the main lesson I am leaving tulum with is this: I am not the stories I tell on myself. I spend a lot of time crafting a self for the world, without much consciousness, and then feeling beholden to being that conglomeration of stories.
here, far from those stories, I indulged in ways I am, perhaps new stories.
my story is that I am afraid of the dark, but today I floated down deep into that fear in caves, caves full of bats, caves far from a surface, caves empty of any light save that from the flashlight. I had to breathe deeply, not look back, not think about the earth above me…eventually I reached my wonder, and started going deeper, closer, darker. it was like flying through space on another planet. the darkness around each corner became delicious. there’s a whole world to look up under!
my story is that I can’t finish a good thing, but this trip I finished a story that is incredibly important for me to tell, liberating to have on paper. it’s done, and I can edit if I want to, but fundamentally, it is sacred and complete as it is. bravo!
my story is that my body can’t do things, keeps me from doing things. but actually my body is incredibly strong and capable, and the more I do, the more I can do, and the more I want to do. the more I walked, the more I remembered the beautiful feeling of a well-used body, the joy of activity. and I pushed myself up against the fears of what my body can and can’t do, there are real limits, everyone has differing levels of physical capacity. but within that there is pushing and sweating and feeling the heart push your blood through because you are doing something that makes you grin at yourself.
my story is that I can’t be alone, but oh god I love love love it! I got homesick for different specific things, especially seeing little round brown blonde boys in diapers and wanting to hold and smell my nephew. but mostly, I read books, created things, talked to myself out loud and with jokes, and loved it.
when there is no one around to uphold the old stories, it is easier to relinquish them, perhaps. no one here knows I’m scared of bats and darkness, so maybe I don’t have to be, just to see how it feels. and now it feels like an old story, and a new one is, I dive in caves. I can add it to other stories of my bravery: I swim with sharks, I travel alone, I put love first.
drew dellinger, in a lovely little book of cosmic poetry in Jodie’s bathroom, says ‘the future belongs to the most compelling story.’ I invite you to think of the stories you hold about yourself, which may be outdated, past stories. and the stories we tell, as communities, movements, about ourselves and what we want, and particularly who is responsible for our happiness and well being.
where is it time to pretend no one is watching, and write the story for the future? why not go ahead and put pen to page, just to see?
thank you tulum, for the healing, paradigm shifts, caves, bats, lime soup, my one solid spanish word (gracias) and that gorgeous constant ocean.
on to costa rica 🙂