Do you believe in Destiny? I do.
Call it what you will: Fate, Intuition, the Guiding Hand, Guardian Angels.
All I know is that what I call Destiny, worked it's magic on me 11 years ago today.
At a Bachelor Party. In Greece. And no! I was NOT the entertainment!
Let me set the scene. Me, 24, freshly graduated from University. On my first liberating, thrilling, solo adventure travelling across Europe. I didn't have an itinerary. I went wherever my hunches were guiding me. Staying in hostels, pensiones and monasteries my heart was brimming with delight every morning I'd awake. I felt grateful and blessed. I felt I was on the right Path.
My father was born in Greece and I wanted to visit the town where my father was born. It's a beautiful town located by the sea, at the base of Mount Olympus (home to the Ancient Greek Gods). So yes, you may refer to me as a Grecian Goddess :)
I really didn't know much about my relatives but they knew all about me. I was greeted with amazing unconditional love, feasts, hugs, paraded about town, elderly people stopped me in the street because I bore an uncanny resemblance to my Grandmother, who would have been about my age when she boarded the Ship for a new life in Australia.
As it happened, my timing was impeccable. I'd arrived in time to attend a wedding the next day of a cousin I'd never met. Staying at an elderly Aunts house my cousin came to introduce himself. He wanted to take me out to his Bachelor Party that night. Desperately shy and with my extremely bad Greek I tried to back out of the situation saying that girls don't traditionally attend these events, so the boys can let loose. He insisted he'd take me out for one drink then he'd bring me home. I was about to protest again when THE VOICE inside me (intuition? guardian angel?) confidently and gently said: "Go...Go...". Whatever that voice is, it's never failed me. I knew something was instore for me that night so I accepted. And this was the moment where my Life Changed.
My cousin took me to a stylish bar where a group of young men were waiting for him at a table. There were all dressed nicely. I was in my best backpacker outfit of black capris, black skivvy, Camper Mary-Janes and a little Virgin Mary handbag I'd bought in Barcelona. I had no hair product so I'd tamed my frizzorama with coconut suntanning oil. But I was wearing my ravishing Red Lancôme lipstick from London so I was not totally feral.
Introductions were made as we sat down. An empty chair was next to me. My cousin called out to a young man ordering drinks at the bar. His back was turned to us as I scanned him up and down. He was dressed in a Parsian/Nautical style with a striped sweater, jeans and luscious black spiky hair with a hint of salt and pepper. He turned around and KABOOM!
His smile, his eyes, the long lashes, the Cary Grant-esque dimple in his chin, his humour, the mischievous twinkle in his eyes. I felt like I was HOME.
One drink turned into 3 drinks, followed by another club, followed by dancing at the Bouzoukia, the night finally ending up at a little cafe serving 'patsa' (a soup made from pigs intestines perfect after you've had too many drinks, mmmm...mmmm). There was joy in our smiles, incredible beautiful energy connecting us and everyone could see it. We were inseperable. We danced, he made me laugh all night, we communicated via his broken English and my juvenile Greek. It's like we'd known each other all our lives.
There was no hanky-panky or kissy-kissy that night but the feelings were there. I'd never ever felt like this before. I'd never felt more comfortable, or at ease, or natural with anybody. I KNEW.
My cousin walked me back home at 6am. As soon as the doors of the lift to the apartment opened I was greeted by my dishevelled aunt, who looked up at the ceiling as if searching for God, and doing the sign of the Orthodox Cross.
"Oh my God, Heavenly Father!! Where were you? Where did they take you? Why did you take so long? I thought you were dead somewhere. What was I going to tell your father? What was I going to tell your father?!!!!!!!!!!!". And then she made the sign of the cross about another 20 times.
I greeted my aunt with a cuddle, a kiss and a smile of Bliss as I floated back to my bedroom. Life was Good! I grabbed my journal and wrote these words: "I know I'm crazy, but I LOVE him. I LOVE HIM! I LOVE HIM!!!
I had pre-booked a little side-trip to Italy which I was now reluctant to take. But it was only for 2 weeks then I'd return to Greece. I used it as an opportunity to clear my head and open my heart to what Life had in store. Sitting in a little chapel in Venice, at the feet of the Virgin Mary, I prayed. I would not call myself religious, but more Spiritual. I vowed to honour myself and my feelings and to speak my truth. My Truth being that I was in Love. Real Love, not lust nor infatuation. I never knew anything more completely than I did this fact. And I had to be Brave to admit my feelings. It was Now or Never. I had to tell him. I would rather face Rejection and Humiliation (my biggest fears) than regret not giving this a chance.
I returned to Greece and my cousins took me out for a drink. As Fate would have it, my Beloved was at the bar. I sat next to him, my heart in my mouth. He turned to me and said "I was counting the days while you were away". "Oh, really," I answered, "how long was I gone for?" He turned to me and looked me directly in the eyes and said "Thirteen". It's true, I was away in Italy for exactly 13 days.
He then continued to say in his shy, soft-spoken voice that he didn't know how I felt but that he'd developed deep feelings for me. KA-CHING!!!! He then looked away, awaiting rejection. I took him by the hand and admitted I felt exactly the same way.
To cut along story short, I took the plunge and moved to Greece. I said goodbye to my friends, my family, my work. It was the Wildest, Bravest, Craziest, Most Honest act I'd ever done in my Life. My beloved and I became engaged and we ran a Greek restaurant by the sea for a couple of years (my adventures in the tavern frying calamari warrant blog posts of their own!).
After 3 years in Greece we married and began our new life in Australia. I now look at our 3 precious girls and think that they wouldn't be here if this shy, young gal hadn't taken the Biggest Leap of Faith in Her Life.
In the Beginning...
|At our tavern in Greece 'Zorba's' (yes, very original, I know)|
Our Wedding in Greece
|Entering the Church together|
|Here I was counting all the Blessings that|
brought me to this very moment in my life
Our Life in Oz
Our Cheeky Minxes
Moral of the Story is: Follow Your Heart Always and Trust your Intuition.
Has Destiny played a guiding hand in your life?