Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fantasy Land

I told myself that I would have one week to be in what I call, Fantasy Land. This is sort of limbo where I'm not quite here in Virginia, but I'm not quite in Spain. I'm in-between...I do those at home things like go to the gym and do laundry, but then I do Spain things like eat what I want, drink wine, and daydream about another life. One week...then back to my reality that is Virginia....well the week ends on Sunday, and I'm not quite sure I'm ready to come back.

I was asked last night why do I stay in Virginia if it isn't really "home" for me. My answer was that I have "things" to do here, I'm not finished, and until I'm finished those "things" will follow me where ever I go. Plus my gut tells me that if I don't find some peace here, I won't find peace anywhere else. But since I came back from Spain last Saturday I look around and ask myself, "What the fuck are you doing here, Gracie?"

I know that quite a lot of this is the after my vacation backlash. I knew when I left Spain that I would experience these feelings...that I would feel a bit down and a little afraid of coming back to a life where I'm not entirely happy. That being said, I KNOW that it is up to me to make myself happy and not allow those dark feelings to take over my life. So now the question is, what do I gotta do to make myself happy?

Please don't get the perception that I'm this miserable human being because I'm not - far from it. I have a good job that I love, I can pay my bills, I'm in a position to buy my first home, I have good friends, over all...I have a good life and for that I'm extremely grateful. It's that contented feeling that I'm striving for...right now...yo no soy muy contenta as they say in Espana.

Going to a new school this year is good start...but it is also one of those "things" I need to deal with here in Virginia. I'm really afraid for the start of school at the end of August. I didn't realize just how afraid I was until I went to book club with some of my new colleagues Tuesday.

It's like this...I know that I'm hard to get to know...I can make small talk, no problem...but when the conversation gets too personal I either say entirely too much or I shut down. Saying too much too soon is very dangerous as it can come and bite you in the ass....I experienced that at my last school. Shutting down is even more dangerous because then I give the perception that I'm aloof and unfriendly. I'm not sure where the middle ground is on this....any suggestions? I also know that I have a very strong personality and that I am very passionate about education and how things should be taught. Thus, I sometimes give the perception that I'm a 'know it all" and people don't like that. So again, I do one of two things...I talk too much or I shut down...again, both equally dangerous, to repeat...NOT SURE WHERE THE MIDDLE GROUND IS. These "work things" have been with me my entire I got to's now or never.

That is the work side of things. On the personal side, this week in Fantasy Land has magnified just how on my own I am here in Virginia. My really good friends are either in California or traveling the world. I have made a couple calls to people that are "friends" here in Virginia...but calls haven't gotten returned or people are off living lives that don't include me. This is another "thing" I must deal with here in Virginia - I either need to figure out at age 44 how to make friends or be at peace with not having friends here. This "no friend" things isn't as pathetic as I'm making it sound - I have plans next week for dinner with a friend, and I did see HIM last night - I guess he's a friend...that's how we left it anyway...we'll see if he picks up that ball.

HIM as a friend...there's a blog for you - Can A Person be Friends With Someone After Being in Love With Them? I'll think on that, in the meantime, seeing HIM - interesting - especially since he's been reading this blog and has reacted passionately a couple times through email, which is kinda nice that my writing affected someone. We did need to talk with each other...clear things I guess. I will say that I was having some dangerous thoughts last night (the wine, I think) had thought become action I would be writing an entirely different blog today. So friends? Well I guess he does know me better than anyone else here in Virginia. I do know we enjoy talking with each other; and we like, even love each other as people, but will we be friends? I left the door open...if he walks through I'll go from there....Look, don't freak out I''m just saying what I'm thinking...I would like him to walk through that door, but I will be very surprised if he does, as it is often easier to just walk past.

I have realized that today's writing is kind of all over the place. I guess that is just my state of mind here in Fantasy Land. Quite often my thoughts do that...they float around me like a bunch of dandelion seeds blowing in the wind. I think writing them down makes them less overwhelming and keeps their voices quieter.

