Just Passing Through
I have recently taken in a puppy to care for during the quarantine of 2020, while I’m holed up alone in my apartment in Marrakech for 3 months. It is HIGHLY unusual for me to be in one place for this long having moved to Morocco specifically to explore this side of the world, which I do, venturing out at LEAST once a month.
When I chose to take Moose, I did it with 100% crystal clear intention that there was, is and never will be a glimmer of a chance that I will keep him long term. He HAS to be gone by the time I board my summer flight to Canada. Its a bit of a win, win, win situation really because he gets to have someone to help him flourish while he is a baby, I get someone to clean up after, and the shelter where he was has one less mouth to feed at a time when donations and staff have dried up. I have no worries about waving goodbye to the little guy. Oh sure, I’ll miss the company and I have become very fond of his little quirks and noises. But he will go to a good home, and I will carry on my merry way.
There are a lot of folks out there that don’t understand this “ability to separate” and it leads me to examine this whole affair in more detail. Because that’s what I do. I examine. I like to place things neatly into perspective. I am fascinated by the human experience and it really helps me to gather all these things into the basket of my brain and create a point of view. Here it is.
When I lost my Dad 18 months after losing my Mom, I was at loose ends. I had lost my position in a company that I had given my heart and soul to (don’t even get me started on that), a few years before. I was sort of “loose in the world.” I had always arranged my life (within said company) in such a way as to either be close to my parents, or at a very purposeful distance. But I didn’t just roam around. I did everything “relative” to my parents and my work. Always. There was a lot of “survivors guilt” going on from my youth, and I felt very responsible to them.
So when I lost them I found myself thinking, “I am not responsible to any one, for any thing.” I mean, because of my past lifestyle of frequent travel, I was living in a “lock the door and go” townhouse. I didn’t even have a house plant back then. Nada.
So, to remedy that situation, I got a puppy – little Daisy. I got her when she was just old enough to fly the coop, and I loved her like I have never loved anything else on this earth (aside from people, of course).
Having a puppy in a townhouse with a lot of stairs was less than optimal, so I bought her a house. The backyard was unfenced and a swamp when I moved in so I built her a fence and leveled the entire yard. (She hated that $10,000 yard, by the way). I had so much guilt leaving her every day to go across the city for work, that I quit my job and started one where I could work from home. I mean, Daisy was my entire life. She trained me just the way she wanted me and it worked for both of us. For 6 1/2 years.
And then I went to Morocco on a holiday. I was super unhappy, and very lonely and lost in Toronto at the time, and when I saw the promise of life abroad, with unlimited travel, a great business opportunity and a beautiful life that I could design for myself, I knew that I had to take it. Because for a few years I had prioritize my love of Daisy over my own life direction. It took soul searching, a really fucking healthy and resilient brain, and a stiff backbone to make that final decision, but I am strong person and Daisy, (the love of my life yes, but ultimately a dog), could not stand in the way of me flourishing as a vibrant human being. We had to part ways.
I worked very hard and found Daisy a home that is SO perfect. There has not been even one millisecond that I ever regretted giving Daisy to her new family. In fact, as I sit here just thinking of them all, I am in tears. I love her new family as if they were my own family. I am so happy for Daisy for having them in her life and so thankful for the love they give to her and to me. Of all the things in my life, that re-homing is and always will be one of my greatest accomplishments. Daisy is happy. She will always be part of my life and she is my family. But she is a better dog for having been left to live a life that suits her, and I am better for living my life, on my terms, in a way that brings me great joy.
So fast forward 4 years and here I am in Morocco. I have always missed having another “soul” in my house, but there are trade-offs in life and I heading to the airport cures any worries I have about that. I am living a life that I am so grateful for. A life that allows me to see beautiful places on a regular basis. I can experience and learn about different cultures, not just the one I live in, but the ones I am exposed to by the people I meet. I have friends and acquaintances from all over the world. Part of the “expat” culture is to be curious about the world and to share your perspective of things with others, to compare and contrast. We get to examine hundreds of different perspectives on a regular basis.
By the very virtue of how I have chosen to live, at home and abroad, I also accept the bare naked simple most basic fact of this existence, I am in this alone, and 95% of the people I meet are just passing through my field of vision. I have said goodbye to a boatload of people in my lifetime. Some come back, some don’t, and every single one of them was valued for what they brought to my life, (good or bad) and for the lesson I learned from them. Some of the people I know today will disappear from my life before the summer is up. Others will be a valued part of my life for many years to come. Saying goodbye to people has been a thing for me all my life. When I left Boston I said good bye to a ton of people I loved. Worse when I left Banff the first time, and Victoria, and Toronto, Calgary and so on. Some of those people are reading this blog post. It’s part of life. It’s how it is. People, places, dogs, cats, family, loved ones, fish, homes, plants, they come and they go. Drift in, drift out. But we are resilient humans and we take what we need and we shed what we don’t and we carry on to the next lovely thing we are blessed with.
Moose will be ok. I’ll be ok. YOU will be ok. Enjoy what you have today. Enjoy what you have tomorrow. Be thankful for the luck you have in knowing things that bring that joy.