• Complicated Woman

    I feel like I want to reach out to something. To remove this suffocating blanket, but I can’t figure out how to do it. I wish there was somewhere that I could go or some one that I could call. But there is no where and no one who can satisfy the longing. I want it to be you and I want it to be here, but everything has settled like freshly laid bricks. I am lost in all the gray shades of a rainy sky again. Why is it that I always have to want more? To be stimulated. To be climbing a limitless height. I did know all along that this was never the final destination and home is not a place that I can travel to.

    Home is within me. But sometimes I have so many mood swings and fluctuations of feelings that I feel like I am in the middle of a storm or deserted in a white space. Sometimes I feel off and every person around me feels like a puzzle piece that doesn’t quite fit.

    I still see the beauty in the little things. Like fallen flowers on the pavement and the sound of the wind. But I am wanting more from life. A thick purpose. A project that flows like a dance.

    I don’t know how my spirit can be so needy. Always craving changes and chasing the future. Sometimes, I wish that I could be a simpler human. Do one thing, live in one place, have a routine, smile through it all, and wake up happy. Like a farmer who spends their summers weeding and their winters inside reading books.

    Maybe I can be like this when I am older. But, for now, I am seeking. I am complicated. I am searching for ripe fruits. I look at other complicated women and think how difficult it is to be around them. To try and break through their layers knowing that there are more than I could ever know about. There are stories sewed into their being that I could never understand. But I understand because I am also a woman like this.

    There is always something mixing inside me. A light blooming. A darkness leaking. I am unpredictable and free, yet caged and lost. But I am here. I am alive. I want to keep breathing. Some days I am high and some days I am low. Just keep going. That’s all I have to worry about. Be open to opportunities if they come, but for now, just keep on top of the daily tasks and enjoy.

  • New Direction: Why I Moved to Camiguin Island, Phillipines

    I am in a new place. Living a completely different life. It has only been 2 weeks. I’m slow to settle in and find my groove.

    I was working 9 hours a day in the city and waiting for the weekend to come so I could socialize, relax, and let go. It was a routine life. I always saw the same people and did the same things. I felt tired all the time. A bit frustrated at times. Even bored. Floating away from the type of person that I had been aiming for.

    Being a teacher was interesting. You have to hold it together in front of everyone all day. You have to be patient, kind, understanding, willing to explain, but also strong and regulated. I tried to be an example for my students. I tried to teach them things about life, not just what the book said. I tried really hard to be interesting, engaging, and inspiring. It takes more energy than you would think. By the end of the week, all I wanted to do was throw my inhibitions away, talk shit, swear, and drink.

    I loved to stay out all night dancing and saying yes to drugs if anyone was offering. I would sleep in and take a yoga class or go on a long drive into the mountains. I hated most having to avoid police check points and the air quality. I felt like I was constantly flipping through the same book. Over and over again. I loved it, but I was ready for something else.

    I was going through a break up at the time and felt like it would be healthy for me to go away for a while. I began applying to teach yoga at retreat centers all over the world: Maldives, Morocco, Cambodia, India, Hawaii, and so on. Nothing was working out. I had one last interview with a retreat center in the Philippines and I told myself that if this didn’t work out, I would finish out the semester and look again in December.

    The interview was a flowing conversation with laughter. Easy and natural. A few days later I quit my job and booked a one way ticket. I was worried about money, but I told myself that I would find a way to stretch it. I broke my lease and moved my excess stuff to a friend’s house. I was surprised at how many things were mine. That I held onto. It all happened so fast that I thought I’ll just take myself and a backpack to the Philippines and worry about all the logistics later. Sometimes I think that if something happened to the stuff that I left behind in Chiang Mai, I wouldn’t care.

    I am here now living on a quiet island. Teaching yoga. Sounds of the ocean in the background. Eating well. Coming and going on a bicycle. Taking naps sometimes, And writing. Actually, I have never been luckier. I am really living. I am not stressed or yelling at kids because they didn’t do their homework. Finally, I am giving myself the space to just be and do something that I love. Work that enriches my soul.

    Now, I wait for my soul to blossom. To feel and rejuvenate. To go deep within myself. To understand my path. To find my calling.

    In a sense, I am already there. But I always want to know more. Go further. I am always seeking.

     

  • For The In-Betweens

    Sometimes I look at my life as a series of stepping stones. Each life-changing decision brings me closer to my purpose. And I get so wrapped up in what’s coming, the life that I don’t have yet, that I lose focus on the abundance that I have already created for myself.

    When I reflect, I’m in awe of all the good times that have already passed. And I remember how I could have done a better job in enjoying the moment more fully.

    My head runs me far from my heart like a puppy and it is a practice to constantly bring it back. This is where I am today. Look at this beautiful life that I have created for myself. Indulge in this sweet moment.

    I am teaching Yin Yoga today and am reminded to give myself space to exist, feel and release.

    Whatever you’re up to now, your purpose is coming for you, the love of your life is coming, your dream job is coming, so enjoy today while what is meant for you takes its sweet, perfect time to manifest.

