When you get used to travelling and moving around there’s a part of you that becomes jaded. I don’t know how to explain it, it’s like part of you is constantly amazed, in awe and mystified, but there’s another part of you that feels like you’ve seen something better, or you could see something better. Everyday life just doesn’t cut it when you hike up the highest mountain and look at the view from the top, when you get lost in an amazing city, when you try new foods, and when you take flights to new destinations. Lately in my nomadic experience I’ve hit a “cocoon” period, I like to call it that because I know some sort of metamorphosis is taking place in who I am at this moment, and it may be exciting but it’s also quite painful and unnerving. A lot of people don’t know this, but caterpillars die when they are about to turn into butterflies, they don’t just sprout wings and legs and stuff, they legit die. They turn into mush inside this cocoon and literally are rebuilt from zero (fascinating to say the least) biology is something that has always enchanted me, precisely because of situations like these. Right now I feel a lot like that caterpillar mush, there are bits of my brains and thoughts floating about, and I’m not too sure about anything, but I know that I may not recognise what comes out at the end of this period, and I’m okay with that.
Being in the midst of situations like these (whilst being away from any kind of home) is even more difficult. But at the same time, it creates a sense of selfishness where you are so incredibly “self-aware” that you seem to forget that all around you there are other fascinating things taking place. There have been moments in these last few weeks when I have felt that my desires to continue are exhausted, my excitement is subdued, and I’m simply fed-up. Being in a transition period makes you feel a bit like no one else is transitioning, and as if while you’re in this cocoon, everyone is watching you in a glass box waiting for the results. But it’s not that way at all, you have to watch everyone else. It doesn’t rain much in Valencia, honestly, it doesn’t rain at all, and that’s sad for me because I love the rain. This morning I was experiencing another existential crisis, as I was furiously typing away my thoughts, when suddenly…rain, I heard rain. It was somewhere near 10am and I rushed to my balcony and stood in the rain. I was about to cry almost. I had no idea where this emotion came from, but I was so happy to feel that cold rain falling on my skin. I moved “Jason” (my begonia plant) closer to the edge so he could drink up the cold water, and I instantly played a song I love by Phil Wickham “Divine Romance”. Suddenly, I felt a rush, I had to run outside. I didn’t even get ready, I just took my wallet and phone and went for a walk, because all I wanted to do in that moment was walk in the rain. I felt joy, I forgot about being in the cocoon and decided to embrace that magical moment. I walked with God to a Starbucks and sat and observed people. It was still drizzling, and I tried a new iced coffee, and thought about how many people were going through their own changes, and wondered who they would be at the end, or even who they wanted to be.
On my way home, I saw this man who lives in my building. He is a very ill man who has had kidney failure, and every single day he goes for his treatment, he always looks barely alive, or like he’s clinging to it desperately. Every breath he takes is so forced, I look at him and I wonder why he hangs on, when I give up so easily sometimes. But today, I saw him walking with a beautiful little girl, I opened the door for them and he said ‘hello’. The little girl smiled at me, and I could see her gently nudging and helping him make it to the elevator, I had to ask him how his treatment has been going. He replied: “It’s going well, especially today, because my granddaughter is here, and I am always happy when she is here, she gives me energy” this made me smile so brightly. Here is a man who is struggling to breathe; not to pay his bills, not to get into a college, not to find a job, or a relationship, or go through a divorce, or to eat… here’s a man that’s struggling to breathe. Yet this man, finds joy and he clings to it, his granddaughter is bringing him that joy. This fascinated me to the point of bringing joy to my life today. I don’t tolerate the heat well, in fact, it makes me quite sick, but I came inside after that and cleared my living room floor, turned on some Hawaiian worship music and just danced for a while. I hadn’t practiced or danced in a long time, I opened all of my windows and just enjoyed that moment. I placed my little plumeria flower in my hair because it makes me happy to have it there, and I thought about the things that make life fascinating even when I’m not in the midst of an epic extreme adventure. Somewhere in the world right now some of you may read this, and I will tell you the following: look for those silly things, those small things, those ordinary things that make you smile. Look for those people, those pets, those moments in nature that bring fascination into your life. You may be in a cocoon right now, and it may be awful for the most part, but there are still things that can fascinate you, even when you’re looking through a glass box.