I do know what I need to do once I leave Fantasy Land on Sunday...I need to take care of business and take care of myself so my head is back in the game. Going to Spain put some perspective on how I can deal with the "things" that are haunting me here in Virginia...because once dealt with they will become a distant memory and I will be able to say whole heartedly, "Yo soy muy contenta!"

Until Sunday, I go to the gym, I do laundry, I eat what I want, I drink Spanish wine, and I daydream about another life....

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Moment in Love

Have you ever been in love? You know, your heart beats really fast, you cannot think straight, and the entire world suddenly looks bright and beautiful in a way it never has before. This is something I think we as humans crave, and quite frankly need.

While in Spain I discovered "falling in love" in a way I never had before. Of course I've been in love...if you've read my blog you know that I spent a year being in love with someone in a way that I had never experienced. My trip to Spain blew that love out of the water.

You are probably wondering, what in the hell is Gracie talking about? I guess I'm wondering that as well. I thought the love I had experienced with HIM was the most profound and the only way I could ever connect with another human being, and when it ended I just KNEW I would never experience that again...well I was wrong.

I decided before I went to Spain that I the most important thing I could do for myself was to be open to all that could possibly happen. So I opened myself up and I met many people. You've read about some of the people I met in previous postings so I won't bore you with a recap. But at the end of my trip something happened and that is what I want to write about today.

I spent 6 days in Salamanca, Spain teaching adults conversational English. In my last post I wrote about this, so again, I won't bore you. What I must talk about is one of my first "conversations". It was on the first day of the program and he was a very tall, handsome Spanish businessman...for this posting we will call him J.

J is a bit older than me and has worked for the same company for over 20 years. He has a family and I could tell he loves them very much. In our conversation he told me he has a dream of buying a Harley Davidson motorcycle and going to live in Paris and that within the next 5-6 years he will begin to make that dream come that moment I think I fell in love. Why? Because I think anyone with a dream like that could truly understand me and my constant wonder-lust.

Nothing happened between J and I for a couple days. Of course we talked and got to know each other. In my mind I kept thinking that this man only thought of me as a friend, which was fine with me...I'm always up for great conversations with a handsome man. In fact, there was another man that I had an attraction to and "connected" with one night. This other man was the universe's way of reminding me that assholes are everywhere...even in Spain. He is not worth any more of my writing time.

The next night a group of us went dancing at a club in Salamanca. J went along and we talked some more. I just found that I loved talking with this man, which is doubly fascinating because J's English isn't so good and my Spanish isn't so good, but we communicated beautifully. Then we danced, and you know I saw stars...and I don't think it was the vodka I was drinking. As we danced we connected in another way. I found him totally and completely sexy and had this overwhelming desire to be with him, I guess you could say this was only "physical" and that my crazy hormones were acting up, but I don't think this was the case.

When we went back to the hotel J asked if he could come to my room and I told him yes. He knocked on my door and all he said was, "don't think" and he kissed me. Again I saw stars - ok fireworks. I had not been with - I mean sex - with a man since being with well...HIM from last year. To be quite honest I didn't really feel the want or need to have sex with any of the other men I had met in Spain. I WANTED to have sex with J more that I thought possible. It felt as if I couldn't get close enough to him. Hormones, lust? Maybe...but in that moment I was in love in a way that I never thought was possible. I let him completely SEE me and FEEL me without thinking and with complete TRUST in him and more importantly myself. I don't know if it was the Spanish he was whispering in my ear, but him touching me just set my skin on fire and I wanted to be with this person in this way forever.

We each "slept" in our own hotel rooms, but the next morning J was all smiles to me. That in itself just solidified the love I was feeling. All day long I wanted to just talk and be with him. The night couldn't arrive fast enough. He told me that he wanted us to talk together alone some head was just spinning because all I wanted was to be with him. We spent the night together, sneaking off from the party being held by the program like two high school kids.

The time I spent with this man wasn't only about sex. It was about me connecting with another. Like I said before I didn't know for sure that I could do that again after having my heart so broken. I found that it is possible to "fall in love" again...even if it is for only a moment. I say for a moment because J and I both have lives an ocean away from each other, and I'm old enough to know the reality of that. So there is no "what's next"...there is/was only "what is right now" and we didn't think about anything else. When you get right down to it, "right now" is all we really have because the reality is that tomorrow may not grab hold of the "right now" and enjoy and cherish it.