  • 10 Things That Surprised Me About Chiang Mai

    1. There are more expats and foreigners here than I imagined

      Well, the secret is out. Northern Thailand is a paradise. And every other foreigner is either living here or visiting. There have been many instances where I have been out and about and there have been more white people than Thais. Many of the amazing restaurants (vegan, Italian, Israeli, etc.) are run by foreigners and usually their Thai wife or Thai business partner. As a result, the format of the city has been diluted with foreign influence. Chiang Mai is a multicultural place and sometimes you forget that you are in Thailand.

    2. The city is touristy

      For some reason, I expected Chiang Mai to be a low key, sleepy little city. I read that it was progressive and laid back and so I pictured lots of empty roads, hidden nature-scapes, and locals roaming around quietly. Instead, it is a bustling, growing city that has evolved to cater to its visitors. Downtown, prices for restaurants, bars, shops, tuk-tuks, and even markets are raised because of the influx of tourists. There are a lot of people everywhere. You can take any tour imaginable… For example: bathe elephants, hike to a waterfall, take a cooking class, go zip-lining through the jungle, and so on. Now, I live outside the city to avoid the tourists and the tourist prices.

    3. Almost everyone speaks English

      With tourism comes accommodation, comfort, and ease for the tourists. Tourists are more likely to come to a place where they know that they can experience something foreign without a communication barrier. Many Thais have realized that they can find more opportunities and success if they speak English. Some Thais are also very interested in talking with foreigners or maybe they want to be in a relationship with one. English is spoken and written just about everywhere. So much so that it has been difficult for me to pick up Thai because I can easily communicate in English.

    4. Thai is easier to learn than you think

      Many foreigners who live in Chiang Mai do not know Thai. They say it is difficult to learn because of the tones and how different it is structured from their own language. Part of immersing yourself in a new place is learning their language. I know many other foreigners who have picked up Thai because they force themselves to hang out with only Thais. You can easily take Thai language classes, higher a tutor, or immerse yourself more. With Thais, you usually have to be more outgoing at first, but they are very welcoming people. Just try it!

    5. Dealing with Immigration is complex and confusing

      One of the worst parts about living in Thailand is dealing with immigration. Bureaucracy, in general, is a hassle. When dealing with visas and all the other things that come along with it, make sure that you are on the ball. Constantly check in with the people, schools, or companies that are helping you get a visa. Rules change all the time and you have to be proactive. You will likely have to deal with a lot of annoying tasks that could have been avoided if you were more informed. It is so annoying, but that is the reality of having the privilege of living in Thailand.

    6. Police Checks

      There are police checks in downtown Chiang Mai and other parts outside the city on the way to other places (like Pai). They begin in the late morning and end in the early afternoon (usually). The police are checking for helmets and Thai licenses. If you are not following the rules, they will charge you 500 baht and give you a ticket. If police charge you less and don’t give you a ticket, that’s a bribe. Make sure you get a written ticket. Yes, they absolutely target foreigners. It is annoying, but just follow the rules or avoid the checkpoints.

    7. Alcohol can get expensive

      Food, housing, transportation, water, electricity, and gas are cheap cheap cheap! But, if you drink, it can add up. For example, a plate of street food can cost around $1 USD and a large beer can cost up to $3 USD. For some, alcohol is medicine. Cut alcohol costs by buying from 7-11 or a little mom and pop convenience store. If you buy drinks at a restaurant or a bar, prices are doubled and tripled.

    8. There are A LOT of bugs and lizards

      I know there are a lot of lizards because I have to sweep away their poop on my balcony all the time. And, also, how can I ignore their very loud mating calls at night? Rain brings flying termites that are obsessed with lights and they will show up in swarms of hundreds and thousands. Hundreds of ants will come marching in if you leave a single crumb. Once, there were hundreds of termites that birthed from my wooden stair. I told my landlord and she chalked it up to rainy season and said mai pen rai (it’s ok / don’t worry). Thais are way less fazed by bugs than me. I have become my own hero, even killing spiders and roaches with my bare hands. This is the price I pay for living in the jungle.

    9. You can get anything you need

      Thailand is not a third world country. There is a wonderful grocery store called Rimping. They are all over the city. You can get any snack or foreign food item here because they are stocked with imports. Yes, it is a bit more expensive than going somewhere local. Big C has any basic item as well, like a Walmart. You can find what you need anywhere in the city. I am always looking for special herbs, vitamins, holistic medications and toiletries, even organic produce and I have it all here. If anyone has ever wanted what you need, it probably exists somewhere.

    10. Chiang Mai sucks you in

      People have asked me: why do you live in Chiang Mai? Well, I have always wanted to go to Asia and Chiang Mai was my first stop. And I never left. I ran out of money, found a great job as a teacher, felt comfortable, and fell in love with a guy. One way or another, Chiang Mai will embrace you with all its wonders and comforts and you won’t want to leave either. Come experience it for yourself!