Tie your shoe

My good friend "Pidge," as I call her as a term of endearment, has her own term.

"Tie your shoe."

I'm not sure of the exact etymology if you will, but it means to "go for it" in its highest form.

Do you love someone? Tell them, despite any fear of the unrequited. Be open and fight off being closed because you're afraid. Do it anyway. Go for your dreams, and include others.

Tie your shoe!

I've adopted its use since she told me one night, as we talked about relationships and those things you do on the bed and floor til 2 a.m.

Today I'm surrounded by friends and their family, who take me in as their own. We are laughing and have our earthquake gear set up, and we are cooking and no one even notices me in their house, it is so comfortable. They yell to me in the bathroom.

Still, I looked out of the patio into the street, at the guys yelling "Ohhhh!" over the Barcelona game, huddled around the tv, and I was aware of being out here solo, far from my own everyday, and everyday comfort that has nothing to do with items and conveniences, with more alone to come.

It is not bad. It is not sad. It is present.

It is what you are keenly aware of when traveling solo. I'm (still) learning to let the moment be and absorb it, than to fight it.

I used to think that this trip would be about contentment. Finding it at the end.

I then was afriad i would not find it, and then what? I no longer believe it is about that at all, but about finally allowing my self to see all sides of myself, strong and weak, expressive and repressive, and overcome those traits that rear their head in scenarios you only truly must face when you're alone and in a foreign place, and standing in the dirt road looking at friends screaming together. In doing so understand and accept it ... and also stop naming them as strong and weak and pro and con.

Maybe I'm never gonna be content; I have always felt this would be the result. But it's a journey I'm willing to make, even if jumping off the cliff is a scary scary leap off a crumbly edge you can't really see ovrer the side.

And now I'm going to look at booking a ticket to Africa and how to spend a week alone in Galapagos on the cheap, as my friends and their family cook around me, and we eat some garlic pasta in this house, with the din of radios and tvs and talking and laughing from neighbors on all sides as I wait for my clothes to dry that I just washed in a cement wash-basin out back and go to sleep with them huddled in the patio on mattresses "just in case" we have an earthquake ... and gladly do it again tomorrow.