But sometimes we’ve got as much uncertainty on our plates as we can handle so a mindless tour is the way to go. For a brief while, I just wanted to the a passenger in my own life instead of the driver.
Turns out that was only beginning of the symbolism for the day....
Right now, finding hope is a bit like trying to find my glasses in the morning (in my pre-laser-eye-surgery life). I can’t find my glasses so I can’t see but because I can’t see, I can’t find my glasses. Life’s most perplexing catch-22. So my hand is outstretched, stumbling around in the dark giving my nightstand a rigorous airport security pat down. On challenging days, that’s exactly how I’m trying to find faith that everything will work out... blinded, arms extended, feeling it out as I go. In the greatest mocking (and entirely supportive) turn of events, my sister graciously reminded me of a quote that I often espouse to others in tough times: “everything works out in the end. If it hasn’t worked out yet, it’s not the end.” Note to self: I should really listen to my own advice more often.
Finally, we made it through the maze of Burren irony to the main event. To normal tourists, they are known as the Cliffs of Moher, but to fans of the 80s cult classic the Princess Bride, like me, they are the Cliffs of Insanity.
As I inched closer to the perilous edge, I feel a lightness in my feet that that suggests gravity’s force has lessened. The sheer drop of the majestic cliffs is staggering, dare I say, insane. It’s easy to see where Princess Bride came up with the name.
Some people chose to be risky but not me. I was already to close to the edge (figuratively speaking) so I didn’t feel the need to tempt fate with more opportunities for irony. No dangling of legs over the edge. No leaning back to take selfies that might have been my last (Side note: do you know how many tourists are injured every year from selfie-related injuries? Lots. In 2015, more people died trying to take selfies than shark attacks).
The Princess Bride celebrates many simple life lessons. Never trust a six-fingered man. Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line. Doggedly pursue your life’s goal – “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
Among the many valuable life lessons learned from the Princess Bride, a particularly salient one comes from Westley. “Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says different is selling something.” Oh right, pioneering mid-career internships was never going to be all sunshine and rainbows (but admittedly there are quite of few of them if you keep you eyes open!).
"You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles." Stuff takes time. And just because I’m not where I think I should be, doesn’t mean I’m not where I need to be. It’s a hard-won journey to cross the eel-infested waters, scale the Cliffs of Insanity, and brave the Fire Swamp to reclaim what matters most to you. Even Dorothy couldn’t click her heels together until after the journey was over.
So standing safely back from the edge, I ponder the insanity of my grand adventure and why I ever thought four 4-month internships were a good idea. But toward the end of my visit, the sun broke through the clouds. Because sometimes the weather decides to indulge you and everything was beautiful in a way that it almost never is. For a brief moment, you begin to think there is no earthly request you could make that would be rebuffed. So into the soft breeze, I whispered my ask to the universe.
“As you wish,” the universe replied.
Nice to meet you...
I'm Andi (hence the blog name). I'm a travel aficionado, passionate eater, tireless explorer of internet rabbit-holes, and amateur thinker. Join me as I give it all up (ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration) and go around the world on a mid-career "soul sabbatical" & year-of-learning to figure out what to be NEXT when I grow up. Won’t you grab a cup of chai and stay a while?
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