Sunday, July 25, 2010

Holding On to My Life...

I walked around Seville, Spain yesterday.  The history of this place is amazing.  The beauty of the city is breathtaking.  Of all the places I've been to in Spain, Seville has the deepest diversity.

It is incredibly hot here.  After a week in the mountains my body wasn't ready for the intensity of the sun.  By 3:00 I was feeling a bit dizzy...and really emotional.

Last week I taught English.  I was surrounded by Spanish adults in a remote mountain village.  In that isolation we bonded.  A quick family that said good-bye on Friday.  It is one of those times when you say, "We'll keep in touch."  It never happens.  That's ok, the memories will stay in heart and mind.

Here in Seville, my emotions came to the surface.  Last night I couldn't keep them inside.  It is frustrating because staying in a hostel there is no privacy.  People are everywhere.  In the room, in the garden, even in the bathroom.

I finally escaped to the roof.  No one around I let the tears come.  I've been so lost out here.  Everyday I wake up and I wonder what is wrong with me.  This trip is a chance of a life time.

Last summer was so different.  Things clicked out here.  I found my way.  I didn't want to go home.  Now I count the days until I go home.

My first summer that I'm with someone that I truly love, that I want to be my future, and I made the choice to leave and come here.  The mix of emotions that come with that are hard to explain.  There's a great sadness that I cannot seem to shake.  I carry it with me each day like a backpack.  Each city I go to I hope this sadness goes away and it never does.  It lingers like an unwelcome traveling campanion.

This summer I have realized that my life at home is much better than being out here.  At home I have someone to share with.  This realization has come with conflict because I've never been in a position where I even wanted to share.  I've been alone.  At home I am not alone, and I am a better person.

Out here I am alone again and it is almost unbearable.  I don't want to be out here alone anymore.  I want to be home where someone knows me and loves me.

I am not sure how this journey will play out.  Right now I take it day by day.  I do know that I am leaving Seville and the intense heat.  I am heading for the beach tomorrow.  Being near the water always gives me some clarity.

I see my love on Friday.  He says we will be getting to know each other again.  The anticipation is a bit overwhelming.  I am so happy that we will be together, yet I'm nervous.  Like a teenager waiting for her first date to arrive at the door. 

Funny, last summer I spent a month in Spain letting go of all the pain I was carrying around.  It happened.  I came back home ready to move forward.  This past moth I've spent each day holding on to what I have at home. 

Funny how a year can change everything.  Isn't it?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Trust A World Away

It is an interesting thing being in a relationship and taking a two month trip a world away. To say you miss the other seems terribly trite…I mean I would be worried if I didn’t miss him.

Over the last eight months I’ve been building a life with this other person. Not just a life, a future…someone to hold hands with me when I’m 90, you know?

Now, here we are living these separate lives yet trying to stay as connected as possible.

Before I left we talked about being afraid of what might happen while I was away on my trip. The unknown…you know…

Abandonment issues linger and creep their way into my thoughts randomly as I’ve been out here. Look at my history, my own father couldn’t even stand to hang around.

I know I shouldn’t go there…that’s the opponent talking…the thing that likes to fuck with a person’s happiness…OK, opponent: leave me the fuck alone already.

Conflict enters the picture when I’m having a good time. I’m bonding with others at the hostel, or just out having fun at a bar. I’m laughing, I’m living…that’s what is supposed to happen, isn’t it?

I tell him about these good times, and there’s times his body language or tone of voice changes. I suddenly feel like I’ve done something wrong…I feel very defensive.

I want him to know everything I’m experiencing out here, but is that outside of his comfort zone?

Trust needs to be handled delicately. Both he and I have past baggage where our trust in others has been obliterated and scattered with the wind.

We need to trust each other more than ever right now.

Trust that we can live these separate lives for a minute but still stay connected. Trust that we are each other’s future, that an ocean cannot possibly kill this love we feel; and if it does, then trust that the universe has other plans.

Trust can be a true friend. Trust can lead us to great discoveries about ourselves and each other. These discoveries are then shared and we grow stronger.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ah! In Spain...Finally...

