I've had the privilege -and the just plain good luck- of traveling quite a bit. And in my experience, people sometimes say that they are traveling to find themselves, but really what they want to do is lose themselves. When I was a spry young thing, the place of choice was India -to sit on a mountain top and commune with the wise ones. Now I don't know where the fashionable people go, but I know MY place of choice. I have come to Italy to practice yoga and eat pasta -surely two of my favorite things in the world. Throw in a bike ride, a rock to climb, and a glass of wine at the end of the day, and I'm yours forever.
I knew when I was packing that I was putting too much pressure on this trip. I knew that it couldn't possibly live up to my dreams for it. I wanted to lose the part of me that is afraid of travel -even though I've done loads of it. I wanted to lose the part of me that doesn't take risks. I wanted to lose the part of me that is unfit and unhappy about that, by focusing on yoga for eight days. I wanted to lose the habits -of thought and action- that hold me to an old life, a life that spectacularly did not serve me.
Oh, is THAT all????
I came to Italy, and I'm still me. What are you gonna do? I can still get lost anywhere, and now I don't speak the language well enough to ask for help and understand the answer. I am practicing yoga three times a day, when my longest practice for the past two years has been a highly-modified 45 minutes. (Did I think my muscles were going to say, "Oh my God, we've come all this way. Let's make this easy for the poor fat dear."????) Everyone (else) has come here with someone. I'm the only alone-person, as I feared. Why go to Italy alone, for heaven's sake?
I'm irked -IRKED, I tell you- at how much courage it requires to leave my beautiful bedroom overlooking the courtyard fountain and head down to morning yoga. I'm flabbergasted that I have trouble asking for help when I need it. I've done nothing BUT ask for help lately, it seems. I'm embarrassed at the state of my yoga. The teacher has me modifying savasana, I kid you not. Seriously, that has to be a low point.
I'm telling myself that I don't have to do anything other than what feels right. Simply having packed my suitcase and gotten here counts for something. It counts for quite a bit, to my mind, that I chose and arranged for this trip on my own. It counts for quite a bit more that I'm staging my 'comeback' using yoga as a centerpiece. I don't really believe those things to be true, quite yet, but I'm telling them to my subconscious -a subconscious which has believed significantly less credible things in the past, so I'm optimistic there.
But right this minute? Yeah, I'm a little lost.