Here I am! One month in!

While I have been scribbling down tid bits of thoughts, I haven’t been able to process all of my feelings… errr… maybe I just haven’t been willing to sit down and sort through them. As I get more comfortable I can feel my eyes and my brain starting to open up. My subconscious is slowly letting in more and more information and inspiration.

For those who have expressed interest, the following is an attempt to express the inner journey so far…. It is not a post about how beautiful and lovely it is here–although it certainly is—although I am sat on the porch of a café, sipping coffee and looking off into the jungle covered mountains, this is a post about my first month, adaptation, and strength.

IMG_0581.jpg

Week three was really tough. REALLY tough. Settling in and realizing that this is it, while jumping right into the middle of multiple work projects was a lot to take in. It’s only within the last few days that I feel like I have some kind of clue to what is going on, giving me the motivation and confidence to finally write this post. I still see myself in the mirror and think I look a little too thin, my face is puffy, my skin and hair are terrible and the bags under my eyes are a little too dark. But as I’ve found some solid ground for these feet, I am feeling a little healthier and sleeping a little better.

Last Saturday evening I sat on the edge of my bed, face in the fan and eyes on the wall thinking, “I am not this strong person. I can’t do this. I’m not having fun. Everyone will be so disappointed when I move home.” But that night I was forced to go out with some of my new friends. They knew the rough afternoon I had had, piled on top of a sparse and broken sleep cycle. We stayed up drinking beer and gimlets until 4am. They listened to me vent and were able to bring a few things into the light for me—things that I guess I didn’t realize were taking their toll on me, things I thought I could handle, or I didn’t notice were bothering me.

I realized that I had really been struggling with my “westernness”. Surprise! Yes. I had been feeling… almost… ashamed… of my “falang”-ness. I know its strange, and I’m not sure if any other expats have felt this way here? But, hey, the truth is I am a westerner. I like western things around to make me feel at home. I’m never going to be Lao. I like yogurt for breakfast, not noodles. I can’t stand to eat soup everyday. I have to wear shorts and a tank top sometimes because it’s damn hot outside. I hate how everything feels dusty and my hands always feel dirty. I don’t like that I need to go to four different stores and the market to get everything on my shopping list. And I especially hate when I have to throw my toilet paper in the bin instead of flushing it.

IMG_0832

I understand the privilege I come from to be in a place to feel this way and I know that in time I will accept and get along with much of the lifestyle here, but I also need to give myself permission to miss my big soft, plushy bed back home. It’s ok that aircon, a dip in the pool and the option to close my windows make me feel more comfortable. It is ok to be tired and intolerant sometimes. And its ok that cheeseburgers and gin and tonics help me deal with it.

When I moved here, I felt like I was supposed love everything and melt into the culture because it is an incredible, unique place. But it took a friend to tell me that it’s ok to not be totally comfortable and happy here, especially after only a month. And it definitely gives me new respect to all the foreigners I have met living in the US throughout my life. Cheers to the courage and the journey of people migrating to new places and dealing with racsism, discrimination and all the other bullshit going on. Be brave, speak your language, wear your clothing, pray when and where you want. Make your little piece of home wherever you need it.

IMG_0852

My next concern… So, am I strong enough?

Well… Only I can decide what is strong for myself. I think being strong is just another choice we make for ourselves. I think it is understanding that strength is not lack of weakness. I had this idea that being strong was about not letting things bother me. It was to handle things well, without flinching. Strong people brush things off easily and don’t let bad thoughts or emotions penetrate them, right? Maybe not.

You wouldn’t be human if you were never sensitive, sad or angry. Being strong is about learning how to live with and among the things that bother you– but also knowing its ok if you mess it up a little too. Wouldn’t it be too easy if you could train yourself not to flinch at anything? I guess that strength to me, right now, is surviving the day and still being capable of taking on the next one. I wish I could do it with a little more passion, a little more finesse—and I will, in time–but right now I just need to find my routine, build a home, make more friends and start creating pretty things.

 

Advertisements

Fix Your Crown.

“Today the world feels huge. But the distance feels small. Like no matter where you are, I will never be too far from you.

Outside, it is one of those nights that I can hear the ocean from my window. But its not quiet. There is a celebration on a porch a few houses down. I don’t mind the noise. I try to sleep but I can only think of your window somewhere. I know the view, but I wonder what sound it is filtering through. What are you listening to tonight? I wonder what the cat across the way is doing. And how many humans are stumbling drunk on the sidewalk below.”

 


 

I wrote that two weeks ago. But since the night I scribbled it down I haven’t felt anything except your distance. That is the last night I still had you.

My best friend is a little harsh in her honesty, but in the fashion I love her for–

“Fix your crown.
Remember the
beautiful,
strong,
independent
GODDESS
that you are.”

–So she says.

So instead of texting you good morning, I flipped open my computer and started scrolling through pictures of fabric. Pictures of ikats and indigos. This doesn’t cure my pain, but it certainly soothes my heart. I politely, consciously push aside any negative feelings that arise. If I still have yet to meet someone who wants to accept my love, if my heart continues to be rejected by those I push it out to, it does not mean I will stop pushing it out. I am full and I am bright. Loving is beautiful. It feels good. It is never wasted. And I am not afraid of what it brings anymore— Though I think it certainly takes a special soul to make me feel that way.

