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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Wowk


Departure. A piece inspired by 3 degrees.

One year ago; today. I boarded the plane from London Heathrow, and spent an anxious 10 hours over the Atlantic Ocean giving myself the pep talk of a lifetime. I could easily look back on that day and identify it as the worst day of 2014. The odds were stacked against it. I was hung over from the relishing of my last evening in Britain. I’d spent it in enviable company, discussing the meaning of life over a precarious variety of wines in an assortment of London’s imbibing establishments. But it wasn't the hangover or the lack of sleep that made me restless; it was the feeling of utter defeat. The view from my window seat quite unapologetically suggested that I had been conquered on all fronts; losing my battles against time, against Britain, against visas, and most egregiously, against the inevitable turning of the page to my next chapter of life.

This game I play, a year ago today, I call it – is sadistic. It suggests that the forthcoming chapter life is asking me to write isn't worthy, but this bit here, the one that occurred in the past, this is worth further re-reading.

The absurdity of this game is that I won’t even re-read a tangible story, never mind one I construct day in and day out. Furthermore, I routinely consider myself a positive, forward thinker, yet I allow myself this mind-boggle as if to satiate the ego that fears the unknown.

Admittedly, on my best days, I don’t entertain this game. I embrace the guidance delivered by the universe. I accept where I am, and I smile with a happiness that stems from inner patience and strength. As with all the best things in life, these days are well appreciated because they are infrequent. But then I consider today. Today, the 2015 version, is an average day. No great battles have been won, but no defeats suffered either. And so, the game was played, but played in such a way that it suddenly felt tired. Because compared to the defeat of a year ago, I believe now that life is always getting better -- even if I don’t see it; especially when I don’t see it. My conviction? As I burrow in against the bitter cold of winter, shivering in the wind, acquiescing to the irony of a “feels like” single digit degree-day -- because the reality is you don’t feel anything in this frigidity – I realize what’s simultaneously occurring is the days are growing longer. That’s right. Minute by minute the sunlight is extending its stay, building its way towards Spring. This inconspicuous display captures the humble patience of nature and the careful forward cycle of life. That’s to say, even in the winter of my visible life, there’s an invisible solstice propelling me forward.

So on this day, a year from now, I can remember a new kind of departure: a moment of levity granting freedom from fearing the chapter that’s to be written. And perhaps I’ll let my mind wander and wonder, did the lessons of Wheels Up simultaneously arrive with fear’s departure? Or was it just a figment of my manifestation?

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