September was a nice and steady climb on the progress ladder. I kept meditating and yoga-bearing, I was sleeping well and generally feeling like a well adjusted individual that could handle shit or even take on more shit. That’s why I added “learning Italian” to my board. Usually, I'm so overwhelmed by all I wanna do that I feel paralyzed and end up doing nothing and freaking out at the same time. Now, oddly and wonderfully - it felt like there was room and there was time.
I spent half of September dreaming about our vacation in Palma de Mallorca. I desperately wanted to lay on a beach, to have the sun warm my skin, my flesh and my bones even! You know that moment, when you’ve been lying there soaking up all the sun and you start to sweat and you feel like you can’t take it no more? I always stay past that moment, just a bit, to tease myself, to make myself want the water even more. I fantasized about that moment. I played it in my head. I’d imagine my skin get all red, feel all sizzly and impatient, craving for some water to quench the fire that I so willingly created. The water seems so cold against my now feverish skin, that for a second I doubt that I want to move forward, all the while knowing that I can’t go back. The final step is made swiftly - I dip into the water like you’d dip a nacho in cheese sauce - except I stay there. I shiver, I feel alive and relieved. Then comes bliss. Aaaah, the best feeling. That. I wanted that.
I also wanted to read a book, to eat, eat, eat and to enjoy. Lazy, still, dazed.
When the moment was finally there, I found myself unable to relax because I wanted it so much! Apparently, that’s not how it works. It seemed that my “chill” was constantly interrupted by stupid things like having to pee, getting thirsty, looking for a place to eat. I did not feel the bliss. I wanted too much. I wanted to relax but at the same time, I wanted to see things and do things because time was limited. Five days were just not enough and I began to feel anxious. After a freak out session and a long discussion I decided to take things slowly, try to make the most of it and choose my battles.
The land of deliciously fat avocados, goat cheese and incredibly fragrant mangoes was generous. I could’ve happily gone on a avocado, goat cheese and mango diet. I never knew avocados like this. All they needed was a pinch a salt and a willing mouth. Nothing more. Everytime I eat an avocado now, I only taste disappointment, every time I eat a mango I am reminded that there are far superior mangoes out there and that they’re out of my reach. But let’s go back to the good times.
Since the yoga/meditation combo was so beneficial, I obviously wanted that to be a part of vacation life too, to make it even clearer that I do it because I like it and I choose it not because I have to check it off a list. The first morning I tried to do it in the apartment and it was quite unsuccessful, mainly because the floors were covered in tiles and dirt. On the second morning, I woke up, made myself a sandwich with smashed avocado, goat cheese and fuet (dried cured meat-sausage), grabbed my backpack and headed to the beach. I looked for a place that my back could lean against, that wasn’t overly populated and that faced the sea. I sat my ass down in the sand, applied sunscreen, put my headphones on and closed my eyes. Meditation by the sea? 10/10. Next, I hid in the back corner of the beach and did some yoga. It was not easy, because the sand kept moving in a very sneaky yet obvious way.
My next yoga attempt came naturally. We were on the beach, the sun started to set, it was getting cold and people started to pack up and leave. I went by the sea shore to check the water temperature and one thing led to another… I ended up having a very peaceful yoga session without caring that I was now front stage and not hidden in a corner. It was liberating. From time to time, the waves got closer, wet my feet, my hands, my knees. I took my dress off, I threw my bra into the air and I allowed my touched-by-gravity boobs to hang wild and free, while slowly entering the sea. Palma was made out of moments and this was one of the best ones.
Our last full day in Palma was a rainy one, so all sorts of plans changed and all sorts of feelings emerged. Here we were, sitting in a pub, eating empanadas and trying to make a plan. Another plan. I gradually got jittery and impatient, started huffing and puffing and generally feeling like a ticking bomb. I told the Nuc that I couldn’t sit there anymore, that I wanted to be somewhere else, I felt like I was wasting precious time! Dramatic, I know. I had a large glass of Sangria, blame it on that. So, I took the laptop and headed towards the chiringuito on the beach, hoping that it would be open on a rainy day so that I can make the picture in my head a reality.
I clearly haven’t gotten to that place of no anxiousness but I am in a place that allows me to trace the sources quite successfully . The voice in charge of what I need (me, me meeeee) is growing stronger and louder. When I go against it I get the feeling of a boiling pot bubbling inside, a sort of clock that tick-tocks in my whole being and makes me jittery and impatient until my pot runneth over. Sitting in that bar, I realized how un-relaxed I was, to put it mildly. You see, I had this image in my head. I was at the chiringuito on the beach, reading or writing, sipping tea and watching the waves hit the shore. Instead, I was spending a lot more time than expected in this pub thing that was fine, just not where I wanted to be or what I wanted to do. It became clear that aligning my needs to someone else’s was no longer an option. It was causing me unhappiness. I realized that most of the unhappiness in my life (that depends on myself) is caused by:
- not listening to my gut feeling
- fear of missing out
- lack of a “core’’ = an inner barometer that knows what my strengths and weaknesses are, independently of what others think or say.
Sometimes, you just feel like a whale - heavy and massive, like your weight is dragging you down, and you believe that it would take something even larger than you to pull you out of it. I'm here to tell you that's not necessarily true. You may just need many tiny birds to rally up and lift you to the sky. My point is: don't wait for something big to come along and change your trajectory! Start gathering tiny things that make tiny changes and eventually you'll have an army of flying ducks on your side ;). That's my new life approach.
Foreground: My open book on a cream-colored wooden table. A multicolored tea bag was tinting the water a deep burgundy inside a pistachio-green tin mug with a royal-blue rim.
It was a cloudy day in Palma de Mallorca. The clouds were sitting low and still. Some were light blue and some washed-up blue. Both sloppy and careful strokes of a brush made this appear as a crafted image - not at all accidental. The sea was a mild turquoise marbled with grey notes, to keep your senses on their toes. The sand had just the right shade to compliment all those blues. Not white, not yellow, not cream, but something resembling light brown sugar. The city was divided: On one side, the sky and the sea stretching broad, on the other, cliffs, green trees and tiered buildings growing tall.
I was seeing all this from the inside of the chiringuito, framed by a big door that opened on the deck making the line between the outside and the inside small and insignificant. The wooden floor was made out of both light and dark brown sugar, some bits wetter than others, with a dusting of sand thrown here and there. Old/vintage tin chairs painted in the most azul of blues and matching tables stood there empty and well behaved. Pigeons were roaming the sand and sparrows were flying about and sneaking around. The waves hit against the rocks playfully, not violently and then threw themselves at the shore, like one does after a good tickling session.
By now the old clouds made room for new clouds. The sky remained the same foggy, dense-yet-light, inexplicable blue while the clouds had begun travelling freely. It was quite a show, if you dared to stop and stare. Funky chill music occupied the ears.
Like dusting sugar rains on pastry, a drizzle starts to fall. In the end, it was everything I needed it to be.The next day, I woke up and headed to the beach for one last swim. I did my usual morning routine, the meditation, the yoga, the reading. All while basking in a beautiful sun. I swam with the fishes and finally felt blissful.
I find it so hard to convey how dreamy that all felt. I keep feeling the need to explain and over complicate things when really, it was the simplest, most natural thing: I sat in silence with myself and my surroundings and I loved them both. Peace with lingering effects. As nature intended. It was hard to let go. Every now and again I close my eyes and I imagine myself back in that moment and it fills me up with light.