All tagged healing
Last year I radically purged my life and chose to travel indefinitely because I want to find my edges. I want to question them and challenge them. Then I want to push past them.
My solo trip around the world is motivated by an obsession to redefine what I think is possible, what I think I’m capable of. So I've decided to go full Hemingway. I'm spending three frozen months in the isolated Latvian countryside in an off-grid house. Seems like that’ll do the trick.
It’s 6:07 pm and 91 degrees outside. Beads of sweat bubble up at every pore, as they’ve been doing since the moment I landed in Montezuma, Costa Rica.
My knee caps are sweating. I’m standing barefoot and braless in the grungy bathroom of a grungy hostel, attempting to wash all seven of my underwear in a tiny bucket set inside the grungy sink. I’m using the dwindling bar of lavender castile soap I’ve hauled around since I left for Indonesia more than three months ago.
Both metaphorically and literally, I came to Bali to be stripped. Intentionally, delicately, fiercely stripped. I came to Bali to challenge every drop of ego and pretense I held dear. I came to Bali to heal.
My time on The Island of the Gods has been a firestorm of transformation. Just over five weeks later, I don’t recognize myself. My love letter to Bali is one of gratitude for the lessons she taught me, or reinforced, or drilled into my stubborn brain. Either way, the lessons are the thing.
Sweeping, sweeping, sweeping...the swooshing sound of sticks and dried palm fronds on Mr. Gede's handmade broom begin before the sun rises, and never truly ends.
One of my most visceral memories of this island will be the sound of rough brooms scraping stone sidewalks. Walk down any street at any time of day and you'll see shop owners sweeping the corner of the world carved out for their livelihood. Even the woman who sells sarongs at the beach, in a Sisyphean display of resilience, sweeps sweeps sweeps the encroaching sand.
You can't walk a more than a few feet in Bali without needing to navigate around an offering. They're on the ground, in the road, on top of shop signs, teetering on the handlebars of a scooter, stacked high on temple steps, spilling out of cubby holes cut into the black stone buildings, giant statues all decked out and dressed up with fresh flowers and colorful fabrics...everywhere.
You enter a transition once you make a decision and you've stopped or started whatever it was that needed stopping or starting but you haven't yet launched into your new reality. The untethered limbo of time between a decision and a new reality is a transition. Decision > transition > new reality cycles last for two minutes ("I want pad thai for lunch..."), while some can last for two decades ("I'm not in love with my husband anymore...").
I'm celebrating my anniversary today! One year ago today my doctor looked up slowly from the lab reports, put her hand over her thyroid in her throat, and said to me: "Your body is attacking itself, love." Until that moment, I'd never heard of Hashimoto's.
This past year has taught me a few hard-fought lessons. Please borrow as needed.
It's been interesting to watch myself, feeling a bit out of body, talking about the woman who has deconstructed her entire life and booked a one-way flight to Indonesia. It's interesting to watch myself tell some people every detail and then to others I simply give a generic "Thanks for asking. I'm leaving to focus on my health."
I'm challenging myself to lean straight into this adventure with no more apologies. No more downplaying to make other people feel comfortable. No more acting like it's just another trip I'm taking. It's not.