Today is Leap Day. The extra day we acknowledge when that 1/4th of a day we ignore until it actually equals up to something to recognise.
I know. I haven’t posted in a while and I start off all grouchy. I swear I’m not in a bad mood.
But it’s also a day that we can choose to make something more of our lives with this extra day we have been given. For no other reason than this opportunity only presents itself once every 4 years.
But today, my thoughts were more on the past rather than the present. Because it was this time last year I was traveling in India with Nomadness for the Holi Festival of Colors. During that week, we traveled to Agra to see the Taj Mahal in all is majestic glory, and rode camels through the Pushkar Desert. We even celebrated Holi with a local family and danced and drank under sporadic clouds of pigmented chalk. But it was in exploring the streets of Jaipur when I experienced the true magic of India.
Roaming about, allowing myself to become enveloped in all the sights, sounds, and smells that Jaipur offered, I began to see the world through a new pair of eyes. In a country that is overrun by poverty and still seen as “developing”, I was only able to see it’s beauty in the bright smiles of those who call India home. It was while walking the streets that I discovered that I needed to see more and do more with this life that I had been given.
I know there are people who say that visiting a certain place or having a particular experience while traveling “changed their life”. It’s pretty cliché, I know. But traveling to India definitely was that for me.
Perhaps it was the spirit of Holi in the air. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, a time to reflect, forgive and forget, and to repair broken relationships. And I did. I thought about my life and the things I wanted to change within myself and with those around me. It was then that I decided to take the biggest leap of my life, to leave all that I had ever known and move abroad with my son.
I guess it’s appropriate that I reflected on that experience today. A chance to make more of yourself and your life with the gift of an extra 24 hours. In thinking about my travels last year, forced me to reaffirm the commitments I made to myself then. To constantly immerse myself in new cultures and experiences, to live boldly and on my own terms, and to always choose myself first.
I needed to be reminded of that today. I feel like that last 6 months have become lost to me. I’ve been busy and have used that as an excuse to become lackadaisical about what I’ve accomplished and how much farther I have to go. Moving to Tokyo wasn’t the end for me. I’m content here, but I have never wanted to feel or become stagnant anywhere. There is still too much world to see and too much I have yet to experience. Today was the reminder and reset that I needed, I suppose.
Although this “extra” 24 hours was still a work day for me, spent juggling the problems of students and their families, it wasn’t wasted. I made time to reflect and give thanks for all that I have experienced thus far and found a new source of energy and determination.
One thing I have learned today is that India still speaks to me and continues to reintroduce me to myself.