So ends my second chance… I am being intentionally vague, and it doesn't much matter. The fact is that I am back home, and what I do with my second chance is a secret shared between myself and God.
I still find it hard to believe that I spent an entire year of my life in Oz. Nobody (including I) would have predicted any of this. In the scheme of life, my life anyway, one year doesn't sound very long, but its impact will last forever. This time around (returning home) there is a feeling of finality that wasn't present before. It is an understanding, or a “knowing” that the message (lessons) Oz was meant to deliver is complete and the rest is up to me. Free Will is said to be humanity’s greatest gift, but with it comes a lot responsibility. The future holds the answers and it reports without prejudice. I met so many people who shared their lives and memories that it is impossible to leave this experience unaffected. My Aussie friends left an imprint on me that will never go away. We shared stories, laughs, and more than a few tears, and I would like to think that each received their own meaningful gift from our chance meetings. I learned that being less judgmental and more accepting leads to new and a fulfilling existence.
Strangely enough it took traveling to the other side of the world to meet none other than myself. It was an opportunity to “pause” the life I was living and just long enough to take stock of the results. I reviewed me, and I explored all of the explanations for the outcome. What I discovered (one of many things) was a certain degree of pretense, and it was bothersome. Most of the things that I thought true about myself simply weren’t, rather I had convinced myself of their truth. I uncovered unattractive behaviors, patterns, and nuances that I had been overlooking since becoming a “responsible adult”, but I also noted the positive contributions that I bring to the world when I choose to do so. This experience was a lesson in life and it provided many insights. The insights are mine and for the most part they will remain private. Here are a few that I am willing to share:
- Every time I say “yes” to an invite or an event results in an understanding of how much I miss out on in life by saying “no”
- The people that I initially dislike will almost always become a close friend, or at the very least, they will turn out to be a messenger delivering another great lesson from up above
- I know a lot of opinionated people, but I rank high on the list. Its time to chill
- Some people choose a company/job in order to “get somewhere” in life, and some work to survive, but my job with Electronic Arts has rewarded me in ways that cannot be measured
- If there is one person that I should be weary of in this life its “me”
- Nothing in life is certain- nothing
- Its never too late to change
Every experience in Australia felt like it should be documented. I wanted to capture every moment in video or in picture, because I feared forgetting. It is ironic too, because when I first travelled to Oz I was fearful that my absence at home would have a negative impact on my relationship. I feared the unknown and I worried about things that I might be missing. In the end my relationship grew stronger and I realized what a small life I had created for myself. Fear does a great job in slowing me down.
I continue to refer to this trip as my second chance, and it was, but each new day is also a second chance. Not very profound, I know, but most people just utter the words without understanding the message being delivered. I learned that it is never too late to take an inventory of life and set a new chartered course. It is never too late to change direction. I also learned that love is a bond that knows no boundaries or distance. In my case, love is also the fuel that keeps me going and prevents me from giving up, but my fear of losing love is a potential poison and self-fulfilling prophecy if left unchecked. Everything must, and will, eventually end. Love is an inspiration, and it is usually easier to express love than it is to acknowledge it.
The adventure in Australia is over, and so is my “second chance”. It leaves me feeling happy, excited, and still fearful. Writing this blog and sharing my thoughts and experiences will chronicle a tiny chapter of my life, but most importantly this blog will remind me that the future has a lot to offer if allowed. Will this experience have a lasting impact, or will my life change as a result of this second chance? Lets see. Free will, right?
You'll find some final pictures of Melbourne below. If you haven't been to Australia and you have the opportunity, take it! Hell, if you have an opportunity to get out of the house today, just take it! There is a HUGE world out there and a lot of people just waiting to meet you!