Storm Clouds Looming

20180627_180041 (1)I was working on other things while as if on purpose, I kept toggling over the word tab. The glaring white of the blank reminding me of my dereliction. My mind is not here today, it is thousands of miles away on the U.S./Mexico border. Utterly disgusted, dejected, furious, frustrated with the unbelievable and unrelenting flow of news these past weeks. A sickening wave of unbelievably heinous policies and characters tearing at the fabric of my beliefs. The retirement of Justice Kennedy the latest gut punch.

My friends are at home protesting the abhorrent immigration laws at the child encampment in Tornillo, involved in vital campaigns, volunteering to help mediating the frantic search to reunite mother and child. Oddly, my usual guilt-ridden self has been kept at bay. Instead there is a sense of relief that my hiatus includes a break from the collective sorrow of friends bemoaning the future. At least here I am surrounded by Mexicans lamenting their bleak future. While my stay here will most likely be temporary there is some solace in knowing that this is an excellent hideout from the madness that has become our reality.

How do you decide when to run and when to fight? It’s easy for me to make excuses for sitting on the sidelines and no one would question them or expect otherwise. Its an easy pass. For someone who was happiest in the trenches this new role as a voyeur is an adjustment. I’ll have to figure out new parameters for contributing because I know this is not the time to retreat and lick our wounds, there is too much at stake. After November, that may be another story.

Here’s to Trying New Things.

I am a fraud. Even in blogging I have been an imposter.

I have said all the right things, laid out the foundation for true introspection but continue to edit thoughts in my head; sifting through words like an interior designer considering paint swatches. My need to analyze, control, evident on the page. Writing from the heart should induce word vomit. A desire to expel thoughts onto the page which forces my fingers to flay wildly across the keyboard in order to keep up.

I am approaching my trial relocation with an open mind, eager to try and learn new things. There are lots of people here willing to help you reconnect with your body and spirit. I am learning about chakras and numerology. Here again, mental me struggles not to dismiss their hippy dippy propositions for positive change outright. Some I have adopted. I now talk to cannabis, asking my weed to heal me and inspire me before partaking (can’t hurt). But there are limits to my inquisitiveness. When I was asked during yesterday’s massage if I would like spearmint dabbed on my clitoris? “Why would I want that?” I asked, decidedly certain that I did not know this woman well enough. Some explanation about energy and a slight burning but all I could think of was why she would want to fish around for any of her client’s clits?

Not what I set out to write about today. Am I writing from the heart or stalling?

Pushing the Reset Button

A lady I had never met told me today she loved living near the ocean, “when I am feeling sad I come to the  beach to cry. My tears wash away and I can get on with my life” she said pointing into the vastness of the Pacific. I’m not sure why she chose to share this with me but it makes perfect sense, our bodies need to release, purge, detox, whatever you want to call it, in order for our minds to be clear.

My new massage therapist/ spiritual advisor also had a long list of recommendations for releasing years of toxic buildup; liver detox, visit to a temascal, vegan food. But I rather like the idea of my tears swirling around in the ocean, riding the waves and colliding occasionally with similar sorrows abandoned by their previous owners.

This space is my place to detox, to shout out into the vastness of the internet, regardless of who is listening, perhaps colliding with other thoughts cast away by those with their own stories.

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Mangos Make for a Great Day

Dear Albert,

I didn’t want to fail miserably on my first day of my latest blog journey so here it is 11:14 P. M. and I am making good on my promise to write. The highlight of my day was a trip to the market, the kind with narrow passageways brimming with intoxicating smells of fruit demanding to be eaten at once and the cacophony of people busily going about their day. I wanted one thing above others MANGOS! I greedily scarfed down two and came home more for tomorrow. That makes me happy!

The other interesting thing was a conversation with my massage therapist who told me I was too mental, that I needed to approach things with my heart as well. My massage was combination physical relief and impromptu counseling session. Her words continue to tumble around in my head. She elaborated that I needed to find outlets to express myself. While I came here in search of reviving my body I am routinely reminded the brain runs the show.
More tomorrow…..