J and I parted ways the next day. He said to me, "Todos lo que quieras." Loosely translated it means, "Everything that is wanted." I agree...J is everything that I wanted and quite frankly what I needed to move forward. What a gift!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Salamanca Surprise

I'm sitting in a bar/cafe in Salamanca, Spain. It is Wednesday evening. I've been teaching adults conversational English all week...I'm tired and definitely "talked out"...but I'm so loving this week.

I've been involved in this program called Vaughn Town where I spend a week with businessmen and women teaching them conversational English. Basically, I have numerous conversations with Spanish people. I must tell you this is one of the most interesting and rewarding experiences I've ever had.

The people I have met are quite simply...AWESOME! I cannot even begin to tell you how much these people have enriched my life.

Both sides, the Anglos and the Spaniards, have many different lives. Yet we all came together for a common learn. As we talked we learned about each other. At night we put on small skits, dance, sing, and thoroughly entertain each other. O f course there were those of us who explored the Salamanca night life. I have danced like I haven't danced in over a year. My two favorite dance partners are my Spanish sister, Laura and a lovely man named, Joan.

As a teacher I was thrilled and intrigued on how these adults went about learning English. Some were very concerned with grammar while others just wanted to know that they could speak and be understood. I completely understand all this because I had just spent the three previous weeks wandering around Spain where I was desperately trying to learn the language.

During this week I've learned a lot about communication. First, a person doesn't really need perfect grammar to communicate. Second, it is imperative that a people listen closely to each other...this goes for people even when they are speaking the same language. Finally, communication is more than talking. It is facial expressions, tone of voice, and use of body language. These are all things I've known as I've taught many students who don't speak English...the difference is this is the first time I have really been on both ends of the learning to communicate part.

Like I said before the Spaniards I met have totally enriched my life. I cannot begin to express how blessed I feel by meeting them. Of all the Anglos, I was one that was a bit different...the reoccurring theme of me not "fitting". But you know what? These people just accepted that I didn't fit and loved me for it.

Just like the feeling I had in the mountains...I can go back to Virginia and be at peace with "not fitting". I like that I don't fit, and I know that I will continue to bring people into my life who appreciate me simply for who I am.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Three Strange Days...

There's a song by School of Fish called, "Three Strange Days" that keeps floating in my brain. In the last three days I've been to 3 different cities in Spain - Leon, Valladoild, and Avila. I must say these are the strangest days yet.

First of all this part of Spain is much different in goegraphy. I'm in the middle of what I would consider the desert. No more lush green mountains with bubbling rivers or sprawling beaches. It is dry, hot, and desolate. I'm reminded of many days driving through west Texas and I kept thinking I was going to see dead armadillos in the get that reference you must drive through west Texas.

Leon was a pretty cool...the best wine I've had yet. Yet there's a certain depression that I felt there. Like people are just going through the motions of life. I was in Leon with a friend and we spent a very drunken night eating various tapas at many bars. What was VERY cool was that whenever you order a glass of wine they give you a tapas for free...on my budget this fits in quite nicely. I ran the next morning along the river...I was REALLY HUNGOVER so in order to not throw up I did like the people of Leon...I just went through the motions. Definitely not one of mybetter running experiences.
Valladolid...which I still cannot pronounce correctly, was next. If you've ever been to Los Angeles and visited The Grove at Farmers Market, then you've visited Valladolid. Very much like Leon in the layout of the city, but very pristine, very upscale. Got completely hosed at dinner and was over charged...having one day, I didn't have a chance to figure out where the locals dine...thus spending entirely too much money for a meal. I was glad to be leaving on the early train.

Avila is a walled city that was built in the 1400's or so. The train trip to Avila went through the middle of nowhere...just barren land with dead grasses. Suddenly this great wall appears on the horizon and you've arrived in Avila. My friend, who I was traveling with at the time, booked us at a very inexpensive hostel. Come to find out this hostel is a refuge on the Comino de Santiago. I never lived in a college dorm I can say I've slept in a college dorm room. Literally, this was a dorm room. Can I just tell you the smell of mold was really, really bad in fact that I went and bought a candle to light just to cover up the smell. Walking around Avila was a bit depressing. The people just seem sad. I guess I would be too if I lived in a walled city out in the middle of the desert.

