I was watching a PBS show one day and saw the host mining gems in Sri Lanka. Since I didn’t believe in the diamond industry, I nonchalantly asked my girlfriend at the time if she wanted to go there to mine for an engagement gem. We booked flights for a trip 3 months away. Fast-forward to departure day and we were no longer together (don’t worry, we occasionally keep in touch and I still think she’s a rock star). I still went. Travel is probably my number 1 passion.

 

Haggling over gems in Sri Lanka

These are photos are from my trip. I went out to the gem mines to see if they would allow me to go underground. Unfortunately, the rains had made it too dangerous to go below. But I still got to see the process and haggle for stones for 8 HOURS! It was one of the most enriching trips of my life. At the time, I travelled to “find myself.” Now, I just travel and I AM myself- all the good, all the bad and most importantly, what’s yet to come. Where for the first 42 years of my life, I didn’t understand JUST how much power I had over my own destiny, I now completely understand.

Life is just a series of choices we make. As long as our intent is good, it’s always the right decision. How it plays out can’t be determined in the moment, or even months later. So there’s no such thing as a good or a bad choice. It’s just choice. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have REGRETS. I have lots. I have lots of regrets for the choices I made or the words I used when my intent wasn’t good. I have regrets about the first 40 plus years of my life and how selfish I was. I hurt people. But I also know that if I didn’t go through THAT part of my life, I wouldn’t have come to this EXACT moment, where I am happy most of the time. I still speak out of emotion and ego. I can say hurtful things. I’m still learning.

Mining Gems in Sri Lanka

For me, time is the most important commodity I have and it shrinks daily. So I NOW speak plainly, show my frustrations easily, and have those difficult conversations with people that everyone needs to have in life with at least one person, freely. I’m not afraid to show who I am because I’m not going to be loved by everybody. So it doesn’t matter. I’m just me. And I want to cultivate that- a community that is accepting of themselves and everyone else. We all have fucked up and will continue to do so. That wont change. We make mistakes. We’re human. But if we surround ourselves by similarly intent-ed people, the mistakes happen less often. I don’t know about you, but I need help too.