Catch-all, Catch up

Ok. So I haven’t posted anything in a while. At first, I didn’t think I had anything worth posting up here as I was spending some time with my family in South Florida. And once I got to Orlando to visit a friend, I learned I wouldn’t have ready access to the internet.

Needless to say, this is my attempt to catch up. It will be looong.

Very important lesson on mosquitoes

I totally took for granted a recently developed ability to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Well… It’s not really an ability per se. But I really thought I had somehow reached some sort of agreement with them because I didn’t get one bite while at my last yoga retreat, which took place on a farm. Everybody else was bothered by them, but not me. I couldn’t believe it, and I chucked it up to my decision to share the space with the bugs. After all, it’s their habitat too, right?

Yes, and no. We do share our living space with them, but I don’t think my compassionate attitude was what saved me from being bitten because, despite our “agreement,” I got eaten alive by them while I was visiting my family in South Florida. I didn’t feel a thing while it was happening, but I sure had over 200 red and angry mosquito bites when I woke up the next day.

It itched so badly that I wanted to, a) sit in a bathtub full of calamine lotion or, if that didn’t work, b) tear my skin off.

Ok. So what’s the lesson??

I believe the mosquito cease-fire during the retreat had more to do with raging hormones (don’t ask). I guess being impossibly aroused is a strong mosquito repellent.

Given that I will be traveling to plenty of places where mosquitoes might be a problem, that’s a valuable thing to learn. I have no idea how to implement that though, as it’s not exactly a comfortable state to be in.

Thanks!

I should thank a specific person for the, ahem, raw material that inadvertently led to this experiment. It pains me to say we are no longer friends.

I miss you. A lot. I still don’t understand how my being so open and honest led to your misunderstanding and lack of trust.

Ultimately, I believe that, for some reason, you felt I doubted your ability to restrain yourself. It was when you interpreted something I said as meaning that you weren’t in control of your actions that you all of a sudden became angry at me. I never doubted you. I only said that, had we finished what we started, we probably would have been over the awkwardness way faster.

What does that have to do with control? What I don’t understand is why, knowing you wouldn’t follow through, did you start something that morning? I was clear about what I wanted, and you knew how I would react to your actions. I felt like you didn’t take my feelings into consideration. Is it such a surprise that I ended up so confused about your true intentions?

Lastly, I feel that you provided a space where I felt safe letting it all hang out. I made it clear to you that I was aware I wasn’t entitled to some of the feelings that came up. I explained where they came from, and I thought we were both cool with that. I thought it was our ability to be open like that that made our relationship so special.

But then you decided it was too much. I was too honest and open, and you told me I will scare a lot of people (especially men) away because I don’t want to censor myself. I scared you.

Regardless of all this, and as short as our friendship was, I know the connection we had with each other is hard to come by. It’s not every day that you meet someone and feel like you’ve known them forever. Someone that shares the same culture, ideas, spirituality, taste in music, and passion for life. So many things in common…

I hope we can rekindle our friendship, be it while I’m away or when I get back. I don’t think a connection like the one we had is something to discard so easily. Hopefully, you feel the same.

But if you don’t, I want you to know I’m very grateful to have had you in my life. We had a good run, and I will always think of you with a smile on my face.

Um… Can we move on to the next subject, please?

Sure! Except… I don’t remember what else I was going to write about. What was it??

Oh, yeah!

Right now, here.

I’m really surprised at how much I’m enjoying my homelessness. During the retreat, I loved it when people asked me where I lived. My answer? “Right now, here.”

It was great. So liberating!

Having all of my belongings in a 5×6 room somewhere in Brooklyn makes me feel good. I’ve always been a pack-rat, and the fact that I could whittle it all down to that is a big accomplishment for me.

This homelessness thing is also thrilling because it means I get to go wherever I want, whenever I want, and I don’t have to worry about getting someone to sublet my place while I’m gone. And the fact that I only have a few clothes and toiletries with me makes it very easy to pick up and go.

Which is all to say that being homeless has allowed me to live more in the present. The less things I own, the less things I have with me, the less I worry about their upkeep and maintenance.

It frees up headspace and time to just be.

I highly recommend it! There’s no need to give up your home like me. Just giving up some of your stuff (yeah, the things you haven’t worn or looked at in years) helps tremendously.

Speaking of stuff…

So far, I’ve gotten my backpack, shoes, vitamins, and toiletries. My “to shop” list:

–          Universal outlet converter

–          Travel size conditioner

–          Backpack rain cover

–          Sleeping bag liner (for my stays at hostels)

There’s still room in my backpack, but I want to make sure it’s not completely full when I leave for New Zealand. There should be some room for souvenirs from my trip.

In Orlando

After my stay in Aventura, FL, my family and I drove up to Orlando so they could drop me off at a friend’s. We had lunch at a Chinese restaurant, Ming Court, which was surprisingly good given how touristy International Drive is.

Then we went to Celebration, which is a very charming/creepy small residential community built by Disney. It’s very cute, but it feels like there’s no room for anything to be out of place. There must be tons of rules to make sure the residents keep it that way.

With the family in Celebration, FL
With the family, right before saying goodbye and jumping into my friend’s car

Had a great time hanging out with my friend in Orlando. Here we are, all dressed up, and ended up just going to Walgreens:

The time we didn't buy condoms. The guy at the register was disappointed.
The time we didn’t buy condoms. The guy at the register was disappointed.

This was the first time I have ever been to Orlando and didn’t go to any of the theme parks. After visiting 25 times, it was strange.

But it also felt good to break the routine. It reminded me of something I learned at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition:

It’s good to be bad once in a while.

By being bad, I mean doing something a little outside of what we normally do. Break the routine up, do something that’s “out of character” for you. It helps to remind ourselves that our personalities aren’t set in stone and that we have the power to change and get a thrill from something simple.

So delete those old unread e-mails (you know you’ll never read them, so why fool yourself?). Take a longer lunch break. Splurge on something that makes you feel good. Or maybe, just don’t wear underwear for a day.

Doing things differently can feel a little strange at first because we are so used to being on automatic pilot. But, from personal experience, it can be quite exhilarating and give us a confidence boost.

Are we done yet?

I think so. I’ve rambled enough for a day.

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