fragrant and hottest ones out of all the others I had so far encountered! (But obviously keeping baby in mind, just short dips and splashed for me.)
When life throws crap in your face, gracefully wipe it off, say thank you and you’ll more often than not be surprised at what will come next. Challenge yourself to be open to other options when things don’t go your way and take the road less travelled, even if sometimes we may end up in the same place it’s the journey that is the most rewarding.