What My World's Like

#notetoself: relax into the discomfort.

Mar
26

discomfort zone

This is the third #notetoself letter, originally sent on February 20, 2012.

Isla de Ometepe in Nicaragua is an island formed by two volcanoes with an isthmus between them. Many consider it to be a magical place, although I haven’t yet figured out exactly what makes it so, but suspect I will soon. It’s beautiful and there are more signs of nature than the 42,000 people that live here. I’m staying on a permaculture farm with all kinds of good stuff: random greens, herbs, coconut, banana, plantains, Moringa, Mayan breadnut, taro, jackfruit, neem, guava, cashew, cinnamon, mango and so much more.

When I first arrived, I was ecstatic. Everything about this place was cool– the outdoor showers overlooking Lago Nicaragua, the largest lake in Central America, the squat toilets, the compost toilets, the outdoor dorms with amazing views of the sky (basically just a covered platform with a black tarp on one side acting as a wall), the hammock on the platform in a tree overlooking Volcan Concepcion, the solar-powered outdoor kitchen…

I slept horribly the first night. The only two options for mosquito nets was one that was a bit too small for the bed and one that was the appropriate size, but disgusting. It could’ve been from bat droppings, flies, mosquitoes, any number of things. To me, it didn’t matter; it was just really too disgusting for my comfort. The second night, I forgot to charge my cell phone during the hours of 10-3 when we can charge only if it’s sunny. Since the 6:45 meeting is a bit early for me still, I needed an alarm. Rather than asking someone to wake me up, I decided to sleep in the hammock up in the tree where you can see bright, vivid stars. It was windy and cold all night long. Not a good call, but I was still happy about the experience. The third night, an insect flew into my ear while I was sleeping at 2 am. Another lady here helped me drown it with saline solution, but then I was bothered by the fact that there was a dead insect in my ear. The next day was a fumbling exercise in Spanish and patience, spent going to the town clinic, waiting for it to open, hearing it was closed, deciding to go to another clinic and while waiting for the bus to take me to the other side of the island, discovering the town clinic was in fact open but not really equipped to adequately help me. The nurse looked at my ear with a dim light from her cell phone and flushed my ear with a syringe, ejecting a small, black mosquito. Still, something in my ear didn’t feel right, so she urged me on to the other clinic, where I found out that there was no insect but there was “hongo”. Fungus. I have an ear fungus.

After returning to the farm and preparing for bed that night, I wondered what the hell I was doing. I’m in the mountains. With no electricity. Sleeping outdoors. With a mosquito net that’s obviously not very effective. Freaking out about the plethora of bugs grossly outnumbering me. Really, what?

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(in)congruent

Oct
25

Are you who you say you are? Are you who you think you are, or who you want to be? I often like to explore the concept and believe that I am, but in reality, I’m not. In me is the range of humanity—kind, selfish, strong, weak, committed, capricious, confident, insecure, humble, arrogant, beautiful and ugly. I’m extreme, contradictory, complex. Oftentimes, I think, too extreme, too contradictory, too complex. These layers have made it difficult for me to consistently see myself honestly and positively. There are so many contradictions that even I’m sometimes left wondering who am I?

On things that don’t necessarily matter, it’s easy for me to toss an opinion around, whether it’s requested or not. However, on issues that deeply affect me, usually silence is my standard. Makes no sense. Am I outspoken or reserved?

My journey has taught me that I’m nicest to those I don’t know and more hurtful to those I care the most about. Am I kind or am I mean?

I can speak about my life, who I am—or think I am—and what I’ve learned easiest with strangers than people I’m emotionally invested in.

Why does this incongruency exist? Will the awareness of its presence create more congruency or will it persist regardless?

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Carpe Diem!

Aug
21

inspire_by_famous

Are you an ingrate?

Aug
06

yourlifeisbeautiful

I had a conversation with myself the other day that went a little something like this:

“I would like to have this, that and the other.  I would really appreciate that.”

“Would you?”

“Would I?  Ye—no.”

 
No.  As it currently stands, my record is precisely not to appreciate so many aspects of my life.  I’ll be very decisive about something I want, get it, and then complain about it or take it for granted.  Either way, there’s not a lot of actual appreciation.  True appreciation is more than an intellectual concept; it requires action.  It means to value or regard highly; place a high estimate on.

How much in your life do you “appreciate” without truly appreciating?  What can you do to express the importance of the things, people, and situations in your life, even if just to yourself?

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