Thursday, September 23, 2010

September 23rd, Tuesday

I have six weeks left of work in Singapore. I can't believe it! As much as some parts of this year whizzed by, other parts crawled slower than a slug. I have a list of things I want to do here before I fly off, and topping that list is completing Level Three of the ropes course on Sentosa Island. I did Level Two a month ago andI was completely terrifying for me due to my fear of heights, but I did it and felt so exhilarated by the end. It's funny because there were times at the beginning of this contract that I had planned to complete the course and ended up not making it because it was raining and "Oh, we'll go another day." When I look back at that, I know at that point in my life, I would not have completed the course. I would have turned around. There were two points in the course that I froze and went, "I CAN'T!" One was where you have to run across a plank to have enough momentum to jump to the other plank with nothing to hold on to, two stories in the air. I kept walking to the edge of the first plank and my legs would go numb. I'd walk back to the starting post and run and when I'd get to the precipice my legs would go numb again. I started panicking and finally I took a deep breath as tears filled my eyes. I thought about this whole year, the particularly painful and challenging moments I faced. Ironically, it was pouring rain that day, the very reason I always stopped myself from doing the course. In that quiet peaceful moment standing at the starting post, fighting back tears, 20 feet in the air with the rain falling, one of the course workers shouted down from the ground, "You can do this! I'm gonna count to three! One, Two, Three!" and I ran and jumped across and grabbed on the next post for dear life! But I did it! I couldn't believe it, but at the same time, I knew I could. It was only me standing in my way, telling myself that I couldn't. Even though you have a harness on, it doesn't feel like you are safe. The problem I was having was trusting that I was safe and just taking the chance. Once I did that (pretty much right after the plank challenge) I was breezing through that course like it was a piece of cake. I just had to trust that if I slipped or fell, I was safe. And if that isn't the lesson I learned this year I don't know what is! It was just really interesting to deal with it in a very literal and physical sense as opposed to emotional but the rule holds true for both. Trust that you are safe, and someone (whether it's a friend or just yourself) has your back.

Yesterday a friend asked me, "Yeah, but if you had it to do all over again, would you have chosen to go to Singapore?" My immediate reaction to any question like that is, "Regret is a wasted emotion." Because, well, it is. What's the point in banging your head against a wall trying to change something that you can never go back and change. The lesson is how you deal with it, mistake or not. Usually that would be my answer to this specific question because it was hard to feel like I didn't wish things had been different.

But right after my generic, "Regret is a wasted emotion," response I realized for the first time a very important thing. "Yes. I would do it all again." I mean it: the constant moving, the heartbreak, the stress, the illness, embarrassment, fun times, miserable times, disappointment, crying, laughing, confusion, making new friends, trusting people, distrusting people, missing my family, missing my friends, feeling lonely, feeling loved, feeling whole; I'd do it ALL again because I'm right where I need to be.

Here's to the next six weeks in Singapore! Excuse me, Level Three? I've got my eye on you.