Warmest wishes,

Sophia

Here’s to Getting Up Once More…

 

20180619_144101 (1)Dear Albert,

Your letter was a great gift today. Of course, I always love hearing from you but in this last letter it is especially great to hear your resolve and optimism for the adventures in store. I have also been in a somewhat transitory state. I am occupying my latest perch on the 20th floor of a high-rise tower. My attention veers distractedly from the computer screen to the slate grey waters of the ocean outside my window, the dozens of people swimming, motoring and lounging about deliberately disregarding the looming storm.
I am also here in search of change, thinking perhaps a new country will provide two important variables in my life, motivation and mobility. As I write these words I realize how self-indulgent and snooty this all sounds. I am incredibly lucky that my family has allowed me to be such a priority, allocating resources and uprooting our lives, dog included for this two-month trial.

Your words not only serve as encouragement, they also serve as validation of my initial efforts. I have always struggled with the imposter syndrome, waiting for everyone to realize I am flying by the seat of my pants. My motto is more along the lines of “fake it to make it”. I hope these thoughts don’t also plague professionals with hard skills such as brain surgeons or plumbers.

While I am trying out new things I have decided to take a new approach to writing in this blog. I will pledge to write something every day. I don’t promise it will be pretty so bear with me. I know that in the short life of this blog you can read several inferences of that same sentiment. I look forward to propping each other up as we get up yet once more!

Getting down, and getting up

Dear Sophia—

You have been silent for too long now. Two months have passed since you wrote. What happened? This blog has a lot of followers now. You cannot let them down. 🙂

You’ll say: what happened to you? You have been silent too!

Yes. And for all of the wrong reasons, of course. In fact, I am ashamed to write about myself because, despite my resolve last month, I did not do a good job at starting anew. My happy Facebook posts cover up a year during which I did not manage to adapt to a new country and a new city; during which I found it hard to make new friends (none, actually); and during which I struggled with an identity crisis because of a lack of a structured job, which I made worse by what is now a full-blown alcohol addiction problem.

I will get out of this sorry state, for which I have only myself to blame. The possibilities were endless, and they still are, and there is no excuse for not taking advantage of them. Whomever we are, and wherever we are in life, we can always improve ourselves—and we should. My mom would have been 88 years old now, and I am still thinking about those last weeks with her. Despite her pain, and her readiness to die, she inspired us to the very last moment. In fact, her cheerful acceptance of the enormous suffering she went through probably goes a long way in explaining why she was inspiring us—rather than us inspiring her.

Your early posts reveal the same Force, Sophia. Please keep inspiring us !

As for me, today is a new day. It sounds funny, but the first real suit my mom had bought for me—as I was graduating from high school—was a brand called New Man. The label was sewn inside of the jacket, and had New Man’s commercial tagline: “Today is the first day of your life. Be a New Man!” I would always feel good when I put on that jacket

It is a modification of a quote that is attributed to Charles Dederich, the founder of a self-help community for drug abusers and alcoholics in California. He’d say: today is the first day of the rest of your life. So… Well… Yes. It is.

I got up this morning, looked at myself in the mirror, and I told myself: “Today is going to be a great day.” 🙂 I hope it’s going to be a great day for you too !

Warmest, Albert.

A new start?

Hey Sophia—I hope you have come out of your reclusiveness by now. I was not in a great state of mind – for too many weeks in a row, sadly. It’s been a year now since my mom passed away. While I know that’s not a great excuse to be silent and withdrawn (my mom surely wouldn’t want it this way), it is what it is.

What is it inside of us that keeps us from focusing on what we can do, as opposed to what we cannot – or do not want to do? Laziness? Not really. In my case, it’s a strange melancholy which I have a tendency of cultivating for all of the wrong reasons. I need to get out of the house! Or get out of the house more often, at least. 🙂

[…]

Where do you find the mental strength to keep moving, Sophia?

Last week I was on a week-long training. It focused on the skills one needs to survive when on mission in troubled countries. We learned how to detect threats, deal with emergencies, and what have you. One hour only was devoted to what – in my view – is probably the most important skill of all: how to bounce back from setbacks, trauma and stress by enhancing our personal resilience. It was quite self-evident: take care of yourself, be positive, try to find meaning and purpose, stay connected to others, etc. But… Well… That’s easy to say. It’s harder to practice. Today, I told myself I would make an earnest start with it. I’ll update you !

Take care, and keep inspiring us lesser mortals !

Yours, Albert.