My friend and I are a bit financially challenged at this time so we went to the grocery store and bought fixings for salad a couple bottles of cheap wine and had a picnic on the floor of our dorm room...we listened to music and I ran, danced, and sang down the empty hallways...was one of the best meals on my trip.
I have one more week left in Spain. I am spending it in Salamanca teaching English to adult businessmen and women. Right now I feel like my journey here hasn't even begun to be finished. I'm trying not to think about going home. Just keeping myself in the moment. I was told last night that if, "You think about tomorrow you always live in a dream, but if you live in the moment you live THE dream." That is a rough quote as I'd had a bit of wine, but that just about says it all....

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Oviedo, Spain...Who Knew?

When I arrived in Oviedo two days ago I was a bit overwhelmed. This is a "big" city compared to Cangas de Onis and the mountains where I had spent the last five days. All of a sudden I felt like a fish out of water. This was strange as I live and lived in cities most of my adult life, but my feeling of "not fitting" came full force.

Oviedo is a very charming city and the old district reminds me a lot of San Francisco. I explored as I have been doing right away when I come to a new spot on this journey. There's an old cathedral in the center of town. I went in and got the strangest vibe. I think people must've been tortured or accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake here or something. I got the hell out of there fast.
I ventured out around 8:00 pm to look for somewhere cheap to eat. I'm never sure where to go when I'm on my own. I found many resturants where couples or families were having dinner or drinks, but those kinds of places really make it apparent that I'm on my own. I then discovered this bar/resturant where people were hanging at the bar eating tapas...perfect. I ended up staying for the entire evening as I suddenly felt as if I "fit" here.

At the bar I chatted up this old guy who told me he was a "politco", which for us Americans is the equivalent of a councilman. I've gotten used to having conversations in broken Spanish and asking the people I'm talking to to speak slowly. My friend, the "politco" introduced me to his other "politco" friends.

Starving, I ordered a salad and sat down to eat at a table next to two women. It was like I was having dinner with two old friends as they began asking me questions and including me in their conversation. I just "fit"...who knew?

After a bit a male friend joined the ladies. Javier was very tall and very handsome and spoke some English. He was quite charming and I was quite taken with him. He wrote me a Haiku poem and asked if I would be his "Virginia girlfriend". I felt like I was in some strange romance novel and was loving every minute of it. The romance of it all seemed to just go from various fantasies in my mind to the reality of the moment.

All of a sudden after six hours of being overwhelmed by Oviedo, I had a group of friends I was hanging out with. I had a great dinner, which was totally paid for my my "politco" friends, who had left by this time, and had left me with this wonderful suprise of paying my bill.

I went to Gijon (pronounced he-hon...make sure it is said correctly as the Spanish get a little insulted if it is mispronounced) the next day to the beach. This was my last chance to see the ocean while in Spain as I go inland today. It was a perfect day and I felt such a lightness to my soul. On the bus ride back to Oviedo I decided to email Javier and ask him out for a drink that evening. I didn't even know if he would respond, but was thrilled when he called me a couple hours later.

We met at 10:00. Javier is an attorney here and seems to know many people in town. I would describe him as "connected" and he introduced me to various characters who seemed to emerge from a David Lynch quote a friend of mine. I must admit it felt really great to be paid attention to by a man...what I mean to say a man who is my age, intelligent, that I was extremely attracted to, and was just right there in the moment with me. I have not experienced that in quite a while.

For dramatic affect I could say we went to his apartment and made mad passionate love all night, but that wouldn't be the truth. Even being the risk taker that I am, I wouldn't go to someone's home that I didn't know. However, the night did progress and I found myself "being with" this man in the most enjoyable way...