It is amazing how just crossing the boarder into Spain relaxed me.  The vibe here is so different than France.  So MELLOW. I don't know if it is because the start of my journey was in France, or the people, or the language barrier...I don't know, but I didn't like it.

I cannot believe the hostel I'm staying at.  Total freaking surfer hang out. Right on the shoes...people coming and going...again..they could be my children.  They have finally left for the evening so I am able to sit here quietly watch the ocean and write.  This is the life I want...Can you hear me universe?  A place near the ocean where I can make a home, have a garden, cook, write, and love my guy forever.

I'm listening to the guys here in the common room.  The discussions on how drunk they got last night are sort of amusing.  I'm so glad that I'm no longer in that space.  Enjoying life...YES!  Eating tapas last night was almost a sexual experience.  Getting so wasted that I cannot remember my name?  I don't think so.

I did enjoy some wine and other party favors with a couple of the surfers that were hanging out in the hostel.  Kyle is from the USA, and is trying to break a record on how many bottles of cheap wine he can drink in a day...don't people do that in high school?  Diego, on the other hand, travels the world looking for the perfect wave.  He's great to look at, but who knows if the things he says are true?

The conversation was all about drinks, surf, and Diego's quest to have sex with a girl from every world culture...I think he's making a study  of it all...I just listen and think...these boys have no idea...but they sure are providing me with some amusement.

Exactly what I need....

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Still Standing For The Moment...

So it is my last night in Bordeaux.  This has to my favorite city I visited in France.  Very old, very quaint.  Still haven't gotten my travel legs but I think I am getting there...well...maybe not.

I do know that Bordeaux is small enough for me.  My first night I met a man who bought me a beer and let me use his phone to call the USA and check in with my guy...very nice.  He later wanted me to go back to his much for just being neighborly...guys are guys I guess, even in France.

This is the thing...I'm just not really fitting in anywhere.  I'm just not feeling comfortable.  I am hating have no idea.  What the fuck is wrong with me?  In Spain last summer it didn't take this long to get it together.

I'm sitting here right now in the stairwell of my hotel because the reception is closed at this hour and it is the only way I can get online.  I have tears running down my face because really the.only thing I want to do is go home...but I can't...No matter what I cannot let this beat me...but right now it is completely and toally kicking my ass...and I don't know how to make it stop.

My gay husband says that I am living the dream...I know he is right.  I am so thankful that I am able to travel like is a dream come true.  What he doesn't know is that there's another dream I'm living a million miles away...a dream I've waited my whole life for...someone to share my life with.

The thing is I know that I need to accomplish something out here...what exactly is yet to be determined...right now I feel like I am fluttering into failure and I'm scared.

My gay husband, who has been my dearest friend for 20 years, completely "gets" this type of journey.  He has mentored me both in travel and in my writing.  Now he has other things he has to do...his own path...he doesn't have time or space for my insecurity.

Even though I understand this intellectually, my heart is hurting.  The abruptness of it all feels like a black hole.  I am not sure how to wrap my head around the fact that I am going to take the rest of this journey without him...I'm not sure this will happen, but my gut is telling me that we will be on the outskirts of each others lives for a bit.  That happens in friendships...

For now I go to place....

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hostel Blues

I am having hostel frustration.  The place I am staying at in Nice, Villa Saint Exupery, is one of the top rated hostels in the world.  I can see why, the grounds are lovely, a great bar, and delighful meals for very cheap prices.  I feel very lucky that I have one of the air conditioned rooms because many are not and the heat here is almost unbearable.

I've met some really wonderful people:  Nick my beach partner from Toronto, Andes and his family from Sydney, and Thormud a 76 year-old backpacker from Melborne. 

Since I am here for six days I am trying to make a socialogical study of the comings and goings of the backpackers in my nine bed dorm room.  Some have snuck in in the middle of the night only to be gone before daylight.  It is like they are on a secret mission.

Then there's Pierre from Quebec City...I cannot remember his real name, but he speaks with a slight French accent.  His bunk is above mine.  He has bags of food all over and has decided that our two beds are his personal clothes line for drying his laundry.  I woke up to a curtain of laundry blocking my view.  Glad I am not claustrophobic.

