I went to Hong Kong last year for a beachy adventure and to visit my friend Lee, but I also went to start a new birthday tradition for myself - to spend the time with myself, for myself, and to have an adventure on my own.
My birthday the year before had been the scene of the beginning of the end of my relationship with Perry, and as I said to him recently, is a day that will live in infamy. We finally broke up in the fall and then I moved out in late December, but around the time of my birthday I found myself thinking about the year before and all the things that had gone wrong with Perry and me.
For some reason, the trip to visit the Po Lin Monastery and the Big Buddha really helped me let go and forgive both of us. I took a gondola by myself up the mountain and then as you reach a particular height, there he is sitting on the mountain top, waving hello.
I walked to the Monastery where I had an amazing lunch and wandered the beautiful grounds, thinking and writing in my little journal. Butterflies followed me around almost everywhere I went in Hong Kong.
Perry and I had not been speaking much up to this point, but I found on this trip that I actually missed him and had moments when I wished he was there to enjoy things with.
But he would not have made it up all those stairs to the Buddha - and I was glad to be by myself to sort out feelings about so many things.
Once I got to the top of those 268 steps and spent some time surrounded by Big Buddha's serenity, I found I felt very grateful for everything in my life.
(this hand is fulfilling wishes)
(this hand is imparting fearlessness)
And the lovely ladies that surrounded him made me especially grateful for all the women in my life who have given me the gifts of their time, their laughter and their love and who have held me aloft when I felt like I was sinking.
I am grateful for them most of all.