Souls journey, p.2
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       Soul's Journey, p.2

           Joanne Johnson
afternoon, I entered the parkade and a limo pulled up with Bruce inside it. He asked if I would like a ride somewhere. Naturally, I said no again, and pointed to my car, off to the right. That’s when I noticed one of my tires was flat. Luckily, just then my secretary, Jill, drove up and offered me a ride. I quickly accepted and watched the limo drive off. I have made it a rule to never mix business with pleasure; it is usually a bad combination. Most of the time the clients are either criminals, or divorced. Whatever the case, they are bad news!” she explained.

  After brunch, my sister’s Blackberry rang. She placed her pointer finger in the air to tell me to hold on a minute, and then answered. To my relief, I was literally saved by the bell. She was still on the phone when she dug in her purse for money, placed it on the table, stood up and waved good-bye. She hand-signaled, ‘I’ll call you later’.

  As I left the café, I analyzed everything she had said about me. I went into the denial stage easily and became angry, deep down knowing some of what she said was true. Sometimes Megan could be so self-righteous and opinionated. Even the sun had disappeared behind the clouds, adding to my depressed state. My world was suddenly not as bright and cheery as it had been before our conversation.

  By the time my strides ate up the five blocks to my apartment, I had digested most of what she said, realizing that I did need to make some small changes in my life. I dragged myself up the three flights of stairs to my apartment. When I opened the door, the usual sense of home and peace was missing, mainly because I had lost my peace of mind. My tiny seven hundred and five square foot apartment, that I had placed lots of love and care in, for the last seven years, now felt empty. I always had money, not a lot, but I was comfortable.

  As far as the coffee shop was concerned, I really enjoyed the people I worked with and our customers. Now every part of my life seemed as if I had chosen myself to be placed second to everyone else. All I ever remember my parents saying to me as a child was, ‘Play nice with others Jordan, watch over your siblings Jordan, and make sure they are safe and sound Jordan’. No wonder I thought “I” did not matter. I had spent my lifetime making others happy at my own expense. I was always going out of my way to look after everyone else.

  This is where my story begins, my soul’s journey to “find myself.” This was the end of my life, as I knew it. Everything from this point on would change in the bigger aspect of my reality. The person who looked in the mirror today would never look back again. I sat on the couch in my apartment and listened to the messages that had been left on my answering machine. They were all very similar.

  “Please call me; it’s important that I talk to you about what is going on in my life.” After about the eighth similar message, all from very different people, I knew without a doubt that Megan had been right. My friends were all needy. I helped them deal with their issues so that I would not have to deal with my own. After feeling somewhat disgusted with myself, I turned the phone off.

  I put on my “Victoria Secret” jammies, which always made me feel better. They were pink, soft, and sexy. I know it is bad when the things that normally give me great pleasure in life, stop giving me pleasure.

  Sleep did not come easily that night. I started by counting my ceiling tiles with the aid of the reflection of light coming through the window. I moved on to meditation hoping that I could bore myself to sleep, but it really hit home when I could not shut my brain off to achieve any kind of focus. I was very frustrated when I glanced at my alarm clock, only fifteen minutes had passed. The minutes seemed to last forever. At this point, I decided to get up and make some sort of a plan for my life.

  I sat down at my tiny kitchen table with a piece of paper and a pen. On the top of the sheet in big bold letters, I wrote. ‘MY LIFE PLAN’. I sat there for a while and stared. The letters went blurry. This was so depressing. I was trying to make some sort of plan to pull myself out of the slump that was my life and I was drawing a blank. With a huge sigh, I walked over to my couch and lay down.

  I must have dozed off for a couple of minutes because I had a daydream about going into the mountains. I was able to feel the peace and serenity of the drive, in my black Jetta, through the mountain passes. I awoke with a start and decided that would be perfect. I would get away, clear my head, and maybe find some sort of passion in life. It didn’t take me long to allow the self-sabotage to take over. “What if I had a flat tire and my cell didn’t work? Who would hold my hand and save me?”

  The nervousness of the situation hit me. I had never done anything that wasn’t about, or for, someone else. I always held other people’s hands through, well… just about everything, watching or holding their broken hearts until they could move forward, which now I could see would be never. The same people in my life would recreate the same situations, over and over, with different people, as a way to not allow peace into their own lives. Because of my responsibilities as the eldest child, I had never thought or taken the time to place myself first, but rather allowed everyone else and their problems to take priority. I decided then and there that desperate times called for desperate measures. No matter what kind of fear it triggered, I had to follow this through. It was settled; I got up and began my list.


  Before I am 30, I will:

  1. Take a holiday by myself

  2. Learn to do things alone and for myself

  3. Put myself first

  4. Find my passion

  5. Find out who I really am….

  After a few moments, I smiled, seeing that I had a plan. In four days, when my scheduled summer holidays began, I would have three weeks all to myself.

