I came upon him on my 2nd day of trekking through Sa Pa. I was near the end of the trek, walking up a seemingly endless cement path through a local village, when he appeared. He was on a table with a few other water buffalo’s along with other knick knacks, bracelets and items for sale to the many tourists that all finish their treks here.
He was wedged in between 2 other colourful water buffalo friends and when I moved him, he immediately fell forward as if to say “hey pick me!”. I set him back upright and picked up the other 2 to check them out but I kept coming back to the one that fell forward. His ‘nostrils’ were not in the right spots and he kept falling forward no matter how I placed him and his horns were a bit askew. The other 2 were perfectly balanced and had matching nostrils. But I knew I was meant to take him with me. So I did.
He reminds me that it’s okay to fall every once in a while and to not put so much stock into matching nostrils or any other body parts for that matter. And that perfection is over-rated. Brene Brown writes in Daring Greatly (and I paraphrase) that perfectionism doesn’t exist so it’s self-destructive to even try and attain it. It’s a 20 tonne shield that we drag around constantly having to put up in front of us when we come in contact with other people thinking it will protect us from being seen. That is exhausting.
I’ve been working on letting go of the need for everything to be perfect. For my life on the surface to be organized so that it feels like everything else in my life is organized.
I’m working on feeling into everything that is rising, the discomfort, the sadness, the anxiety that comes with living paycheque to paycheque, in some cases having to get help to make sure rent is paid, all of it.
At 46 my life isn’t what I thought it would be. It’s so much better. And hopefully I get at least another 46 years, if not more, to have adventures, make mistakes, see sunrises and sunsets in other countries, fall in love, make new friends, eat questionable cuisine, and to just experience life on this amazing planet. I am so grateful.