I’ve added something new to the Roatan Vortex site called: What I talk About. It’s actually called categories, but I can give it any title I want. When I first set-up this website/blog I was given the option of creating categories then. But at that time,
A) I was too new to blogging to feel comfortable with adding another step. I found tagging tough enough to comprehend.
B) I figured I was always going to be writing about day-to-day life on Roatan so why did I need categories to group stories in.
Well that was seven months ago. Now, 50 stories, 190 tags, and more than 50,000 page views later—by the way, thanks for stopping by! I appreciate the value of categories. It’s an easier way for you to navigate through the Roatan Vortex.
I read through each story I had posted, so I could group them in categories with a similar thread of content. When you click on Tropical Fruit: How to Eat a Kiwi, What an Orange Really Tastes Like, Pineapples Take too Long to Compost—I think I’ll Plant Them, and other stories that relate to tropical fruit will come forward for you to read.
As I created the names for each category, one in particular stuck out—Just Being. I adding some of the stories I had written to this category, but I realized that none of them clearly stated my opinion of what it means to Just Be.
So here it is—from a Roatan Vortex point of view—of course.
Soon after moving to Roatan a family emergency called me back to Ontario for a few weeks. I quickly made arrangements and boarded a flight the next day. My stop in Miami was uneventful, through immigration in a matter of moments—I was in transit to Canada, not sticking around in the USA for more than an hour. Then my next flight landed in Toronto, Canada.
I’m carrying my Canadian passport. I’m home! There should be no delay here.
I approached the Canadian Immigration Officer perched on a high stool, a stern scowl on his face. His uniform, perfectly pressed, with sharp creases in the midnight blue material exactly where they should be. I couldn’t see his black boots from my position on the other side of the steel grey counter. But I’m sure they were polished to a reflective shine, with the laces snugged too tight.
I smiled, handed him my passport, and croaked a nervous hello. I’m always convinced I look guilty of something when I meet an authority figure. I know that’s silly of me, I just can’t seem to help it.
He accepted the passport I offered with a firm hand, only his forearm moved. The rest of his body maintained the rigid pose, the scowl still on his face.
I waited, while he scanned the passport, and then flipped through the entries and exits stamped on the pages.
“Your address?” he asked.
He shifted slightly, one eyebrow twitched. “You don’t know your address?”
Of course I do, I quickly rhymed off my Canadian mailing address. Technically I don’t think that counted for what he was looking for. But heck it’s all I’ve got in Canada.
“What do you do?”
I couldn’t proceed until I answered.
The scowl on his face transforming in to something even harsher, as it appears he now has one angry eyebrow where before there was a gap of unclenched skin between the two.
The line of fellow passengers standing behind me start to fidget, they are also anxious to be on their way. Great, now I’m really in trouble—I’m taking too long to answer this simple question.
“What do you do in Canada?” the Officer leaning forward, asking me again.
“Ahhh, nothing.” I replied. Definitely not the best answer I could have given but in my nervous state it was what came to mind.
Ever since I quit my job, sold my house, and moved to Roatan I’ve realized, who I am in my home country, is defined by what I do and where I live. When did that happen? When I was a child nobody asked what I did. I just was! Mind you they did ask, “What do you want to do when you grow up? Or the ever popular, what do you want to be?”
“Are you a student?” my Immigration Officer suggested. I obviously needed help with declaring what I do.
“No, I am not in school,” I replied.
“Are you independently wealthy?”
“Hardly,” I snort.
“Are you retired?”
Oh, I’ve been asked this one before. It seemed to be my best shot at getting permission to leave.
“Yes, I am retired.” I bobbed my head up and down.
“Isn’t retirement age around 65? Are you 65?”
“No!” I snorted again.
I guess the word retired has the same condemnation of the questions asked of me when I was a child. However, once retired the question changes to…What DID you do?
With a heavy sigh and an annoyed glance at his watch, the Canadian Immigration Officer abruptly shifted his position, swiping a red slash on my declaration form. “Proceed, welcome back to Canada…next!”
As I walk quickly through the maze of corridors that will get me out of the airport I consider what I want to say whenever I am asked—what do you do?
What I do is irrelevant. Just being is all that really matters!
I originally wrote and posted this story at my old Travel Blog site. It was titled, What do you do?
Although at that time I had just moved to Roatan and was living out of a suitcase this story is still relevant today.