Tales of a wandering lesbian

Heart of lightness

It’s been a week since I returned from Venice.  The trip was magical, and touched me in a very deep place.   It gave me a glimpse of the strength I have.  How I’ve picked up, and moved along when I wasn’t enjoying the life I was living, and gone to explore new things.  It also made me yearn to share the experience.

When I returned to my temporary home in Fornaci, I was deeply pensive, and more than a little withdrawn.  A couple of medical issues with pets and family at home made me wish, with tremendous force, that I was there.  Which made me examine the choices I’ve made.  And that made me more than a little unhappy with myself.  I didn’t want to examine my choices!  I wanted to be happy, damn it!  Who was I to ruin my own fun – again?!

Truthfully, I don’t know the last time I was so upset.  I thought I’d found a new path.  One that would allow me to live more freely and examine myself less (I can be a little rough on myself).  Funny thing is, even when I’m in a beautiful, amazing place, it’s still me who is here.  Even the magic of Venice can’t mask that, it seems.

Like anyone, I’ve gone through periods of self-reflection, and questioning.  They can be tough and usually last quite a while – grey periods of wondering what I’m doing with my life, how I’m making a difference in the world, or how I’m improving myself.  Usually I work through them in the context of career and relationship and whatever else I have to distract me.  One of the great gifts of being so far away from everything I know is that I’m stripped of the usual distractions.  I can’t hide from myself.  I can’t use humor or intellect or team sports, or anything really.  It’s a great gift, and a new challenge.  It’s something I asked for when I took this leap, for sure.  But, now that it was here, I realized that I hadn’t expected it to be so hard.

This period of reflection was black.  Not Grey, black.  I cried so hard I couldn’t see when I woke up the next morning.  Cried so hard I gasped like a child, hyperventilating in my self-examination.  It sucked big time.  I really worried it would go on for the duration of my trip, or that I’d have to pack it up and leave early.  Or that I’d stop leaping.  But I have friends here, too, loving friends who sat with me while I cried, and rubbed my shoulders.  And it passed.  Two days after it came, I woke up, and it was gone.

I know now that I won’t stop examining myself.  I’m not sure I’d want to.  It might be that, now I’ve taken a leap and put myself in a new context, these periods will be dark.  More intense.  But maybe they’ll be quicker.  Maybe I’ll be able to learn from them more easily.  I mean, maybe not.  Maybe they’ll just suck and I’ll end up crying alone in a crappy hotel room.  Who knows, but this time it passed quickly.  And I’m still here enjoying myself.  I’m still here loving what I’m doing.  And I’ve shed the unreasonable, irrational belief that, by changing what I’m doing with my life, I will stop examining it.  I’m still the deeply-flawed person that I was when I left, but I’m finding ways to make peace with those flaws.  And I’m having far more light days than dark ones.  Maybe for right now, that’s enough.

As a new friend of mine said to me this week, “a beach in Hawaii or Australia isn’t a bad place to ‘find yourself'”.  I couldn’t agree more.

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1 Deb { 12.12.09 at 7:54 pm }

I think everyone should take such a journey – it’s life changing. You may not fully realize its impact until years down the road, or maybe it’s coming in pieces now and you’re struggling with putting them together. Either way – it’s okay. Enlightening experiences rarely come without tears. Becoming self aware isn’t easy either, some people never achieve this.

Many years ago I went on a soul searching trek. I think I ended up touring 11 Europen countries, mostly on my own. I saw beautiful places, ate wonderful foods, met lots of great people, made new friends, and often found myself alone wondering … like you. Sometimes I was sad, sometimes over joyed. I was looking for myself too. What I discovered was this: No matter where you go, there you are. Sounds so cliché, I know, but it’s true. We already know what an exceptional person you are, now so do many fortunate Italians. We can’t wait to see what’s next, and envy those who will experience this with you. Lots of love!!!

2 big mama's buddy { 12.17.09 at 2:43 pm }

Why is it we humans so readily see our flaws before we see the beauty that also lives inside? You just keep searching and all those lovely blossoms that we see will eventually scare your so-called flaws away, or at least I think they will!

3 Comforts | Mid Leap { 12.27.09 at 3:35 pm }

[…] noticed screaming at me my first day in Barga.  I did find some of that.  I also learned some things about myself I hadn’t expected nor really wanted to learn – painful things that I’m sure will come in […]