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Humbled AF RN

A string of significantly negative events. Each preceded by something worse. I have been lucky in this life to not have experienced much "bad luck." Sure things have gone wrong, but for the most part, good comes my way a lot more often than bad. This has not been the case in the last few weeks.

It began in Barcelona. I was on top of the world. I stopped for an apple from a market, didn't wash it as I've always been dirty like that, and ate it on my way back to my Airbnb to prepare for the evening. Thirty minutes later I was sicker than I had ever remembered being as an adult. It didn't end until the very wee hours of the morning. I was messaging with my mom and best friend, worried that I might need to seek medical help. I didn't know just how bad a bacteria could be. I was drinking water just to give my stomach something to get rid of. Finally it ended. I woke up, shaky and dehydrated, but at least the nausea had subsided. I'd never been sick while traveling. I was not immune. Message received. Take care.

The very next day I went back out to explore the city. I still didn't feel like myself, but it was my last day in Spain, and I wanted to see as much as I could. I went back to rest, considering just staying in to prepare for Paris the next day, but decided against it. I knew I needed to eat so I went out of the apartment and was looking at a restaurant in a narrow alley, when I was pickpocketed. Gone was my phone, along with all of my beautiful photos and content that I had worked so hard on for the last three weeks. The sole purpose of my trip - gone. No back-ups. Total devastation. I'm still devastated, my heart - still shattered. Alas, I am a yogi. We investigate. We try to understand the reason behind. Again, I was not immune. Message, heart wrenchingly, received. Take better care.

You don't think things could get worse after two nights in a row of constant tears and zero sleep. Getting that sick when you are far away from home and alone is not easy, and even worse when you are trying to heal a broken heart, and all you want is just someone to take care of you. And then to lose your only companion, your art, your paintbrush, when all you came to do was paint. Again, far from home, alone, and no real way to replace it, and you still have another foreign city ahead. But it does. It gets worse.

You get into an accident the night after returning from a month abroad. And it is bad. And it is your fault, but thank God no one else was involved. It would be my first. I was so lucky. I am lucky to be alive to tell this story. I was not hurt. I was physically OK, but I am still struggling mentally. Still in disbelief. I can't stop the terrifying replay. I've driven once since and was sick to my stomach. The impact, those thoughts just before - those things are hard to put out of your mind. The what-ifs. People think that because you were not injured that you are okay, but you don't feel okay. And again, you are alone and trying to heal a broken heart, so you make a mistake and reach out to the person you used to reach out to, but they aren't there and honestly weren't very good at being there before, and so there YOU are even more wounded, internally, and things have gotten worse!

I am not immune. I had better wake the fuck up and take better care.

I am wide awake. I am walking around practically on my knees. I've got my ear to the earth. I'm listening. I have been careless, naive, cocky. I have allowed other people to rob me of my peace of mind, my art and joy, my trust. I've allowed poison into my body and into my heart. I know now who is going to be there and who never will be again. This past month has torn at every seam because they were faulty and frayed. I am restitching this container into something stronger. The illness, the theft, the accident - all cleansing agents. Teachers. Universal guides.

I am wide, the fuck, awake.

"You fall, you rise, you make mistakes, you live, you learn. You're human, not perfect. You've been hurt, but you're alive. Think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, and to chase the things you love. Sometimes there is sadness in our journey, but there is also lots of beauty. We must keep putting one foot in front of the other even when we hurt, for we will never know what is waiting for us just around the bend."

- unknown

You mustn't live so lightly,

Spin your stories, tell your tales,

Let them dance across the oceans

And set the wind upon your sails.

For every truth found on your travels

And in the pits of your despair,

Is a shout into forever

Of "I existed, and I cared."

~ Erin Hanson

Los Angeles, CA

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