Sunday, June 19, 2011

There Must Be Something in the Water

Knowing others is intelligence.  
Knowing yourself is true wisdom.
- Lao Tse

Almost six months ago I was sitting at the Portland Airport with my dear friend Kate preparing to leave for New Zealand. We laughed, we cried, we drank and we said good-bye. As I said farewell to my amazing friends and a city I loved, I was torn whether or not I was making the right decision to quit my career and head to a country where I had limited contacts and resources. Alan Alda once said, "You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.  What you'll discover will be wonderful.  What you'll discover is yourself." I finally understand what he is talking about.

My time in New Zealand has been filled with amazing adventures, beautiful scenery and colorful characters. The last six months has challenged me in more ways than I could have ever imagined. My personal relationships, financial stability and mental toughness have all been put to the test. I have had to learn to be flexible to the point I thought I was going to break. I have had to learn to take charge of my own destiny by finding jobs, a place to live and transportation. And I have also had to learn that the one voice I should listen to is my heart.

I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason. If you would have told me six months ago that I would be living in a town of 1,000 people, working at a ski resort while taking online courses for my Mind-Body Wellness Practitioner degree, balancing travel and a pretty active social life, I probably would laughed and thought it was impossible. I was hopeful that all of these would happen, but I was at a pretty low place and never imagined this could be my life.

Sometimes I feel like my life is a movie (with a badass soundtrack), because I didn't believe that after all that I have been through emotionally and physically that I could be so happy and truly feel at peace with my life. Perhaps wisdom, self-confidence and happiness comes with age…I don't know, but something has clicked with me the past few weeks and my perspective of life has changed forever. This new found peace happens to coincide with starting my online course and also developing some great friendships, but this new mindset is something that is here to stay.

I just completed my first contract at Mt. Ruapehu so I had a week of before the season starts. I took the opportunity to do a little bit of traveling. I went to Taupo for a few days with a friend and enjoyed some outdoor activities and lots of laughs and thoughtful conversation. I then headed to Wellington for the rest of the week with my new flatmate James. He competed in the 48 Hour Film Festival in Wellington and his film won Best Editing and 2nd Runner up in the Welly competition. We enjoyed a few days of cafe culture, lattes and crazy nights out. While in Wellington, I stayed in a hostel and met an amazing woman from Argentina. She was my travel buddy and we hiked to the top of Mt Victoria, explored Te Papa Museum, attended yoga and of course hit up the bar for cocktails (with cucumber!) My mini-holiday was just what the doctor ordered. I felt refreshed and ready to come back to Ohakune for an epic season on the mountain.

I think the best part about my new found happiness and confidence, is that I can already see it rubbing off on other people in my life. Perhaps making others happy and inspiring them is what fills up my soul. There must be something in the Ohakune water…whatever it is…I am going to drink it up! New Zealand has been a wonderful part of my journey. I hate to think that I already have to leave in five months, but it will just mean I am starting a new, exciting chapter of my life.

I want to thank you all for your friendship and support over my lifetime. My friends and family are truly the ones who have allowed me to get to this point in my life. I could never have done it alone!

I am going to leave you with a few thoughts from Eleanor Roosevelt.
"Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart. To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart, If someone betrays you once, it is his fault; if he betrays you twice, it is your fault. Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people. Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself."

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