I have a weird way of making milestones out of everything. I’ll note how many months or years it’s been since I went somewhere, met someone, did something, even saw something. Most people think it’s a silly thing to do but it’s how I remember things, etching them in my memory so that I don’t forget — because, obviously, milestones are for the things that are worth remembering.
So today, I’ve been in this country for exactly two years. A year ago, I would have whined about it — which I did — sighing about how I let my life spiral so far out of control that the only way I could think of to take control of it again and rebuild it was to admit defeat and come back here, how I allowed myself to waste a year of my life in this godforsaken country, and how I hated everything about this place, from the traffic (which I still do), to the weather (which I always have), to my job (which only occurred much later), to the spectacularly failed attempt to build a relationship with someone who had no sense of anyone else around him.
Over the last year, I’ve been reminded that things do happen for a reason, no matter how bad they may appear. For barely a week after I whined about my wasted life, I ran into someone I hadn’t seen in over a decade and couldn’t remember ever speaking to, who would end up helping my (personal) life take a turn for the better. I was able to get myself certified as a scuba diver, along with my best friend, which is something I never had the chance to do when I was living in the U.S. My job may have become a travesty of this profession we call public relations, but, as Becca and I have discussed to great lengths and I’ve come to realize over the past few weeks, it would merely be a step towards something bigger and better, and all I needed to do was look at the big picture and figure out my next step.
But I will continue to count. There are some who have openly declared me as a sad and emotional little girl who keeps living in the past, but it’s my way of keeping that chapter of my story alive, of making sure that I remember the people I met, the places I went to, and the lessons I learned during my time in that part of the world that have led me to where I am now. By remembering, I can live in the now and look to the future without feeling as though I’ve lost something that can never be regained.
And so, with two years gone by and the third looming, I can honestly say I’m looking forward to seeing what else is in store for me. After all, looking at the Advanced Open Water certificate lying next to me on my hotel bed at this very moment and thinking of the two shipwrecks I saw over the last couple of days, surely it can’t all be considered a waste now, can it?