I’m sitting in Art Kafe in Ubud for the 3rd night in a row. There are two men playing their guitars, singing live music. I’m at my usual couch, candles strewn all around as it pours rain on the street just a few feet away from me. The usual DOM (Dirty Old Man) has just walked by, said hi and tried to ask me out for a drink. And I just want to cry (in a good way and not because of the DOM). My good friend AV just sent me the most wonderful email and I had to hold back tears. All this after a day of intense introspection. Maybe the ridiculously brutal deep tissue massage that I had this afternoon has a lot to do with my emotional sensitivity today but when someone is working your body that hard, a thousand thoughts a minute can run through your mind on that massage table. All the lactic acids draining from every limb have nowhere to go but your brain! I swear it’s chemical!
I feel like I’m purging a lot of emotional baggage while out here on my own. And I certainly hadn’t planned to come to Bali to save myself from anything or to find something that was lost. I had actually wanted to visit this spa that I have been lusting over for a few years, Como Shambala, after I found their amazing shampoos and soaps at the Metropolitan in London. This place (Como Shambala) is an incredible yoga/rejuvenation retreat just outside of Ubud but after being here a few days, I really could not bring myself to pay $400 USD a night when compared to the $40 USD that I am paying at my gorgeous little place overlooking the pool and rice paddies. I mean, they would have to hand bathe me every morning, spoon feed me my breakfast and treat me like the Queen of England for me to pay that much money for a room relative to what I’m paying now! Luxury in Ubud doesn’t have to be expensive!
Anyway, this time away has been a real purge of all the emotional crap that I’ve been avoiding/carrying/denying for years. I mean, who knew?! Who knew I had things to sort?! Well let me tell you, I definitely have things to sort. We all have things to sort but many of us have become experts at stuffing our issues into small little corners in our closets and linen drawers. But one day, when you decide to trek out to Bali on some fanciful holiday, you’ll discover that your issues all snuck into your pack and they’ll greet you when you come out of the shower saying “HI MAMA!!! WE’RE HERE! SURPRISE!”. So anyway, I’ve been dealing with all of it these last few days and it has been hard hard hard. There are moments when I sit in bed and cry and other moments when I can’t help but laugh. Friends ask me if I ever get lonely or moody or sad and the answer is of course! Of course, of course, of course! My life is certainly far from perfect and I have big fears and big dreams just like everyone else. This time with myself has been liberating but hard hard hard. Hard but good. It’s like there’s this person, let’s call her Denisia, who is here with me and I get to know her a little more every single day. [Yes, I realize I sound cuckoo but that's OK. This afternoon, at another cafe, I actually declared myself cuckoo during a writing exercise. Self awareness, my friend, is worth more than gold!]. So yes, I am traveling along with this girl named Denisia and she really is the most delightful little thing!
I am getting to know her likes and dislikes, her dreams and fears, her real wants vs. her maybe wants. And you know what? We’re having a really great time at this. She surprises me from time to time but it’s all part of the process of getting to know someone new. Often she can’t make up her mind about anything! Massage in the morning and walk after lunch? Or walk now and massage after lunch? Or maybe Monkey Forest Park instead?! Blue sarong, or red sarong? Oh wait, what about the purple yoga pants up in the corner?! And today after 40 minutes at the bookstore, she walked out with NOTHING! NOTHING! All that time deciding and then deciding NOT! I tell you, I could have completely pulled my hair out! And let’s not even get to talking about her future. Sometimes she’s sure of one thing and then changes her mind. But she’s growing on me and I enjoy her company – she’s weird in that endearing not-always-so-scary-or-annoying sort of way. And even though she can break a daily habit out of nowhere (she will order the same thing over and over again until one day, all of a sudden and out of the blue she will order something completely different and then regret it!), she really can be relied on to be sappy and fun and maddeningly cuckoo. But like I said, it’s all part of the fun! And so today, even if she has been bat crazy and teary eyed and craving all sorts of weird things like prawn red curry with chocolate and pineapples (she could very well be PMSing – actually, I could bet my money on it), I am going to accept her anyway. Because you know why?! Because her name is Denisia and it sounds pretty darn close to my name Denise!