Finding Clarity (On A RoadTrip)

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Sometimes in life you catch a break and you seem to be riding the perfect wave unexpectedly and everything that could possibly go right is going right. Then the rug is ripped right out from under you. Your head is in a spin and you are left wondering what happened.

Then you start on a journey trying too hard to find the answers.

Navigating this foggy path is daunting to say the least. When we try too hard to find answers, sometimes we miss the ones that are right under our noses. Intuition often works best when we aren’t trying too hard, when we stop trying to figure out the “cursed how’s or why’s.”

As adults we grow up and think we have all the answers, that we have the world figured out, only to discover later that we don’t and that we probably never will have it all figured out. When we are born we literally dive into life headfirst and it is a bumpy ride from there on out. Life never turns out exactly as we expect it to. Sometimes it is much less, sometimes it is much more, and usually it is quite different from what we imagined it would be.

Left a bit bewildered and suddenly unsure, the last thing I felt like doing this weekend was putting on a happy face and facing the world as if all was right in my world when in fact nothing felt right. But I’d made a commitment to share in a friend’s birthday celebration over lunch and I knew I had to go. The one thing I was really looking forward to was the drive there, it was something I could use to my advantage. About an hour out of Cape Town, I would head out on the road towards the small town of Riebeek Kasteel, driving through the valleys and taking in the beauty all around me. Nature soothes me when I’m out of sync, maybe somewhere along the way I could find some clarity in the confusion that suddenly seemed to creep in like a thick fog.

With the birthday gift on the seat next to me, I glanced at my watch and then the road ahead.

I should be there in about an hour.

With the sun shining and my music playing I began to drive.

My car, as it often is, is my sanctuary as I drive.

I can breathe.

I can be still.

I go inwards.

I took it slow, determined to enjoy rather than endure.

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As the suburbs began to change from houses packed together to sprawling open fields of lush green and bright yellow flowers I began to let go of perfect. I began to let go of control. I began to let go of expectations. I reminded myself to be authentic and to let others be authentic, too. I realised I must make room for surprises and to give myself (and others) permission to change my/their minds, to realise that maybe even if I unknowingly did or said something to upset someone else, that I made a mistake and that’s ok.

Change, especially when it’s unexpected, brings us to the edge of what we know, waiting for us to plunge into what we have yet to discover. I’ve been where I’ve been and I am where I am; what’s changing now is where I hope to be.

This place, the softening edge where the light meets the dark, where what is known slips from the top of my shoulders, trickles down the back of my arms and drips poignantly off my fingertips; the last moment before a free-fall, where my breath becomes sharp and caged, longing for the richness of an exhale, this is where I am as I question where I want to go from here.

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I reach a point in the road where I think I am close but I can’t be certain.

Something feels wrong.

I can’t quite find the road that I am meant to be on as I pass through another little town.

My GPS is telling me to go one way but my gut is telling me something else.

I follow the GPS because it’s supposed to be right.

Another 8km’s later, my GPS is telling me to take a dirt road but it’s now going to take me another 48 minutes to get to my destination. But I know I’m closer than that.

I turn around and begin to head back to the small town to find the road I missed.

Life is like that sometimes. It’s unpredictable and fluid, always keeping you guessing about what lies ahead. Just when you think you know the ending, life throws in a curve.

But that’s what makes things in life worth pursuing and life worth embracing.

As I drove I reminded myself that by putting value only in the end result, I have been ignoring the small victories along the way. I had lost sight of one of life’s simple truths: The journey is more important than the destination.

I blinked and looked straight up at the road ahead.

The curve in the road beckoned and I drove toward it, ready to embrace what lay just out of sight.

By being willing to not have all the answers, to ask more questions, and to allow them to be unresolved, stirs the beginning of a deeper wisdom and understanding within myself. I still long to understand, but I know that’s its ok if I don’t.

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I long to reach out to make to make sure everything is ok because that’s just my nature.

I tried but was shut out.

So all I can do now is step back and allow what ever is to be

Trusting the solution will come.

In the blindness of this change, I am finding clarity. As I continue into the unknown, my inner knowing becomes more and more apparent.

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Sometimes you have to turn the confusion into something beautiful. If we don’t make space for mistakes to happen we may be missing out on some of the most unexpected beauty and creative solutions we’re capable of. Because sometimes we think we want a monster when, really, we have no idea of the beauty we are about to create.

