Every morning the past looks different. A new yesterday overlaid giving it an unexpected hue. I can worry away the minutes of today (and I probably will), but I cannot predict tomorrow or the next day or the next.
And yet, even knowing this, I worry.
Has the future ever turned out the way I imagined it might? Never. This is a blessing and occasionally a curse. The things I held onto with utmost certainty have often been the heart-strings painfully pulled apart. All the while, worries that had taken up my entire world, never see fruition.
What am I trying to say?
I don’t know. I only know as I sit here on this Friday morning on the first of September, I’m worrying. I’ve had two cups of tea as I’ve looked around at my new home. Once again I’ve realized I would never have imagined this new address. Even a year ago I would have insisted I could never live in Las Vegas. Yet here I sit. Alive.
And isn’t that what matters in the end?
I guess I do know what I’m trying to say. I will continue to worry. I will continue to live. And I will continue to be amazed by it all.
What a world.
What a scary, beautiful, disastrous, heartbreaking mess of magic.
It’s okay if all you did today was breathe (I say to myself like a salve for the bruises).
It’s okay if all you did today was breathe (I say to you like a salve for your broken heart).
There are days when I feel like all I’ve made are bad decisions. I take a raw look at my life and what I see is a mess. I see a disaster so complete and so expansive that nothing could clean it up.
Then I look up. I look to the sky for answers. If I’m lucky, the sun peeks through. If I’m extremely lucky, wild geese take flight overhead.
Lesson: Keep looking up. And if the rain is relentlessly falling, let it mix with the tears and wash them away.
It can’t rain all the time.
….but the past doesn’t work like that.
Our previous selves, the ghosts of who we’ve been, remain inside and form vital portions of who we are now. I’ve withstood a challenging year because of my past. As much as I’d love to close one door, barricade it with rocks and set monsters as guards, I know I have to let it all come with me.
I’m busy conquering a new fire swamp. It began with the car break in and robbery, but that has become a footnote. I’m working and exploring and getting a feel for this new home.
I’m finding my rhythm.
My expectations and well laid plans fall away as I stride forward into the unknown.
It may be hard for me on many levels, but damn I do feel alive.
(Poem by the exquisite Mary Oliver)
Tomorrow marks the end of my first month in Laos. The past thirty days have raced by faster than the motorbikes on Lane Xang road. Tomorrow I’ll make my first “visa run” over the Friendship Bridge to Thailand. I’m an expat. I do visa runs. It still doesn’t feel real.
I’ve had good and bad days. As expected, I’ve had to adjust to a brand new way of living. I’ve had to learn to turn off the part of my brain that’s geared toward NOT using plastic bottles of water. I cringe as the pile of bottles grows quickly over the days and is sent out with the garbage. Instead, I’m becoming only thankful to be able to buy and drink water that won’t make me sick.
I’m learning that just because I saw it at the store yesterday, doesn’t mean it will be there when they run out of it. Next time I’m buying every single one (I’m talking to you Hummus). It’s also a lesson in the simplicity of fewer options. Having only one or maybe two of something to choose from really takes the frustration out of it. The errand of buying mustard, for example, was simply finding regular mustard and purchasing it. The finding becomes the hard part, not the choosing. As a Libra and a middle child, I appreciate fewer decisions in my day.
Hot water isn’t to be taken for granted. We don’t have hot water in the kitchen and it often quits in the bathroom. I’m lucky to be able to get it fixed rather quickly and I’m thankful to have it every single time it’s working! With the heat, humidity and dirty streets I’m happy to have that shower twice a day sometimes.
Using less of products is becoming even more of a habit for me in Vientiane. I brought my toiletries and other supplies with me as I wasn’t sure what would be available once here. Now that I see my future options, I’ve taken to using minuscule amounts of shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream and lotion. I use only what I really need or less. Using less is such an important lesson, I’m more than happy to practice.
These are only a few of the lessons I’ve learned this month as a foreigner freshly landed in Southeast Asia. I’m certainly about to learn even more in the weeks and months to come.
March holds new adventures already. I’ll be starting language classes and Rob has his first block off time when we’ll be traveling over to Thailand! (‘block off’ is pilot talk for time off)(pilots like to use fancy words for everything).
Thanks to everyone checking in and cheering me on. I feel so supported and there are days where your presence in my adventure makes it all easier.