Just like all the self-help books and workshops told me I’d be.
My belly is crawling and my mind is racing, but I have tools this time.
I wake up before my daughter. I sit in silence. I reach out to friends. I move my body. I write. I am nervous, but I am also determined.
This WILL go differently this time.
It is my belief that if you build a boat from your hearts passions and head out to sea, the Universe WILL blow wind in your sails. But, you have to build a boat. You can’t sit at shore forever ‘trusting in the Universe’. There is an element of action that Spirit likes to reward.
So, here I am. With all my ideas, honed and crafted with the help of some mentors and friends. I’m ready to put them in action. And I’m nervous. It’s ok to be nervous. It’s ok to move slowly, with caution. And (gulp) it’s also ok to fail. But it’s no longer ok to be paralyzed.
I’m heading to Malaysia today to buy wood to build my boat. I’ve never been to Malaysia on purpose before. That’s a funny joke, and it’s also a very true statement. This first time I ended up in Malaysia, I was haphazardly heading to Vietnam, unaware that I needed a Visa for entry. I spent the night in a chair in the lobby of the Bangkok airport, determined to be on the first plane out. When the airline attendant broke the news to me bright and early at the ticket counter, I stood dumbfounded. How the hell did I miss that memo, and what then? On the ride to the Bangkok airport, I rode with a couple who had just been to some islands in Malaysia. They seemed to really enjoy themselves there, so I bought my ticket to Kuala Lumpur. VERY ignorantly unaware that Malaysia is a Muslim country, that my burning man outfit that was ‘so cool’ in Thailand was actually quite disrespectful attire in Malaysia, that the islands I were heading to were infested with giant monitor lizards. This is the time I learned always to do a little research before you travel. A little goes a long way. A damn sarong would’ve gone a really long way.
The last time I went to Malaysia, despite my vows never to return, was in January, with my 4-year old, little blonde daughter. Of course, I didn’t INTEND to take her to Malaysia. I thought we were going to Singapore. *Note to the wise, when traveling to Singapore, DO NOT expect to get a hotel room for under $60. Not at all. I was looking for rooms on AirBnB for under $30. I found one, but it was in the neighboring town. It didn’t look too far on a map to me, so I booked it. When I arrived in Singapore, my blow to the gut was, yes, the room I had booked was over the Malaysian border. 5 BLOODY HOURS of border crossing, awkward stares, nonsensical bus transport, warnings from almost anyone who spoke English about child abduction, and strangers trying to touch and coo over my kid, we finally arrived at our AirBnb, without a SIM card to call for a cab, scared to leave for dinner. The next day, I emptied my budget. I forfeited the money I had already spent on our lodging, purchased 4 nights in a ‘cheap’ hotel in Singapore, and spent the next 5 grueling hours crossing back over the border to Singapore. All this time, my daughter was an incredible sport. Some kids are meant for travel. Some parents are blessed to have these kids at border crossings.
Im writing all of this because A) it’s good for me to write and to share. And B)… there might not actually need to be a B. It’s helpful for me to understand my own nerves, and sharing my process offers clarity. What didn’t make perfect sense an hour ago, suddenly does now. Obviously, I’m nervous. Malaysia gives me the heebies. So does boat building. But I’m determined and more experienced this time than last. And I believe in myself. So, at 6:30pm, we’re gonna board a plane. And I’m gonna pack a couple sarongs.