The word I chose for guidance in 2023 was Allow. I imagined this word could give me the extra encouragement l need in reaching out to the world with my creativity. Allow people to see and like and support and help me. Allow seems such a graceful form of permission.
But this week, I needed Allow to help me out in another way. I screwed up so badly that l was having a hard time forgiving myself. It felt that bad.
Last week, I had gone ahead and booked my son’s and my tickets for our Ireland trip in March. But I didn’t know what I was doing, and I thought I could change them. And when I finally found the travel agent I obviously had needed, she let me know I’d screwed it up, paid way too much, and there was no recouping my over two thousand dollar losses. l had been feeling nauseous about this for a reason. I then F-bombed in front of strangers and cried while I drove home.
I was just beginning to feel a little better coming out of my holiday of horror. But now I’d placed a dark mark on this wonderful trip with my son to celebrate him and his birthday/graduation.
I found myself in a regret and shame loop, trying desperately to Allow myself to be human and make this mistake. But this was the kind of mortification and shame that you’re happy to go to sleep to forget and then you wake up and remember. There’s something deeper at work here. I cried the next day when something else happened that stressed me out. I didn’t want to tell anyone how I’d messed up.
I was awaiting on these feelings to subside, wanting to remember the important difference between money and people. I was waiting to allow myself joy despite a costly mistake. Wanting to Allow myself to make this mistake.
I decided to call British Airways and see if there was anything they could possibly do to help me. My call led me to sales associate Karen in Durham in Northern England. Her accent was tending towards Scottish, and it made me feel better to hear her talk. And then I held my breath while she clickety clacked her keyboard. After she looked at my bookings, she said this never happens but somehow the flight I booked out of Ireland was completely refundable. And I held my breath as she changed my tickets to reflect a true round trip, a couple more days car, and refunded my very expensive mistake.
I cried again out of joy. Because I had made right what I was certain was unfixable.
I’d allowed myself the possibility that there was still hope. I had done everything I could.
All’s well that ends well ? Maybe, but I am suspicious of how I seem to regularly create chaos. Why does the lack of money feel like an integral issue for me? Why haven’t I touched base with my former therapist to have a catch-up chat?
Meanwhile, my soul is clean. By whatever miracle, the Universe gifted me another chance to do this trip right and enjoy myself. I will not squander it. And hopefully, all mistakes I make around this trip won’t be as heinous as this one and I’ll laugh at them and know how insignificant they are comparatively.
If only our passports would get here.
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