I remind myself to embrace change… It is our greatest teacher.

A short while later I arrived at my destination.

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My smile feeling a tiny little bit more real.

My soul a tiny little bit more at peace.

I felt a little bit more ready to face the world.

Accepting the unresolved questions, because they lead me to my next creation, to growth and change, to new beginnings.

Somehow, I continue to connect the dots.

Instead of seeing the rug being pulled from under me, I’m learning how to dance on a flying carpet.

~ All Photos By Me ~

A Celebration of the Elite Few Who Do Things Differently

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It is that special day that comes around once a year that celebrates everything that is left. If you aren’t part of our secret club and didn’t already know, 13th August is International Left Hand Day.

You see, being left-handed is like being in a secret club. We have our own bizarre initialisation rituals, such as learning how to tie our shoe laces “backwards” and writing “the wrong way around” and having to endure looking at things like the kettle and toaster backwards. We pay our dues daily, in terms of the extra effort that we must make to live in a right-handed world because yes, life as a Leftie can be challenging.

When we encounter another lefty, we immediately have something in common. The club is small and shrouded in secrecy, simply because we rarely mention the topic to our right-handed friends.

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As the majority of you (90% of the world’s population) reading this are right-handed, I thought, as one of the elite Lefties, I would share some of the challenges we face almost on a daily basis, and even more so while growing up and finding our place in the world.

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  •  We write from left to right, so that our hand smears the fresh ink across the page. Righties’ hands do not touch the ink until they get to the next line, so the ink has a few seconds to dry, Lefties don’t get that luxury.
  •  Lefties have little choice where they get to sit at the dinner table, no matter where leftie sits, unless at the end of the table on the left hand side, we will always bump elbows with the right-hander sitting next to us. Give us space people, we need it!
  • When writing in a ring binder or spiral notebook, the rings get in the way of our hands when we write on the front side of the paper.
  • Many “commonly” used keys are on the right side of the keyboard. For example: backspace, enter, arrows, and numeric keypad.
  • Computer mice are generally set up so that the “main” button is the index finger for righties. If you want to use the mouse in your left hand, the “main” button is under your less-adept ring finger.
  • Back in the day of those old school desks, lefties have little choice but to adapt. Usually, when sitting at these desks, everything from books to pens and pencils will fall on the floor because the desk is back to front and designed for right-handed students.
  • Whenever Lefties drink from a coffee mug, the picture is always facing away from us. Righties’ at least get to look at the picture.
  • Peeling a potato with a potato peeler is the one growing up I found most challenging. Righties’ just don’t get it and my mom still looks at me funny when I run for the knife to peel a potato!
  • Lefties have to get their own “left-handed” boomerangs, golf clubs, and hockey sticks. I remember playing hockey growing up with a right-handed stick. Learning to play with my right hand gave me the added advantage that I now play a mean game of squash or tennis cause I can change the racket from hand to hand just like that!
  • Mini propane camping stoves are designed so that you can hold it with your left hand and pump up air pressure with your right, even if the stove is still hot. It’s hard to hold it with your right hand and pump with your left hand without burning your right hand.
  • Camera shutter buttons are often on the right. Pressing the button with our less-dextrous hand makes it harder for lefties to hold the camera steady while taking a picture.
  • When pants only have one back pocket, it’s always on the right side. Lefties have to fumble around for whatever is inside it with their “bad” hand.
  • Lefties have been contorting their hands and turning pencils backwards since the beginning of time when they try to sharpen a pencil.
  • When holding a pen or pencil in your right hand, you can read any lettering on it, but in your left hand, the lettering is upside-down.
  • Of course, let us not forget we have to use special “lefty” scissors.

On the up side, we can do everything you can’t and we can do it with both hands! We really are a special rare bunch, part of an elite, secret club.

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I’m proud to be part of the club of different. Even if it means I occasionally look awkward. Lefties, unfortunately, are rarely graceful as we rummage our way through a world dominated by right-hands. But I love my uniqueness, I love the extra’s I can do, and today I celebrate the fact that I am a proud member of this elite, Lefties secret society!!

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~ So Happy International Left Hand Day to my fellow lefties of the world ~ Doing things differently since the beginning of time! ~

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