Thursday, September 4, 2008

effort, resistance and the beautiful monkey-wrench

oh how i wavered back and forth between going to poland or switzerland. so many days spent going back and forth and back and forth obsessing over what little time was left before i had to return to california and trying to force in one last perfect adventure. so many hours spent fretting over whether to hitchhike or take a bus or train, balancing the adventure and cost savings of thumbing with the “value” of time and money spent travelling versus having more time in poland or switzerland.

oh the time spent on the internet trying to find the best hitching route, the best bus or train route, the possibility of a super cheap flight to anywhere. there’s no simple way to get from zali log, slovenia to either place – or for that matter, to any place outside of slovenia. the fastest route to hitch to switzerland would take me through italy, and i’d been advised multiple times that hitching in italy was not the best idea for a solo female. hitching to poland would be easier, but the fact remained that unless i caught a ride with someone going directly there – which was unlikely from zali log - it would probably be a two-day hitch. hey, what if i hitched the opposite direction to ljubljana first where i would have a better chance of finding someone heading to either place? was i ready for the adventure of not knowing what town i’d be in when it was time for me to find a place to stay overnight? of maybe spending the night on the 2nd bunk in the cab of some truck driver? well, uhhh, come to think of it, that actually sounded fairly exciting, but ooops, there was that deadline of going back to california looming and i didn’t want to “waste my time” on the road when i could already be in poland if i just took a bus or train. but if i was going to take a bus or train, then why not go to switzerland……? and then there’s the time and cost of getting back…

and on and on and on and…..wait a minute, what in the world am i doing???? oh, i get it! i am in the midst of a fun little game of effort and resistance.

at some point along the way, my mind created a pattern out of the randomness of my journey and the continuous flow of the new. it found a way to restore its sense of equilibrium amidst the constant change by turning the unexpected into the expected, the randomness into routine. it created a “plan”, and that plan was the plan of constant travel to preserve the new routine, to keep the new equilibrium. but then came bosnia and Željko … and love; love, the beautiful monkey-wrench in the plan.

from the moment i left bosnia, zelenkovac and Željko, i wanted to go back. i wanted to settle in bosnia to spend much more time in this country and with this person. but now that change was the new norm, my mind was in resistance to the idea of actively deciding to really just stay in just one place – to stop travelling. my mind wanted to stick to the plan, to the “routine” of the excitement of the new ride, the new host, the new town, the new country. and after the resistance, in came the effort, the desperate effort to define and create the next perfect adventure instead of just letting it unfold; to force myself to keep travelling.

when i started this journey, my intention was to do what i was moved to do in the moment, to go where my heart led in the moment, and to simply always do what felt good. and what did I want in the moment? to stay in bosnia with Željko. and where did my heart lead in the moment? to bosnia and Željko. and what felt good in this moment? bosnia and Željko.

along the way, people have told me that they think i am brave, that they admire me for doing what i’m doing. but to me, the reality is that there are a million new and beautiful places that i can visit, that i can view from afar, that will ask absolutely nothing of me and challenge me in no way. to me, i’ve realized, the real bravery is to stay. to stay and explore another person’s heart and remain open in the face of the fear and resistance, in the face of everything that will be asked of you, and in face of another’s judgment of your most intimate self.

Željko, the beautiful monkey-wrench in my travelling “plans”.