  I had been saving money here and there all year so that I could fly to Florida and vacation with my parents. We planned this trip every year. They would rent a house on the beach and all of us kids would take turns staying with them for a week or two in the summer. It was always safe and organized fun. I needed something different this year, even though the thought of my plan was terrifying.

  A Plan

  Working the next four days felt like I was just putting in time. I had several people ask me if there was something wrong. I would smile and say, “No, I just have a lot on my plate right now.” By the fourth day, people had stopped asking. They just looked at me with sympathetic glances.

  “I would like to thank you for the coffee,” said one of my regulars. I could not help but notice that she had handed me her business card, discretely hidden in her money.

  “Thank you, have a good day,” I said putting the money in the till and glancing at the card. She had a PhD. in Psychology. I watched her turn at the door, look me directly in the eye, and wink. Before she was out the door, I had discretely tossed her card in the garbage.

  “Thanks, but no thanks,” I mumbled under my breath.

  I noticed that all my user friends, although they did ask me what was wrong, failed to express real concern, and would promptly move on to tell me about their lives. On rare occasions, I managed to say, ‘I’m fine,’ before they cut me off with chatter about their lives. I have always had people confide in me and I realized they would continue to do so as long as I allowed it. The most self-absorbed of my friends had already gone on to their story before I even had a chance to answer. Damn, I hated it when my sister was right.

  My thoughts, while packing, centered on how long I was going to be gone. I figured I would take a week’s worth of clothes, and then wash and wear, as I needed after that. Closing up my duffle bag, and reaching for my MP3, with all my favorite tunes, I took one last look around my place. I had taken care of everything I could think of. After loading up my Jetta, I went back upstairs, with great hopes that the next time I looked at my apartment I would be a changed woman on my way to a brand new life. I stepped out and locked the door. I felt like a child getting ready for her first vacation.

  Anticipation, excitement, and uneasiness were my feelings on the surface, but overall, I couldn’t wait to get going. Looking back now, I can see how I
should have been more careful with what I asked for; some moderation would have been appreciated. Hopping into my car, I tried to think of anything that I might have forgotten. My obsessive-compulsive disorder began to come into play.

  “Did I lock the door? Have I left on the curling iron? Have I shut off all the taps?” I put my seatbelt on, started the car, heard the engine hum, turned on my MP3 and chuckled as the song “Life is a Highway” started to play. I took it as a sign that I was on the right path and that everything was as it should be. I loudly sang along as I pulled away from my parking stall. I was moving forward, fearfully into the unknown, with hopes that I would be given great insights along my journey.

  As I left the outskirts of town, it felt like I had passed the point of no return. I had not really thought about where I was going, just that I had to go. For once, my life would be spontaneous, would have adventure and would be about living in the moment. I was usually thinking at least two days ahead, planning everything so I could feel comfortable and safe. This was a totally new experience and I could feel my stomach turning violently. I waved good-bye to the last house as I left the city, thinking to myself that this is where my old life ends and my new life begins.

  A few miles out of the city, my stomach settled. I decided to keep driving until I figured out where I was going. I remembered that I had forgotten to phone my mom to explain that I would not be there in two days as she expected. I dug around, found my Blackberry in my purse, and dialed her number. To my dismay, she answered on the first ring. I had been hoping to leave her a message saying that I had made other plans without really going into it.

  “Hi Mom, how are you?” I pulled over to the side of the road so I could focus on our conversation.

  Immediately she asked, “What’s wrong, I can hear something different in your voice?”

  “Nothing,” I said. “I’ve just had a change of plans and I’m not coming out this year. I cancelled my flight and I wanted to tell you not to expect me at the airport.”

  “Why dear, what’s wrong?” she asked again, worried.

  “I’m turning thirty and I realized that my life has been fairly predictable,” I explained. “So I’m taking a…a soul journey. This trip is just for me, it’s something I need to do.”

  “That is great dear,” she said. “I hope you find what you are looking for.”

  The strange thing is that when I spoke to her on the phone, I could hear her smiling, even though I could not see her face. I asked, “Are you smiling?”

  “Oh, you know me; I am always the happiest when my children finally start to realize what is really important in life.”

  “I am sorry if I disappoint you, I know that I’m not as successful as Megan or Isabelle.”

  “You are the first of my children to follow your heart,” she said. “You could have all the success you desire, but none of it will bring personal heart fulfillment.”

  “That doesn’t make sense,” I said. “Look at my siblings. They have it all together. They have found success in their lives. They are the best in their professional fields, or close to it.”

  She was quiet for a moment before she continued, “Jordan, have a great time. I am proud of you, no matter what. You will soon see what I mean about personal and professional happiness, how one can bring soul happiness and the other loneliness. If you get a chance, we would love to see you on your birthday.”

  “Ok, I will see what I can do, and thank you for understanding.”

  “I understand more than you know honey, and I look forward to hearing about your trip,” she replied honestly.


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