If our desires are true, finding our way back to them is inevitable, even as the starting points in our lives change.
A small but meaningful example of this occurred last weekend when I participated in a Christmas wreath-making workshop. I had wanted to do one for years while living in Raleigh, North Carolina, but my perception was that my shopkeeping schedule didn't allow for it this time of year. About one month ago, I saw an announcement for a workshop at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens and the decision to add it to my calendar was effortless, unlike the internal debates or excuses that would come up in years past. I was giddy at the thought of finally doing it.
As I sat at the worktable with native Australian shrubs, flora, and the like – clipping here, wrapping there – I caught myself smiling. All those years that I desired to do this felt like lifetimes ago, yet there I was, coming full circle with my desire, meeting it in a new and previously unimagined place worlds away from when it first came on strong.
Coming full circle to a desire, but from a vastly different starting point, has also occurred in big ways. Like the time in college when I showed up at LAX for a trip to Europe with my fashion design & merchandising classmates only to realize that I didn't have the required visas for traveling with a Colombian passport. (I wasn't yet an American citizen, and my parents had left my Australian one to expire in favor of one that matched their nationalities). I was embarrassed, devastated, and dumbfounded at my naivete and stupidity. The ride back home from the airport was sobering as the reality sunk in: my first taste of Europe had gone down the drain. I can still hear my mom saying, "it's all going to be ok," as I quietly wiped my tears in the backseat.
Flash forward six years later, and I'm living in London and traveling around Europe with my then-boyfriend, now husband, Joe. Everything was better than ok; This was how I was supposed to experience Europe for the first time. Visiting fashion houses and partying with my classmates would have been awesome, but living and exploring that part of the world with my best friend – and with a little more life experience under my belt – was incredible.
Timing is everything. Sometimes we meet the things/experiences we want right when we want them, and sometimes, we don't. During my senior year in college, I set my mind and heart on moving to Australia for at least one year after graduation; I was born in Australia and always felt compelled to return and make good use of my citizenship. I was also in the final stages of obtaining my US citizenship. Because I had learned my lesson about international travel requirements, I researched everything I could and discovered that I could only be outside of the USA for six consecutive months without jeopardizing my application. That would not do. My goal was to experience something wholly immersive, not have an extended holiday.
The acceptance phase of my stateside existence – for the near future at least – came right around when I met Joe. I graduated, got a job in LA, traveled a bunch with work (and Joe), and kept Australia as a one-day note in my back pocket.
Fifteen years later, here were are, living in Australia(!). I was meant to move here with my partner in life and two kids. I was meant to move here as the me I am today, with more life experiences to utilize and appreciate. Would living here in my early twenties have been incredible? Absolutely. Is living here now, a decade and a half later, incredible too? Abso-fucking-lutely.
These examples have schooled me in the way of the universe: when we set our desires and put our intentions into action, there's a good chance that how we meet those things and experience them will be beyond what we can imagine at that moment. The what and why are for us to know, and the how figures itself out along space and time.
Reflection is such a gift, as is every new starting point.