Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pilot: Up in the Air

Here I am again. Thirty thousand feet above sea level. Traveling from one place to the next. Processing what just happened and anticipating what’s to come. It is here, where many fellow travelers are feeling cramped, uneasy, possibly ill, that I feel most comfortable. Floating. Flying. Free. Amongst the clouds and my thoughts...

I’ve always considered myself a planner. So much so, that I thought it was something I wanted to pursue as a career (got my event planning certification after graduation). However, I’m also an uncontrollable daydreamer. I’m constantly adding to my mental life to-do list that I’ve had to let go of this planning instinct a bit to prevent insanity. I’ve welcomed some spontaneity into my life within the past year and a half and because of it, have gained a sense of empowerment and greater sense of self. Not only do I give up the possibility of not sticking to a plan thus resulting in disappointment, but it turns out that when I leave things up in the air, I usually end up doing things I want to do. My biggest example is the year I just spent in Australia. I had always dreamed of living abroad, on my own, and often thought of Sydney as a desirable spot to do so. Didn’t exactly know why, but wanted to find out. So, without much planning at all, I took off last New Year’s Eve for life down under. On a smaller scale, I had always wanted to try bartending at some point in my life. Thought it would be a fun job. It just so happened that this was my “profession” while living in Oz. Two things I got to check off the never-ending to-do list in my head. Two things I always pictured myself doing, but thought it would remain just that, a picture, a non-reality.

Seeing as my year abroad was the best in my life thus far, I don’t like saying that I have regrets. However, I do wish I had documented it better. I started a journal and a blog down under, but like many of my projects, I didn’t commit properly. Since I never know what the future holds, I want to make sure I take hold of the present. Therefore, I’m going to keep it up this time.

Here I am again. In transition. In-between. Limbo. I knew that coming back to the states when I wasn’t quite ready to do so was going to be difficult. To be clear, I am not on my flight back from Australia. I’ve been home (San Diego) for two months now, trying to figure out my next step. And again, I’ve decided to let go of “the plan” mentality at this time and leave things up in the air. Sitting still trying to figure something out does not work for me. My thoughts simply go around in circles. Another thing I’ve always wanted to do is live in San Francisco. I’ve envisioned it as a future home, but unlike Sydney, it’s a home I was certain about (not just a picture). It was a plan. Ironic, since I haven’t gotten there yet. But I’m on my way. Literally. Hawaiian Airlines flight 12 due to arrive at the SFO airport at 9:25pm. I had to take a slight detour to Honolulu. In addition to adjusting to life back home, I recently lost a family member. My grandfather passed away two days before I was scheduled to start this new chapter in San Francisco. I’m fortunate to not have experienced a death in my family until now. However, the novelty of this feeling is also an adjustment filled with sadness, confusion, and unavoidable loss. I find the good thing about confusion is that with it, comes clarity, or at least perspective. Amidst the jumbled emotions of this past week, I have been reminded of what makes me happy. Amidst the crying, there was so much laughter. Amidst the great loss and the obvious void in all of our lives, we gained friends and family we didn’t know before. Death reminds us of life. It makes us forget about the things that don’t matter and focus on the things that do.

I may never know what I want to be when I grow up. I’m beginning to think that there isn’t a dream job out there for me, but many (day)dream jobs. I’m perfectly okay with this, but I want to make sure I keep checking things off my list and not just have them floating around on an intangible wish list or possibly floating away altogether. I may be risking a lot more confusion for a little clarity, but here it goes...

I dedicate this entry to Raymond Hiroshi Ohara, a man who lived his life to its fullest, who did what he loved to do, and who was singing every day until the day he died. May you rest in peace Papa and sing amongst the angels up in the air.