“You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.” – Paulo Coehlo
Booking a return trip to Cork, Ireland for a man was a huge risk. Separated by 4,500 miles of land and ocean, anything was likely to happen between the mid-January booking and the late-March arrival. While I dreamed of driving Irish coastlines and peering over cliffs, old castles, and his green eyes, my Cork man was getting to know a woman who’d unexpectedly entered his life.
It’s a truth that borders a lie to say I’m happy for him. It’s good that he met someone in his own country and that he’s happy. But, that didn’t change the fact I had a non-refundable ticket to Cork, Ireland. And since the only reason I was going was for my Garda, I began looking for alterative trips.
I will have a layover in Amsterdam, so I called the travel agency that sold me the non-refundable ticket and asked what would happen if I just disembarked in the Netherlands. Unsympathetic to my situation, the phone specialist advised me in broken English that it’d be $400 to make any changes to the ticket because I’d bought it at such a super-reduced fair. That was crap, and between his stupid broken English logic and refusal to punch me through to a supervisor, I became angry and slammed down the phone. I called the airline directly, who advised there was nothing that could be done on their end since I bought the ticket through a third party.
Frustrated and upset, I then called my friend Paul in Dublin. Finally, a reassuring voice! I remember staring out the window at work at the most amazing blue sky as we chatted about taking the train to Dublin and spending the week with him instead. I felt like things would be okay. Well, it turns out more recently that his girlfriend may also have an issue with us spending too much time together, so it seems like – aside from the Friday and Saturday of my trip – I’m on my own. I cried most of the afternoon today.
I met my friend Kimberly at The Fountain this evening. Kimberly is one of those rare women who is both beautiful and intelligent, and we had the most amazing conversation about everything from work to vacations to the homeless to clandestine meth labs. We are both writers (one day I’ll pay good money to buy her books), and we discussed how these disappointments are really opportunities. Now, it’s no guarantee that the earth will move and my life will change, or that I’ll meet the love of my life, but the fact of the matter is – these events are pushing me towards some other destiny. It may be an exponentially more expensive destiny at this point, but this is a wonderful opportunity to be alone with my thoughts, meet new people, and explore parts of a country I’ve never seen before. It’s all perspective.
I’m going to fly to Ireland. I’ll meet people, I’ll explore. I’ll blog and drink good whiskey and drive on the wrong side of the road and pave a way through my disappointments that catapult me into a new level in my life. I alone am responsible for my happiness, and by God I will not let these men ruin my trip.
I am that person who does have to make risks. I will expect nothing next Friday when I land in Cork.
And I will embrace the twists and turns and ride out the waves of destiny with a Jameson in my left hand and a pen in my right, a Viking girl with a small chip on her shoulder ready to invade Ireland a second time with no regrets.