Final Lessons From Our Journey On The Camino de Santiago (PICS/VIDEO)
I’m out of the country, once again. However, this time, I’m alone. Away from Luc, the boys, the dogs, work, U.S. politics and simply the overall busyness that seems to consume our lives.
I have to say, it’s pleasant to “just be” for a change. Even if it hasn’t been easy, I think we learn the most when we’re alone and out of our element.
So before I share my experiences in India, Bhutan, and Austria, I thought I’d better post about the last day on the Camino de Santiago with my Luc.
Although, I didn’t write a word the night we finished. After walking twenty-four miles, all I wanted to do is collapse, then celebrate over a bottle of vino. So, I thought I’d ask Luc if he wanted to share his thoughts; possibly something he learned from our experience on the Camino de Santiago.
And this is what he sent me:
What I have learned walking the Camino de Santiago…
My life has always been about achieving big goals, and when you walk the Camino, the only goal on your mind is to take the next step. And that’s not even a goal. You just wake up and walk.
And I never thought I could walk an entire day without listening to music or occupying my brain in some way.
But I did.
And it was amazing.
What affected me the most, is after all these years, I learned to live alongside my love-mate, Stacia, who is relentless in her pursuit of making us a better couple.
I realized after the two weeks we spent on the Camino together, I could actually retire, something I don’t think about, and be with her for the rest of my days. I was shocked at how easy it was for us to just be.
Also, I finally learned being present is not something you work at. It is something you feel and surrender to, from moment to moment. Even though it has felt in the past like being present isn’t in my DNA.
I truly enjoyed just “being”.
And I need and I want to learn to be in that state at all times.
Also, I realized on the Camino how much I love my wife and how much I admire her for what she stands for in life. I feel so sad for not telling her everyday how special she is. She would give her last piece of clothing, or food, to the first person that needs it.
I love her so much.
In the end, when you’re just BEING, is when you are truly living.
My god—my baby’s a writer! Well, after sitting him down and helping him some major editing—but he can always hire an editor. ;)
I will say I was deeply touched by his words.
However, if I’m speaking honestly and from the heart, I felt a little disappointed after the first week of being home.
Because I so missed “him”. The fun guy from the Camino. The guy who wasn’t preoccupied. The guy who I felt safe to be my full self with.
You see, I try and live every day like there won’t be a next, and to love like there won’t be another chance. It makes things difficult when you’re sharing a life with someone who’s mostly thinking about tomorrow.
In saying that, I love that he has a passion; that he wakes up every day excited about what he does for a living.
I also love the independence we have from one another.
Still, when we do have precious moments together—and my lifemate’s somewhere else, I find myself longing for more of “him”.
With all of the distractions life seems to hand us, most of us forget to truly live—or we just don’t know how to. And my Luc, understandably so, is exhausted when he gets home at the end of the day, like so many of us. The only thing that takes his mind off of tomorrow is Netflix. So, we get caught up in the same routine every night we’re alone. At times, me silently huffing, but mostly trying to make the best out of a non-wanted habitual activity—when I’d rather be sharing our days, staring into his eyes; melting into one another (not that I don’t love a few good Netflix shows).
Needless today, all the talking in the world hasn’t made that happen.
Then I wonder, what’s wrong with me? Why do I feel like I want to get so much out of each moment; so much out of our time together? Do I somehow deeply believe that this truly might be it? What if it is?
As I’ve said before, Luc and I couldn’t be more different from one another. He’s got the rest of his life planned out, when I don’t even know if tomorrow’s going to happen.
There’s gotta be a middle.
And he’s the only one I protect my heart from. The man I’m silently and madly in love with, still, after all these years.
The silver lining is, I’m witnessing something slowly changing within him. On the Camino, Luc tasted how it feels to fully live life on the edge, hanging on to each moment—like it’s all he has. Well, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. But, before I left for India, it felt as though he was having some sort of awakening—he would say things like, “I miss you...I’m sorry I’ve been so preoccupied...Can we talk?...I miss us”. That’s huge. Not to mention, he has no ego when reading my blog.
Funny, in writing this we sound like a perfect love story to me.
Because love is imperfect.
And there’s something my Luc did teach me years ago: it’s so much easier to give up. I would have run out the door years ago if it wasn’t for him. Not because I didn’t love him. I just wanted more. But one of Luc’s strongest assets is how he fights for what, and who he loves. He’ll never give up on anything, or anyone. And he has always fought to keep me in his life.
Still, there’s many times I have felt like slapping him across the face, just to wake him up.
I guess I have some learning to do while I’m away. ;)
In the end, we all suffer in different ways.
We are all learning. We are all growing. We are all figuring out who and what we are—and what’s important to us. And if we’re sharing a life with someone, being our most authentic and best selves can most certainly be a challenge.
That’s why some choose to be alone.
But as the old and cliché saying goes, the grass is never greener.
Now, back to our last day on the Camino de Santiago.
I have three words:
IT WAS PERFECT.
The photos and videos below say it all.
In closing, love those around you DEEPLY. If you’re in a relationship, never forget what drew you to your loved one in the first place. Keep it young and exciting—like you’ve never stopped dating—and constantly experience new and arousing things together. And, if you happen to be single, well, lucky you. Ha. All you have to do is work on YOU. Which is the only thing we should be doing anyhow. ;)