I met a fellow Canadian who has been attending Jen’s yoga classes recently, although she has been living in Barbados for three years. Last month she went home, and she said that it was tough. People were always on their way somewhere, rather than just being somewhere.
I am afraid to go home. I fear that I will backslide and the peace and Zen that I have enjoyed here in Barbados will disappear. In short, I don’t trust myself to continue living in the moment in an environment where I was never able.
It is like spending time with your family of origin, in that you regress to that person that you were as a child and the difficulties you had being that person. It takes an evolved human to remain centered enough to be the adult they are today, surrounded by the people that witnessed the child that they once were.
Am I centered enough to be the adult I am today, here in Barbados, surrounded by the triggers that used to get me so worked up in Canada? Here are a few that come to mind:
The constant chatter about COVID, which now feels indicative of a society that can’t seem to agree on a balance between individual self and community.
Opening a conversation with queries about what I do for a living, and me not being able to describe my work. Suddenly, I barely care about work and the progress of my career or my business. I am so much less stressed!
Let’s not even go there about those that talk about how many hours they worked this week or last month!
What I own and whether I should sell it (i.e., whether I did the right thing by selling my house before I left). I am surrounded by people that rent here. That doesn’t mean that they have no assets, but it does mean that we are not preoccupied by timing the real estate market.
There are frustrations here in Barbados, like when someone jams up an entire side of traffic to go into a shop or house, rather than parking in the empty laneway. Or when a driver decides both sides of the street can be blocked because they really need to cross into the KFC drive-thru that already has a lineup down the street. Yet, there is no honking, drivers wait and go around at their next opportunity. I will get over this.
I have written about, and continue to be bothered by, the lack of equality between white and black, men and women, wealthy and poor. This exists at home, but it is so visible here and it triggers me in ways that I am not yet conscious. I don’t know if I will get over this. I am going to give it some time to see.
I stepped out of the “box” that was my life in Canada. It has taken a while to slow down the momentum of all the things that took me on a path that allowed me to get there. Now that the train has slowed down in that direction, I need to decide if this is the path that I want to take forward. I want to set up my life with intention. I figure that the frustrations will provide me clues as to how to do this if I can remain calm and not let them trigger me.