A Year From Last June

This time last June we were slugging shots, staying up all night, making out on the dock and crawling into each others beds. We were clueless. We had ideas of our impossible dreams but we were broke and hopeless, living each day by the summer promise of sunshine and vodka. Who knew a year from then we would be sitting at the same bar together, laughing about the past 12 months… God, has it only been a year since I’ve seen you? It feels like forever ago. Now our dreams are coming together. Our lives are working out. Our risks are paying off…..

We have all heard the story a million times. We have seen the post. We have read the blog. But here we are, real, normal, just… average, everyday kids… two testimonies for following your hearts. I can smell you on my skin, just a small hug and a smile–but I remember that smell that is stuck on me now. The smallest moments, the people who take the littliest bit of your time can have such a huge impact on your perspective.

Muffins.

-I hate that all the good stuff is on the top of the muffin.

-I mean, you don’t have to eat the bottom part of the muffin

-Um, girl, yes I do.

-Well maybe you should eat the bottom half of the muffin first. So then you can eat the good part last.

-Yea. Delayed gratification. They always say you gotta work through the not so good stuff to get to get to the real good stuff!

-I dunno, like, why don’t we just find a way to make both halfs of the muffin equally delicious?

 

 

 

The Snooze Button

If you knew you had only ten minutes left with your lover, would you do anything besides keep holding them? Would you say anything? Would you be brave enough to kiss them? Or would you sit quietly feeling their pulse on your cheek? Would you even want to know if there were ten minutes left? Would you want to wake up? Or would you rather just hear the click of the door and fading footsteps down the hall?

This morning feels like a universe away from you. It’s not a bad place, it’s just one without you, with only the memory of a feeling of your pulse on my cheek.

The Long Post about Love and Friendship

Drinking tequila and packing. I can’t say my head was totally clear when I pulled my suitcase out of my closet and started tearing clothes off the hangers. It feels like I just unpacked— and my margarita infused mind seems to have smudged out the emotional boundaries between a flee and a progression. Packing a suitcase doesn’t solve any problems, but it sure does make me feel damn better! As I fold my clothes I tell myself one day I will stop, I will stand still, but I guess it is not today. (Har, har, have your laughs to everyone who saw through my plans to make roots in Savannah.)


love and friendship


Sometimes I hate this person I am. Sometimes, I feel like I have wasted my 20s fucking around with a long strand of bad life choices. I have been so congested with uncertainty and emotions recently, paralyzed by a world of right and less right choices that I have forgotten what makes my little, insignificant, but fabulous version of reality worth living in. I have learned that being transient and impermanent is what keeps me motivated. It keeps me curious. It keeps me alive.

Accepting who you are can be really tough. It can be hard to acknowledge your own value when your path feels a little left of normal. But realizing this person is a really powerful tool in making the right decisions to your own successful and happy road.

There will always be distractions and people you love along the way. I think that when you know who you are and what you want, you are willing to be patient and wait for the right person to keep pace with you— whether that means speeding things up or slowing things down… even if it means stepping aside to let people pass you on the sidewalk. I guess that is the beauty of relationships when they work out. (People tell you that all the time when you’re dating. Accepting it is a little more difficult.) Of course, there is the piece of me that says it isn’t that easy. And that maybe when it comes to the right person, it has nothing to do with the “right” timing. It doesn’t just “work out”. Maybe it’s really just about who you are willing to make which sacrifices for… and I wonder, do they still feel like sacrifices at that point? Does it make the decision any easier?


There was a quiet stretch of time, late in the weekend afternoon. We had reached a far part of the swamp, off the main water trail. I placed my paddle down across the bow, forgetting I wasn’t the only one in the boat. I stared out into the sky through a thin canopy of cypress trees. For a few long seconds, I was sprawled out, exhausted on a noisy piece of fresh tyvek, looking up at the pine trees, just woken from a nap on the foothills of the Sierra. I couldn’t tell you exactly where I transported to, just that I was sitting quietly with a hand on a snack in my bear can, waiting to hear the shuffle of another hiker to remind me I wasn’t alone.

Im used to being alone. So, it still surprises me when I find myself sharing special moments with someone else. As I am getting older, I am discovering that more and more of my best memories are involving the precious people I am lucky to have found and stayed connected with along this bumpy road.

I knew that quitting my job early would give me much more free time with my romantic interest, but I underestimated and undervalued the amount of time I would get to spend with my best friends. Slowly, all of those things I wanted to do with him, are turning into things I am doing with them. It takes a best friend to see your bucket list and say “Hey, I’m taking a day off, lets cram as many of these into Tuesday as we can.” It takes a best friend to sit at the window of Gallery Espresso for two hours and four cups of tea. I am not undermining the absolutely incredible time I have spent with the man I am seeing, I am just feeling foolish and awestruck to be reminded that, for me, deep friendships, the memories they create and the perspectives they offer, will always keep me grounded. When I stumble off the trail, get lost and grow unsure, they will always be there to guide me back to who I am and what my dreams are.


Jake takes a gulp of whisky and reminds me: “This is exactly what you left your secure nine to five cubicle in search of, Brittany. I’ve never known you to be reluctant to take an adventure. I think you’ve just had too much stagnant time to think on it.”

Yes. I want to see the world. I want to live in it.
My heart hurts and I am afraid.

Despite the pain and the fear, our human body is a vehicle. It is meant to live in and to experiment with, to experience, to step up, to try. It is fragile, but it is strong and it is resilient. It is meant to be broken and bent and scratched and scarred. It will be ok, it is always ok.