I'm not sure how to explain this, but at age 44 I think it is important for a woman to feel sexy and attractive to the opposite sex - or the same sex if that is what she is into. Last night I felt both sexy and attractive, and for the first time in quite a while it "fit" to touch someone and be touched and kissed. It was perfectly in the moment. No strings, no "what's next", no worries. I felt ALIVE in a way that I haven't felt for months...I came - no pun intended - in his universe at the most "fitting" time...Javier, thank you for that.

Monday, July 13, 2009

And Furthermore With the Letting Go Stuff....

This is my last night in Cagnas de Onis, Espana...the small mountian village where I've been for the last five days. I'm sitting here in my favorite bar, Ca'Melan. Yes people, I have a favorite bar in this little town. It is my favorite because the wine is very cheap, they serve free peanuts, and I can poach access to the Internet for free. Plus there's this great bartender named, Hannah.

Hannah is from Finland and came to Spain to attend culinary school. She's a chef but working at Ca'Melan as a bartender. She told me that she came to Spain and didn't know the language at all and was forced to learn very quickly in order to get through school. I greatly admire this as it takes a huge amount of courage to go to school not knowing the about putting oneself into a challenging situation. I hope to visit the resturant that I know Hannah will own someday.

It was a bit rainy today, quite different from the last four days of sunshine...I didn't really mind. I decided to go into another village called Covadonga which is about 12 km away...that's about 7.2 miles for my American friends. The bus ride took me up into the mountains even further than I already was.

The village of Covadonga is basically a really big church that dates back to the 1600's. I went into the church and just sat for almost an hour being quite overwhelmed by the vastness and dare I say it, the presence of a higher being. I must say that I became quite emotional and just sat and cried silently for the entire hour.

At first I wasn't sure why I was crying. I'm not very religious, although I do believe in "God" and the power that comes with a higher power. I think now that the tears were a much needed release of things that will not be and for the things that were. This is truly letting go, and I'm glad I was in such a place to come to this realization. Glad because I was in the middle of nowhere, by myself, not "fitting", and I was at peace.

How long this peace will last I'm not sure, but in that moment I told myself that I needed to remember this always...especially when I get back to Virginia.

I also cried for the life that is to come. I know that the life that is coming for me is to be the most wonderful yet. I guess I've always known I get older my life only gets better and better...I just have to keep the faith that this in fact is TRUE. Am I a little scared? OK...I admit it...I am...but I can look fear in the face and walk right through it. This has always been my nature...this is what I have done time and again and I will continue to do YOU didn't know that back-story, did you?

Fear of what, you ask? Of being alone...of never being loved. For me this is the biggest obstacle I've always faced, what I've always run from or run to, which every way you choose to look at it. I guess it is time to let that go as well...or at least begin to let it go...because there's really nothing to be afraid of...I've been alone, and I haven't shriveled up and died, have I?

Even more, I realized to a greater degree in that church that it wasn't only me who didn't "fit" was BOTH of us who don't "fit" with each other...and that's ok...I grew by leaps and bounds during that year and someone else will benefit from that growth...what a lucky guy he will be! I think that in life we encounter people who are supposed to be there in order for us to grow and continue.
I think my visit to these mountains of Spain have been the most significant time of my journey so far. I've met some great people, but more importantly I've met a side of myself that I didn't think really existed. On my hike Sunday, Maribel, one of the women in the group I was in told me she thought I was, "valiente". This means "brave" in Spainish. I've been told this before, but never really considered myself brave. I see this now in myself...not to be conceited...but I realize that I've got some "balls". I may not always "fit", but I can be proud of who I am.

I walked back to Cagnas de Onis from Covadongo - the bus wasn't coming for another hour an a half - I became unbearably restless so I decided to walk the 12 km/7 miles back to town. I didn't cry on the walk...I felt so strong and alive and totally marvelled in the beauty of Northern Spain as I treked through tiny village after tiny village. I'm sure the locals were thinking, "Muy loca turista, cambina!" - "Crazy tourist walking!" I'm a bit crazy...whatever.....

Saturday, July 11, 2009

What Does It Mean To Let Go?

