There’s a story about a mythic band of magic-loving Irish folk. Feeling the call for newness, they would forge out to settle on a new island. Necessarily, they would make the journey by ship. When they arrived to their next land they would unpack — and then promptly burn their boats. In a testament to looking forward and leaving behind your past…
I have this feeling that deep down that I never look back. If anyone asks, I will say I have no regrets in my life. It takes me ages, and tons of input, to make decisions- but once they are made – I am done with the other options, it is time to look forward. I never gave much thought to this, it is just the way I operate.
I have one mini-regret. When I was 23 I worked at Echo Valley Ranch in Clinton, BC as a cowgirl/wrangler. Once of the guests gave me the contact information for the esteemed Danny Virtue (www.virtuestudioranch.com) and a recommendation. Danny trains horses and stunt riders for the movies. My dream come true (well, it became my dream that day)!! A life as stunt rider. My desire to live fascinating experiences, be with horses and be a bit of a dare-devil fit with this opportunity perfectly. So I mailed, faxed and called Danny constantly for approx 2 weeks. I needed to move onto to the next phase of my life – a place to live, a job etc – so I couldn’t wait forever for this opportunity. And unfortunately, he never called me back.
So I moved on. At what point do I decide that the path I am now is actually better then a life of broken bones and great stories. But ultimately I think I did burn that boat – I just like to hold onto it as a story of opportunity.
I think the boat I actually need to burn – and I am definitely in the process of burning it – is to relieve other people in my life of responsibility for where I am today. Like Danny not returning my calls, my parents not being supportive enough, my ex doing whatever he did and my kid’s rude remark ruining my morning.
It is odd though – the stuff in my long-term memory, like my ex or parents, make sense to burn. But the more recent things don’t feel right – and I can’t explain it. So for now – anything I am comfortable classifying as ‘in the past’ is being loaded into a boat made of dry wood and being lit as I write. But the recent memories will have to wait for the next boat burning festival to see if they still warrant a celebration.