Story Time.

The One About Monkeys In Peru…

I have recently
I have changed my mind a lot lately… I generally have a hard time following a thought all the way
Whatever… I’m starting a new category on this blog thing… it will be called “Story Time.”  I have so many stories, from so many journies, and I am terrible at sitting down and writing things out in a journal, then rewriting parts of the journal to create a decent story or blog, adding photos and captions so that friends, family, really anyone who is interested, can easily view my trip…
Instead, I think of a great story to tell, or blog to post, or video to make about something, and I begin to tell the story, get super sidetracked (and tell several other stories that I actually didn’t intend on telling) and never end up completing a thought.
One might relate it to a toddler trying to explain their exciting day, or a dog who loses sight of the task at hand due to their distracting tail, wagging in their peripherals. It simply must be chased…

where was I?


So…what I have decided is that I will tell random parts of random stories in no particular order… People close to me will know where the stories came from, and if you feel like you’re part of a story feel free to reach out as I have no intention of calling anyone out if they don’t wish to be!

[One day I will try to link the stories together.]

Let’s start with a random memory I had while staring into a field behind my house this morning… for no reason other than I wanted to hang out and stare into a field.

Scene: Deep Into An Amazon Rainforest In Peru

…. I sat on the dock with some new friends enjoying the perfect April weather and the incredible views.

Everyone ensured me that it was a safe place should I need to talk to anyone about absolutely anything at all. Being too proud to talk about anything that I actually went to the retreat for, I used my time to ask one new friend if he had ever witnessed a monkey visiting the retreat…
Let’s recap… Nothing about the anxiety and depressive states I had been overcoming or the (what feels like) panic attacks I’ve been silently fighting off alone. Certainly, I did not bring up the fact that I had attempted to come to the exact place that we were currently sitting in…right then…only 8 months prior, but had to fly home due to the sudden passing of my 33-year-old sister… Nope! Instead, I asked if he had ever seen a monkey during his time in the Amazon jungle (of course he had) but it wasn’t until much later that I realized how effectively he had actually answered that question, and the questions I had following it.

Looking out at this view…
…you should see it at night, just a clear blanket of stars with sounds of nature coming from every direction.
[Sidenote: I do apologize to everyone for the lack of photos I take on my trips. I enjoy living in the moment and I will leave the professionals to do the work when it comes to taking hundreds of photos.]

Anyways, I basically hung out by the water the entire time I was at the retreat. I could barely peel myself away from the dock for the other activities that this mini paradise had to offer.
At this particular time, most of the others had retreated to their own spaces leaving me and one other member to hang out on the dock. Now, as some may already know (for no known reason) I am extremely awkward, super uncomfortable with one on one silence or forced small talk, as well as talking about myself in general for that matter. So, as I vividly remember the conversation went something like this:

Me: Sooo many noises, eh? That one sounds like a monkey. Is it a monkey? Have you ever seen a monkey while you’ve been here? At the retreat, I mean not just in the jungle in general. Any monkeys?
[Sidenote: They were mostly birds]

Friend: Occasionally if you’re really still you can see them but always remember for every one monkey you see, many more can see you. They’re hard to spot because they want to be. They no longer trust humans because of the hunters and they have had to adapt and learn to not be seen.

Me: NO! People hunt monkeys!? *weird sad face my toddler nephew makes*

Friend: People have to feed their family. Cows are sacred in many places yet you might find it acceptable to kill and eat them where you’re from.
[Sidenote: It is always painstakingly obvious that I am Canadian.]

Me: I think I want to be a vegetarian. I actually can’t imagine having to kill any animals at all.
[Sidenote: I am not a vegetarian but one day I might be]

Friend: Here that would mean that you can imagine your family starving, and possibly not surviving.

Me: *unappealing, jaw-dropped, mouth open face that my toddler nephew has perfected* I’ve never really looked at it that way…

Friend: You’ve never had to. 

At the time I thought “this guy hates me and my ignorant North American views” but now I see that (though maybe that was also the case, kidding, kidding…) he was teaching me something much more.

The moral?!
Whatever you want it to be! Your mind has already created what you take from a story before you even finish reading it. Sometimes it’s a lesson and sometimes it’s just a story. Your views and opinions are yours alone and they are built off of every single thing you’ve witnessed in this life. As time goes on, or you open up, you allow room for change and growth.

What this taught me though, is that life truly is about making decisions that matter to you and those you choose to care for. I mean, the list could be incredibly short because you only love yourself (that’s great, self-love is flippin’ important!) or massively long because you have so many feelings for everything and everyone (also, so damn great) that choice is yours alone.

Just because you don’t agree with something does not make it wrong. Learn and teach and learn some more.

So often on my travels to many different parts of the World, I have “accidentally” learned so many lessons similar to this from unexpected teachers. Teachers who most often aren’t classified as a “teacher” at all. Most are simply incredible people with incredibly different beliefs.
You can find whatever negative information your subconscious mind is looking for if you stay in a close-minded state and the same is true when searching for positivity.

Try to choose the latter and see where it takes you.

“Be not afraid of greatness; some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”
– William Shakespeare