Yoga, Surfing, Sustainable Food, and uh, Central America!
A plane in St. George, Utah took off yesterday. Up, up, up… I was supposed to be on that plane. I was supposed to be heading back to Brooklyn, but I wasn’t. Instead, I’m packing my suitcase for warmer weather.
Getting accepted into a volunteer work-exchange program involving yoga and surfing classes and sustainable food education in Central America changes things. And when things change, sometimes you don’t get on the planes you thought you were going to get on to. Sometimes you don’t go back to roommates you got used to saying goodnight to every night. Sometimes you say goodbye to a month’s rent, and count all of the coins in your pocket to make a flight to Mexico City happen. Money is just money. Time and experience? Priceless. Always.
Only a week ago, I was sitting in my apartment in Brooklyn. I was sipping coffee on a spring day that felt like winter. My hair was pulled up into a bun—a hairstyle I don’t usually do because my hair is so thin. Why do I have long hair again? Parts of my scalp surely showed. My head was partly naked and bare, but I didn’t mind. I just don’t mind anymore. I’m not ashamed of bits of my head showing. I think my broken heart was starting to heal, and my confidence was starting to return.
I’ve been in Utah a week now for three of my sister’s birthdays (Yay for Rena, Nikki, and Meg!). It’s been grand.
As for my future adventures in Central America, I’ve been promised many hours of tough backcountry labor, challenging and shared living conditions, and a full escape from anything familiar. (No internet and no phone service!) Looks like I need to purchase a few old fashioned notebooks and pens before I take off!
I keep thinking this might be the first step to really getting in touch with what’s going on within me. I’ve lived in 6 different cities in the last 8 months, and I only feel normal when I’m moving. And at some point, I’m going to have to stop.
This next trip is going to help me stop moving - or at least prepare for a longer pause. It will help me find stillness in the midst of the chaos in my life. I think I’ve been afraid to stop and look around. I think I’m ready to face that fear. I think I’m ready to face a few fears.
I can’t wait to better myself, externally and internally. I’m going to focus on pushing my body further than it has ever gone before. I’ve always been timid when it came to yoga. As a student-athlete who played through years of wear and tear on the tennis courts, my hips aren’t the most flexible. And surfing has always appealed to me, but the deep blue ocean has always kept me in shallow waters. But it’s time to put such limitations aside. It’s time to not only reach up, but to reach out in other directions I felt I couldn’t or shouldn’t.
I’m going to travel into the unknown and embrace rain forests and mountaintops. I’m going to breathe into my body’s full potential on the mat and in my notebook. I’m going to learn how to fuel my body with clean & sustainable food. I’m not going to let my fear of the ocean get in the way of my desire to try surfing. I’m going to accept that love doesn’t always work out when we want it to. I’m finally ready to admit that I have fears, weaknesses, and vast areas in my life full of ignorance and questions that need to be filled, recognized, and nurtured.
There’s an empty seat on a plane flying to LaGuardia, but there’s an empty mind, heart, and body hoping to be filled heading south of the border quite soon.