Yesterday I turned down an interesting work/travel opportunity. Well, not just 'interesting'. Exotic, scary and loosey-goosey might actually describe it better.
It had been in the works for months; an opportunity to travel to India for a week (only a week! So short!) and make music with a mixed group of Indian and Canadian musicians at a festival in Delhi. I'd been invited this summer, but funding difficulties had reared their ugly heads and for months I'd been unsure of whether or not there would be money for me to go. So I'd gone ahead and made other plans, and of course the gods laughed their mocking laughter and some tentative funding arrangements came through last-minute and suddenly, with just over a week before the trip, here I was being told that if I could just run out and apply for a travel visa and then when I returned from the trip if I could just apply for a grant to cover the cost of my plane ticket etc, and ififif, then I could be getting on a plane in a week's time and flying into Delhi.
And I said no.
And yes, there were regrets, but they were so superficial that I had to laugh at myself even as I was having them, because they were almost totally along the lines of what will I tell this person/that person that will make them understand why I said no? and will I be less of a cool person, less of an adventurer if I don't go? Stuff like that.
Maybe an opportunity like this one will never present itself again, and of course I have regrets about that. But you know what? In the space of the last half-year, I got cancer, had major surgery, broke off a very long relationship, worked and lived away from my home for 5 months, fell for people who didn't feel the same way about me, came home, moved house and jumped straight into a busy and demanding work schedule.
I don't have anything to prove.
If I want to stay at home and get caught up, emotionally and financially and artistically, rather than spend 8 days blowing money I don't have halfway around the world, that's okay. If I want to spend next week practicing music and crossing things off my to-do list and planning my future, that's okay too. The trip sounded under-planned and my presence was more due to the fact that they wanted a female musician to be involved than that they had any real idea of who I was or what I did.
I will continue to try and say yes to the very things that scare me the most, because I know that the scary things have the biggest pay-offs, most of the time. But today, as I type this and stare out of the window at the fall leaves and the mountains, I say to myself I am home. And here I stay, at least for now. And the feeling of relief is strong and sweet.