Leaving Boston was definitely bittersweet. I visited my special places, those that resonated with me and made Boston feel like home. There were so many places that were memory filled it was overwhelming even though I was ready to leave. I came full circle when I had gone out to a wonderful North End restaurant with my long-time friends, who were supportive even though they were dealing with mixed feelings about my decision to leave. We were sitting in a park, on the harbor, outside of the Marriott Long Wharf. As part of my good-bye, I had bought some poetic magnets to give to them that expressed how I had felt about each of them and what we all had been through. Mine said:
RISK more than others think is safe. CARE more than others think is wise. DREAM more than others think is practical. EXPECT more than others think is possible. ~ Cadet Maxim
Through the silence and the tears, I realized that I was in the physical location of where I had started when I arrived in Boston so many years ago. My first job was at this Marriott, on the wharf. I had inadvertently come full circle on one of the last days of my time in Boston. How appropriate.
In retrospect, I wish I had taken more time to depart. School had ended. My classroom was empty. My apartment was empty. I had brought all my stuff that I wasn't yet able to purge to my family in Connecticut to store. I had said so many tear-filled good-byes by this point and I was exhausted, physically and emotionally. Instead of taking time to rest, being too concerned with money and not wanting to pay an extra month's rent, I flew off.
My good friend, Ann Marie, brought me to the airport. She was the best person to have been my chauffeur - so supportive and loving. She watched me walk into the airport attempting to manage 3 pieces of luggage. Hmm...traveling lightly? Not at the moment.
My first stop was Oahu with a three day layover, to recover. Three days was hardly enough to recover from the process but that is what I gave myself. I arrived and called another great supportive friend, Jeff, who had already done this 'pack up everything and leave'. He was thrilled for me!
I felt...lighter, than I had been in years. And, scared. I was out of my comfort zone. But, this was a new adventure and I was walking through my fears. I am a Virgo, and definitely need to feel as though I have a home. My goal was to make my body, no matter where I was, my home. In Native American tradition, the turtle gives the message of home, since it carries it's home with him/her. I jumped into the ocean and a sea turtle swims with me. Home. No matter where I am...a great reminder.
Three days later, I am at the Dragonfly Ranch on the Big Island of Hawai'i, for a work exchange. The deal, 40 hours of work per week for room and board. (I wish I had taken the month off...ugh!) First, there are no rooms, just holes in the wall with mattresses. Food, quite limited. Huge spiders and termites everywhere. Yes, I get it, I am in the jungle. However, this wonderful jungle B&B was being eaten by the bugs, and being run by someone who was just as burnout as I was.
Four days later, I had done my 40 hours and the work hadn't stopped. There were no boundaries and it was not a fair exchange. This is not what I signed up for. Dysfunctional on so many levels* and I knew I had to leave despite my original commitment. I was being suffocated here as I was in my 'traditional life'. And, since I believe that we receive messages from all forms of life, I got over my fear of the huge spiders and turned to it while it hovered just above my head while I attempted to sleep in my hole in the wall. I meditated and heard Spider's message - to weave one's own life, creation. With gratitude, I knew I was being validated. This was not where I was supposed to be.
So, two other women, Donate and Shay Skye, and myself escaped. After just 2 weeks of the dysfunction we were dancing with delight in the hotel room in Kona because we were free! Ahh....Freedom! And, we had a home, for the night. We were okay. I began to digest that I was now living day to day and that I was grateful for having a home (albeit a hotel room) for the night. And, I had two friends who were in the same boat as I was...we were together in this, for the time being. And, I had already lightened my load...I tossed stuff that I realized wasn't all that necessary during my escape.
Next stop...The Butterfly Ranch.
*About the Dragonfly Ranch: I would like to add that this was my experience, and this was several years ago...things may have been quite different for others at that time, and it certainly may have improved over the years...different people, different issues, the owner being in a different personal space...all makes a difference. I don't mean to be negative about a place that may still be in business. A lot can change, including myself. I may actually have a different and pleasant experience if I opted to go there again.