Others, like Chris, from NYC, sleeps all day and rises around happy hour time.  He then proceeds to drink himself into oblivion and pick up whatever unsuspecting 21 year-old he can find.  I'm wondering if this is working for him?

I really don't want to sound like this old lady complaining about, "those damn kids," because they all have a story and I find them all facinating.  I just don't think getting as drunk as humanly possible each night is how I want to spend my trip.  I'm not judging, it is just not my bag.

The door doesn't really lock in my room, and even if it did none of my roommates seem to care about locking things up.  I'm sure they think I am ultra paranoid because I lock up both backpack and suitcase, and lock the suitcase to the bedpost.

Today I came back from visiting Aux en Provence and I look down and I see a few pairs of men's underwear.  One of my roommate's I presume.  I must admit I did try and look to see if they were dirty or clean...gross I know...they were dirty.   I wanted to take a picture, but people started coming home...I'm sure they would've thought it odd.  I think it is odd that someone leaves their dirty underwear lying around a hostel floor.

I've developed this awful cough over the last couple days.  I'm thinking I am allergic to something in the air or in the room, and it is quite annoying...for both me and my roommates.  It sucks because I wake up in the middle of the night coughing like crazy and cannot seem to stop.  Matthew from Toronto gave me some cough drops which help somewhat.  I'm sure my roommates are sharing my lack of sleep because of this...sorry guys, the last thing I want to do is contribute to your sleep depervation.

Last night on the phone with my guy back home I tried to explain my frustation.  I was weepy from lack of sleep and the relentless cough.  I know he cares and wants to help, but this is something I have to figure out on my own.  Part of me having a life out here that is only mine. 

Having an assortment of roommates will be part of this trip there are no two ways about it.  It just is, and like everything else when I come to peace with it things will be easier.  Running away and laying down my credit card for a hotel room is, in my opinion, a puss way out, and not part of the life I want to experience out here.  Days are coming where I will have my own room and they will be doubly sweet....

So suck it up, Gracie, and deal with it.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Ok...I'm Here...In France...Sheesh...

I've been gone from home for almost a week now.  My gay husband told me that it would take me a few days to get used to being so far away.  He was right. 

I think I am in the loneliness stage.  You know that point where I am wondering if this trip was the best idea. 

My three days in Paris were filled with walking among millions of people, but the sudden feeling of being all alone in the world surged in me in such an unexpected way.  It was as if I was standing on the outside of this huge club house and I could see into the window but I couldn't find the door that would allow me inside.

I am smart enough to realize that the unbearable heat of Paris, along with the process of getting my travel legs under me didn't help.  Finally, on my last day in Paris I found this lovely place, Jardin du Luxenburg.  A quiet park where I just sat and gathered myself, and came to peace that I will be away for the next two months.

Last summer when I went to Spain. I left Virginia without a thought.  No ties.  Just a couple good friends that will always be my good friends.  This trip is different...there's someone at home...waiting.  In my wildest dreams I never thought something like that would happen. 

As much as I want to see him, to touch him, just be with him, I must wrap my head around the fact that we are going to be apart for the next few weeks.  I have to make a little life for myself where he's in my heart, but not in my day to day life.

A life out here that is mine, this is what I need to do.  Sitting here in this hostel in Nice, France I am surrounded by a ton of people.  Many of them are young enough to be my children, yet I think I've fit in.  Well, I've found a few who seem to accept me as who I am.   I think that was what I've been waiting for.  To be sitting here in the middle of this frat party hostel writing this post and thinking, " I am and I'm OK."

I ventured out to the beach today.  Villefranche was the village/beach I went to.  I met Nick, from my hostal on the tram to the bus station.  We ended up hanging at the beach all day.  Was loads of fun...was some actual intelligent conversation.  Was the first time on this trip that I actually felt my normal self.  I just sat and talked with another person about lovely. 

People who don't travel on their own don't realize how nice it is to find someone to truly bond with.

Tonight in the bar I chatted up people that I've met in the last couple days, plus a couple new people.  This one Swedish gentleman, who I met my first night here, asked me why I haven't started writing my novel yet.  Good question.  I don't know why...where is that fear coming from? 

Maybe I'll figure that out here....