I was asked recently if my trip to Spain was about me running from my life in Virginia. To be completely honest I would have to say that, yes, on some level I am running from my life, but not in the way you would think. I've spent my entire life not "fitting" anywhere. In California that was ok because no one really "fits" there and I gained a certain peace in that knowlege. My move to Virgina was based solely on my need to grow as a person. I felt that leaving my comfort zone of California would do just that. Have I grown? Yes. Do I "fit"? Absolutely not, and I've had a difficult time finding peace in that fact.

It is quite ironic because here in the montains of Spain I definitely do not "fit". There are really no Americans in this place. In fact, today I went on a hike through the mountains with a group of Spanish people who didn't speak English, and I don't speak very good Spanish. Talk about not "fitting". However on this journey I keep thinking that if I can find some peace in not "fitting" here, I can find peace in not "fitting" in Virginia. Or at least I can LET GO of the fact that I don't "fit" and finally have a complete life...fuck I don't know.

I'm not saying that I haven't met some incredible people in Virginia, I have. These are people I would consider good friends and who've accepted the fact that I don't "fit" and seem to like me anyway.

Over the course of the last year I met someone who told me that I "fit" in his life. That I was WANTED in his life. Not wanted in a marriage sort of way, but in a special friendship way. I was told this time and again. Being a person doesn't really trust, it took me most of that year to really believe what he said was TRUE. I don't think he even knows the extent or how long that I didn't believe what he was saying was in fact true. Because of this I was very careful to stay completely in the moment and never question "what's next" or "where we were going". Quite frankly that would've been too much for me to handle...staying in the moment was enough.

The completely fucked up and ironic thing is that once I did TRUST and BELIEVE that I "fit" I was hit with the fact that I didn't "fit". That what was said to me wasn't really what he meant. That I was the one who "talked him into being with me." Gosh, I didn't know I had such power!

On my hike today I thought a lot about "fitting" and "trust" and finally about letting go. One thing I do know is that I will probably never "fit" according to society's standards, and that's fine with me, I like who I am and the fact that I "beat my own drum". As far as trust goes...I trust myself first and foremost, and with that I will be able to trust another person.

Letting go of it all moving on and just "being" is the hard part, but I'm on the right path...or at least I hope I am on the right path. I do know that the things I was told - very personal things that I would NEVER share - not even in this blog are not about me and that I didn't "fit. Truth is I did "fit"...come on I was told this time and again there has to be SOME truth in that...again, I don't have THAT much power over another. The truth can be scary...believe me I know this better than anyone. Some day that will be realized, but to quote a Semisonic song, "Too late, I'm done waiting, I won't be here in another life."

Letting go with light and love and being thankful for the experience...having another life..."fitting" or not...hmmmm....I like the sound of that.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Leaving the gloom of Somo was extremely nice. For a surfing town I was so suprised at the atmosphere. It is like the people's bodies have been invaded by sad body snatchers who are determined to suck the life out of everything and everyone around them. The one bright spot was chatting up two surfer boys from Holland. Sven and Olaf were just as disallusioned with Somo as I was.

After leaving Somo I spent one night in a small fishing village called San Vicente de la Barquera, which was a complete turn around. People were actually alive and smiled just for the sake of smiling, which was a breath of fresh air.

I had to take two buses to arrive at my next stop, the town of Cagnas de Onis in the Picos de Europas. This is a lovely little village in the mountains. There are many excursions I can go on such as floating down the Sella River in a canoe and going on a hiking trip. The thing that scares me the most is the canoe trip, which is what I'm planning to do tomorrow. This should be an adventure as I'm not the best swimmer in the world. Thank God they will provide me with a life jacket.

On the bus ride here I kept thinking to myself what is it that I'm doing out here in Spain all by myself. What is it that I'm hoping to discover? I've traveled alone before...hell - I'm alone most of the time in my life in Virginia. I am trying to really focus on keeping myself in the moment...whether the moment is thrilling or challenging, but I'm questioning what is it that I'm supposed to do out here. I know there is something, and I guess two weeks into this trip I've become a bit impatient.

I know what I'm hoping will happen. I'm hoping that my life in Virginia will change. That I won't be alone so much. That maybe I'll make some friends that I will hang out with - you know like go to the movies or go for dinner, that type of stuff. Do I want to find love? Of course, that would be wonderful. Fuck, that sounds so clique - I want a boyfriend - whine, whine, whine, blah, blah, blah. There's more than that, though. I don't want to be like so many women I know...middle aged and ALONE...isn't it time? Haven't paid enough dues to earn campanionship? Sheesh...come on...

