21 March 2008
same same...but different
the motto of laos, same same, but different, has become my motto. i am the same same, but these weeks have made me different. it's a nuance, a cloud lifting and opening my eyes to something wonderful: possibility. through my whole life i've felt obligated to do things without really understanding why. there's been this pressure to please or take care of everyone but myself, but now i'm starting to see that the only person i am accountable to is myself. the only person i need to make happy is myself and i'm doing that.
i love my life
i have said this aloud so many times and meant it with the utmost sincerity. i love my life.
riding the slowboat up the mekong, surrounded by people that see me, that understand me. conversations about murakami with norwegians and sharing beerlao and slow joints. listening to graceland and singing to myself, for myself and admiring the scenes around.
relaxing in luang prabang, the french colonial city speckled with lao culture. the wats overlooking the long french windows, drinking wine in fishbowl glasses and runs along the river- the markets illuminated with white lights and bananas roasted on an open grill. the lao disco where we drank scotch and danced till we were drenched and the locals laughed at our charisma. the waterfalls- pools so clear and blue we argue about whether or not they're real. we hiked up through the fall, past the danger signs, following the groves made by the water and stood at the top of the enormous fall. the lush forest in the distance, the green blue layers of water falling, falling to the ends of the earth.
the smell of fresh mint everywhere. splashing in the tube in veng vieng, kicking my feet, calling to the mountains in elation. the color of the sunset, a burning red behind the sharp blue cliffs as i drove a moped down the street, overcoming a paralyzing fear. lagoons, crisp and refreshing after a blistering bike ride over rocky roads, and the lighting of the caves illuminating the golden buddha inside. dancing- fireside while everyone rested in hammocks and finding ben in the crowd, making up words to the song based on back to the future. moments that make you laugh so hard you can't talk. running around the boardwalk, screaming for ben as he screamed for me to dance thriller. kayaking from veng vieng to vientiane, admiring the boulders, the child fishermen and conquering the rapids.
our last night in veng vieng, i looked around at our crew- a group of 15 strangers who had kept running into each other and formed a bond. misunderstandings and fights morphed into daredevil moments and crazy conversations. each of these people brought something diffent to the table and each of them has left me a little bit different, better. but mainly, this is about my girls. traveling with jenny and monika has been the best choice i could have ever made. both of them enrich me in ways i forgot i needed and every moment with them i feel more and more complete.
from monika, i'm learning to leave time and space for myself. to create and let go, to have the guts to take chances alone. also, to commit to things and follow through with the crazy ideas you come up with.
from jenny, i'm learning to learn. i'm reminded of my love of learning and beautiful things and how to make my goals translate into long term possibilities.
i am the same person i have always been- the core is the same, but the layers around me are peeling and changing colors- more vibrant, more rich, more. i am same same, but i feel so different.