Reality Check – Oh The Glam of It All…

I believe in angels and all things magical and mystical. Balinese believe in Ganesha, the God of wisdom and new beginnings. Ganesha is everywhere I look in S.E. Asia and the most worshiped deity. At his feet, lie small weaved bowls filled with colorful offerings, as if he is choosing accessories for his temples. His head is that of an elephant and he has 4 arms. Acceptance of Ganesha as the divine force questions the mind and its doubts, forcing one to look beyond outer appearances. Thus, Ganesha is meant to create the faith to remove all obstacles.
You know how when you take a class, no one wants to sit up front? Well, today, that was the only spot left the 7am yoga class. Truthfully, I had been feeling a little down, a little homesick and caught a cold here. Anyway, ten minutes in, beams of sunlight sliced through the skylight casting my shadow directly on the Ganesha shrine which sits facing the class. Not the shadows of the students on either side of me, just Me. It stayed this way for some time; the shrine became a mirror of my poses. Coincidence? You know my answer...Ganesha, I need you.
Reality is, many people think travel is sooo glamorous, while it can be, not so much for the long term, slow travel, on a tight budget ones like me. I could have written this next article about all the beauty and exoticness of this part of the world, but why? That is obvious.
Just over 6 months in, it’s time to get real, the good the bad and the ugly. Here is an excerpt from an email I sent to my sisters and daughter a few days ago: (assuming you know I was a volunteer at the Bali Spirit Festival,)
“Here’s some observations, I am not judging, just what I have noticed. You can spot the spiritual fakes a mile away because they are more done up then the rest, they are overly concerned with how they look more than studying yoga..this goes for boys too – did you know it’s cool now for boys to wear toe polish? Some of these women, come every day in super designer duds with the Om symbols, go to class and spend the entire time taking pics of each other in poses. I had to tell a pack of them to shut the fuck up one day, because they broke out a picnic in the middle of class. The old people like me are far and few between. Everyone just LOVES each other like they have known each other their whole lives. While I have learned more styles of yoga which I love, and sat in on cool lectures, I have also learned I am not that girl who likes chanting classes or those grateful dead dance classes where you hug everyone. The girl who I work with told me, I should…, get this; ‘take psychedelics’, …ecstasy and lsd to be specific, to find my inner artist!!! WTF? However, she is nice and I like her, I can’t judge her just because she thinks menstrual blood is sacred and uses a ‘moon cup’ to catch the blood, which she then makes a sugar body scrub with and also feeds her plants with it. Now, the night events at the art museum are very cool, the beauty of the grounds, or of this country, take my breath away, it’s like everyones image of paradise, if you’re into tropical – it makes The Keys look like Harlem. So I go to the concerts and dance by myself and really enjoy the talent of the musicians and local dancers. I have not been on any dates……..yet, but I am looking. There’s just no place like Rome where I had my pick of men, like a fantasy shopping mall of male hotness. I’m in a 2 bdrm villa cuz that’s all they had, and for $20 a day I took it, I have a kitchen and a lot of space, BUT there is no AC - wait, yes there is, but only in the upstairs bedroom and it works like shit. I got my haircut for $4.32 and it is the worst uneven hack job, I look like the little dutch girl and my bangs curl up in stupid ways from the humidity, so I try to use my mascara and a hair clip for a curler. My budget is completely fucked, so I live on bread, cheese, eggs and lettuce. Do I sound like I am complaining? Because I am not really. Every day I wake up happy and excited for what I will see or discover. I truly have never felt so free, love my new skinnier self even with the bad hairdo. So, please think of me as I think of you every day.”
Now, that’s as honest as I can get, but here are a few more morsels of my reality. I have completely under estimated the budget and need to find a way to replenish, hence the obstacle theme. Golden items I hoard: Ziploc bags, rubber bands, napkins, coconut oil, tweezers, paper and pens, plastic shopping bags – all of these have so many uses. Bet you didn’t know shopping bags double as cutting boards and toilet paper makes a fine napkin. So what if I only have hot water on a good day or can’t rinse my fruit with the tap water in the kitchen? So what if I hand wash my clothes with shampoo in a bathtub or only have internet when it feels like working? Coffee makers, microwaves, built in ice makers…. I really miss you. Wonder what it feels like not to have a job? Honestly it’s pretty easy, but that won’t last forever. For now, I am still free and it still feels great. 
Yes, I believe in Magic, Angels and Ganesha. I’ve walked the same streets as Julius Caesar, saw a tiny piece of France and Spain, experienced the real South Africa, Thailand and Vietnam. Just when I was feeling a little down, a friend posted a beautiful message to me on Facebook that really moved me. In the very beginning I said I would be happy if I could inspire one person, it is enough….then Ganesha shined on me.
“I have a dream, a fantasy, To help me through reality, And my destination makes it worth the while.”
 -  Thanks Abba.

Comments ( 4 )

  • Jill says:

    The good, the not so good and the just different. It will change you. Celebrate!

  • Teresa Ziegler. says:

    Woman you inspire me. Your courageous and free. Love you love your stories. Thanks for keeping it real. The best to you as you are endeavoring upon your final parts of your journey. Stay safe.

  • MOM says:

    Sounds like you are a little down,,,,you know life is made with ups and downs.You know you have to experience the downs to really enjoy the ups !!! You are experiencing and learning more than I will in my life time that is left for me! So many people admire you, even those that you have never met , and are a little jealous of the life you are living. In the words of "Annie"...."the sun 'll come out tomorrow !'

  • Gloria Z says:

    “to travel is worth any cost or sacrifice.”
    ― Elizabeth Gilbert

    "The most creative act you will ever undertake is the act of creating yourself"
    ---- Deepak Chopra

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