A friend of mine says I will be back in California, that I should focus on getting myself there. I think he is wrong. If I go to California all will be the same, I must deal with what I need to deal with in Virginia before I can truly move forward in my life. This I know for sure.

For now, I'm going on a canoe down a river tomorrow and the next day I will go on some crazy hiking trip...this is truly staying in the moment...a donde la supermercado? I'm hungry!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Wet and Drippy....Oh My!

It is my second week in Spain and for some reason rain keeps following me. I'm currently in Somo a small surfing island off the town of Santander. I experienced simliar dreary weather while in San Sebastian the last 4 days. I must admit I'm feeling a bit blue.

San Sebastian is a beautiful little fishing town that has taken advantage of the tourist trade. My hostel was just OK. The owner, Jon, was a little abrupt and didn't really give me that warm and cozy feeling. He seemed to not like the fact that my Spanish is on the level of a two year old...
oh well at least I am trying to learn, right?

La Playa de Concha - the beach in San Sebastain was spectacular and for two of the four days that I was there I took advantage of relaxing, reading, and working on my tan. I met a beach bum who invited me to smoke some pot, which I readily agreed to...gotta live in the moment. I found out later that Juan is really a homeless guy who lives on the beach. I discovered this when he asked me for a euro so he could get some food. I was immediately creeped out and got the hell away from him. How in the world did I attract someone like that into my universe?

I later met a bartender named, Manuel, who graciously gave me free drinks and tapas for the evening. He was kinda cute in a short guy way, so I ended up kissing him. This is the first time I've kissed anyone since, well, you know - HIM! I feel as if some ice has been broken. Like OK...I can kiss someone else and enjoy it. Did I use Manuel for free food and a kissing experiement? Maybe - but the universe provides what is needed at the right time.

So here I am at Playa de Somo. In the drippy weather. I sure hope it is sunny tomorrow. This wetness really is playing with my head. I feel the darkness. I've been running, rain and all, most mornings, which is keeping much of the darkness at bay. However, with this weather not many people are around and I'm feeling all alone this sleepy surfer town. The ironic thing is that one of my best friends in the world is with me for these three days.

I normally would be fine feeling a bit lonely. I mean come on, I just spent the entire winter feeling more alone that I thought imaginable. Except I go to the mountains in two days where I'll be spending five days by myself. So there is this spark of fear that I will isolate myself. I have a hotel room to myself - DANGER APPROACHING - I must not isolate as that will completely defeat my entire purpose of this trip. First step in avoiding isolation? Research all there is to do while in the mountains...keep AS BUSY AS POSSIBLE...and come hell or high water be with groups of other people.

As I'm running I see joy and love and togetherness coming into my universe. Thought means action, right? As difficult as this may be right thoughts must remain as, love, and togetherness with others, not to mention laughter. Many people in my life told me that I would find some hot Spanish men and I would be making out or having sex or the like. I don't know two weeks into the trip and I'm finding that even though it would be nice to find some love; and definitely satisfy that physical part that hasn't been paid attention to in a long time, I'm thinking it would be really awesome to meet people or someone to have a great conversation with...I really miss that connection...fuck this is making me very emotional...snap out of it, Gracie, for fucks sake you're on vacation!
My friend who is traveling with me these 3 days says this lonely feeling is normal when a person travels by themselves. He's been doing it for the last six months. I haven't really shared with him that I feel that scary darkness coming. We talked about HIM last night...I should've changed the subject because I think that is what has sparked this feeling. My friend called HIM a pussy...this is true, in many ways he is a pussy...he ran...pussy move in my opinion...but well you know how I feel/felt about HIM and it is really hard to hear another person speak with such blatant honesty. It seemed to make that empty space feel even bigger and I suddenly felt really lost on what to do in order to fill it up.
Again...fucking snap out of it, Gracie! Put on that happy face...go out and smile...YOU'RE ON FUCKING VACATION!!!!