The End?

As the days of my tentative departure roll nearer, I find myself pulling further from the inevitable. I catch myself reading about famous people like Ian Flemming who could not pull themselves away from Jamaica. And I listen to friends and family share the same perplexity of not wanting to leave this magnetic island after the vacation has ended. Clearly, it’s not just me. All through the decades, men and women have come to this beautiful island and have fallen in love with the charming and lustrous scenery.

The EndThe last couple mornings have been spent walking around Mona Dam, and the afternoons at Hope Gardens or sitting on grass admiring the gorgeous UWI campus. Yesterday, I sat at a place called the Look-out-point encapsuled by mountains. For all the months I’ve been on campus, it was the first I’ve ever sat at that little old gazebo. This is the thing about Jamaica, no matter how many activities you do, there is still lots more to be done. Last Friday, I went to this lovely spot to celebrate the completion of the MBA program with fellow classmates. I can’t say how many times I’ve driven pass that venue, yet it was my first time setting foot in the vicinity. Sitting on the terrace lit with fluorescent lights and great company brought spark to the night. The clanging of wine glasses, loud laughter and constant picture taking is something to be remembered years from now.

Lately, I’ve found myself sitting by the benches at my residence with friends from all over the world, til late hours in the night. Already, we are reminiscing about what we’re going to miss about Jamaica. Leaving is just not easy for anyone. Many have extended their stays, not because they do not miss their homes and families, but because this island is an addictive drug that leaves you intoxicated by the experiences.

The EndVisiting Port Royal last Sunday, for the second time, brought me to a another era. After a scrumptious meal at the all-time favorite Gloria’s Restaurant, we walked around the little town taking in remnants of its history. We stopped by plaques on walls to familiarize ourselves with centuries old events that took place. We touched old canons and captured every moment of the experience with flashing cameras and with our sensory system. Yes, these are the experiences I will forever cherish.

Still, there is much that I would like to do here. Negril and the rest of the South West coast is a place I have not yet seen. I have not visited the famous Mystic Mountains, where I would have loved to go zip lining. The water shoes I had purchased for Ochio Rios, have still not been used to climb the falls. Also, I think it’s about time that I visit the lovely resorts here. And too bad, I might be going back home and still not officially conquered the fear of driving here. Since I’m in the Caribbean, I may as well use this time to go snorkelling or do some kind of deepsea diving, especially because I love water so much.

Related: Longing for you, Jamaica

But now I am out of time, unless of course like those before me, such as Ian Flemming and other friends, I find a way to make life here in Jamaica.

Time to Leave

May as well begin the farewell process. Happiness doesn’t last forever, and neither do vacations. Sooner or later the bliss ends, and reality begins. It’s just the way of life. I’m sad. Yes, I got used to life here; relationships, the sunshine, and the culture. I have come to embrace my own culture; the authentic piece of it, and not what I have been fed while living in Toronto. Yet, it seems I will have to leave behind all that I have learned to appreciate…again.

Time to Leave

Each time, I am faced with this severing, it leaves me feeling uncomfortable and in agony. How many times must I say good-bye? How many times must I experience new relationships- and then walk away? How many times must I start over?

The heavy coursework has abruptly been reduced; leaving me nothing but perceived free time, and mentally I am not prepared for this. So many things I had wanted to do- planned for, yet I do not have the drive to captivate myself with more vacation-activities. The MBA program drained every ounce of my energy, and has placed me in another frame of mind, “more work and less play.” I am trying to figure out what to do with my days now- as there is so much reading one can do for one class. I am left to my own thoughts- sometimes feeling uncertain about where my future will take me, and other times, excited that I will use my new skills and experience to make a world of a difference.

Time to LeaveSomeone told me that crossroads are good. Because they are always brimming with possibilities. This I am hopeful for. But at every crossroads, it seems, you have to give up one thing for another. And you can only hope that your decision is the best one. It has to be. This program coming to an end is pushing me to make a decision about the next phase in my life. I am torn. My emotions have been wrapped up on this experience and letting go isn’t so easy. It has been a tough journey to be here, and after experiencing all kinds of emotions- anger, when things aren’t going so great, frustration about the things I have no control of, and joy when life doesn’t seem it could get any better- I am now feeling sad and disappointed that this season of life is coming to an end. Because, I am not ready to move on. Yet, when the program ends, so does my purpose for being in Jamaica.

Making the decision to change directions is really hard. I have been in this state of calamity too many times; perhaps because I have travelled and have called many places home. When I left Jamaica the first time, it was like ripping a band-aid from a fresh wound. But I regained stability, and found a new place to call home. Now, it seems I am about to endure a similiar process. I am looking for a way to find harmony in my soon-to-make decision. Because building relationships and then cutting them is just not okay. Is there a solution? Must I journey through life, emotionless?

Related: The End?

Perhaps, I will have to take my own preventative measure to overcome ‘this’; by making periodical visits, and be sure to take remnants of the experience with me- like, photographs of the memories, and contact information to stay in touch with those I cared about. Yes, it is inevitable that “all good things must end”, but it doesn’t mean that I have to lose all the people that played a part in my life. I simply cannot go through that again. Although I am saying good-bye to one season- maybe this is the door to another amazing experience. And maybe, just maybe this time, it is not ‘farewell’ afterall, but ‘welcome home’ instead.