Last weekend I went on my first ever office trip; it was something I had really wanted to do and something I had to fight for to do. Boy was I glad I did.
The trip was a two day getaway from the city of Colombo. Don’t get me wrong, I like the city. I like the buzz and hub of it all, but at heart I am a nature girl. I love trees, I love being able to see the stars in an expansive sky with no skyscrapers to block my view. I love fresh air and the feeling of feeling small in the world. There is a big difference I think between feeling small in a crowded city and feeling small in the face of the natural world. One makes you feel unimportant, the other gives you perspective.
Our first stop was the Lakshapana waterfall. I had no idea where we were going to be honest. I just knew we were going to visit a waterfall.
The road trip there was in a bus. For a girl who loves travelling this was adventure at it’s best because well I have never been on a long trip on a bus like this. Funny thing, I didn’t feel an ounce of nervousness. I was all excitement and couldn’t wait to get on the road. On the way of course there was singing, jokes, shouting, silly arguing, and me, being me, I just sat on the sidelines and watched. I really wish I could be more participating at times like that but I just can’t it seems.
On arriving in the vicinity of the waterfall we had to walk a little to actually get to Lakshapana. The walk on the mountain road was refreshing and made me feel alive after so long. After the road it was a downward trip on uneven steps that really was tiring but I wanted to get to the waterfall first and so I made it down them pretty quickly and got there with another friend before anyone else. Then to actually get even closer to the waterfall cause hey, I am a daredevil at heart (a risk-assessing one), I climbed, jumped, scrambled up a whole bunch of rocks by myself and, okay, I was given a hand once, I made it to as close as you can get without actually swimming to the waterfall. That was a life inspiring moment. To stand there with the sound of crashing water, to feel the wind rip through your hair and the spray of water on your skin, I totally understood why people scream in those moments. There is no other way to express your awe and wonderment. Keeping silent doesn’t do it justice! So I screamed! I put my hands out to the side, closed my eyes and screamed with awe, wonder and joy!
Everyone else made it to that point eventually, some of the guys had already gotten there, and we all either sat or lay on the rocks and for the first time since coming here I felt like myself again. With my feet serving as a headrest, surrounded by friends, these awesome individuals so different from each other but united in that moment by the single experience of seeing a waterfall up close, I, felt whole again. The last two years had been such a train wreck that I really was shattered like a mirror, but that one moment, somehow, managed to start to pull all the pieces of me back together.
The trip was fun, it was an experience, but it was a much needed turning point in my life. It reminded me who I was. It reminded me that my best qualities were still in there somewhere, lost deep in the junk that is disappointment and hurt and hopelessness and fear. I got reminded that I was a survivor, but more importantly a fighter. Someone who has had to face tough situations her entire life but who never gave up hoping that things would get better; that everything happens for a reason. It also taught me that my life was completely in my hands. I decide where it is heading, who stays in it, who goes out. I do not have to be led; I can lead my own life!