Never, in my wildest dreams, I thought I'd get to make this much memories thus far. I knew there would be gems of a moment galore, but not like this.
As we reach our 74th month in January, our time at the beachfront site has to end. I'm so glad we picked this month to truly call it a home because it felt like years, several lifetimes actually, that we've "lived" here.
I had a strong feeling that this month would be a good start to the year of 2018. So many new doors would open and opportunities will arise. My knowing it became a truth in advance and now, it's a reality.
I absolutely vow to fully throw myself into being an artist and to live as one. To give myself that chance at that lifestyle, to be able to soak into my passion freely. I am very excited to see what will become of myself. I dubbed my studio at home as the falling phoenix based on a song by Josh Groban, Let Me Fall. Here's the chorus to the song:
Let me fall
Let me climb
There's a moment when fear
And dreams must collide
Someone I am
Is waiting for courage
The one I want
The one I will become
Will catch me
So, I am falling freely and going big. Wish me luck.
Let me share you a funny story that is true and that it is not exaggerated. You know, my being Deaf which means, I automatically was forced to take speech classes. Ya know, to become “normal.” Somewhat.
Our speech teacher had a little cart where she’d bring it with her everywhere. On that cart, there were a whole bunch of audistic devices in hope to save Deaf children. I remember that cart just as if it is right next to me now. Tall, dark, green, dusty and cluttered AF. My twin sister and I shared the same speech classes for years. During 4th grade, there is one particular speech class that will never be forgotten for the both of us.
We were practicing certain notes and usually, we had to do it at the same, like creepy synchronized voices emitting near perfection sounds of ch- ch-, f-f-. When we were practicing our f’s, there was a weird smell. It smelled like fart mixed with something fruity. Sorta like a Juicy Fruit smell with a fart scent. I looked at my sister and we exchanged that "wtf" look. We turned our horrified expressions and looked at our speech teacher. Bless her heart, she improvised right on the spot.
“Yes, what you smell is pineapple fart. Can you say that? Pineeeeeappleee f-f-faaaaarrrtt.”
In unison, “pineeeeeeappllleeeeee ffaaaaarrrrtttt,” we chimed.
Yes. This really happened. And yes, recently, my twin sister told me that there is actually such thing as a pineapple fart. For reals.
So. My boys know this story. They laugh EVERYTIME I share about it. Also, it’s my trick to get them to laugh when taking photos. I'd look through the lens and then say loudly, "pineapple faaaaaarrttt!!!"
I guess that’s probably the only good thing that came out of our speech trainings.
Thank you, Mrs. Rudy.
At what point do you just stop caring? When preparing for meraki journey, I researched all about living fulltime. Across the board, one thing was common (well, a lot really), and it was: be prepared to always be fixing something.
They weren’t kidding. Mer is my baby. She has to be, because she houses us, feeds us, moves us and without her, none of this would happen.
I vowed to take good care of her. I renovated Mer so she could be home and doing that, I’ve turned out to be a woman who can build things. Fix things. Heck, I was a DIY rv lady.
Today, I discovered a potentially damaging and costly problem.
I stared at it. Prodded and poked at it. Shrugged my shoulders and said, fuck it. I went back to my chair in front of the fire pit and watched the slow descent of the sunset, also known as the magic hour.
It has been very cold the past few days. A historical-never-happened type of cold. I swear, I’ve experienced every global warming shit that has been thrown in our path since we started. I couldn’t sleep all night last night because I worried that my not emptying the heater tank caused monetary damages. I woke up so early, stressed out.
I yanked my boys out of the hotel room, for two reasons: I couldn’t’ wait to get out of there because it made me miss my brick house way too much, and I was wrought with visions of Meraki’s floors covered with frozen puddles.
It was the longest 6.7 miles of driving (from the hotel to mer). When we arrived, everything looked great, the only damage I saw was an easily replaced filter hooked to outside’s pump. Otherwise, we survived with zero damages.
Until I got some logs from the back storage of Mer for the firepit. I noticed a hole and a wide gap that was NOT something to ignore. I stared. I felt the wall of the area, it was damp and soft and oh so very moldy. What the fuck?
It is something that HAS to be fixed. Something hazardous if not heeded. Right now, after worrying all night and dealing with the cold, I am past the point of caring. I’m just going to sit here, with our firepit and watch the sunset.
They were not kidding, repairs on a daily basis. Always something. Well, as I look at the flames licking on wood, I am reminded that shit does happen, but it is how we react that tells of our character. So, my reaction?
Sit. Enjoy the fire, sip my beer and smile. I know everything will be okay.
Cheers to not caring at the moment, because otherwise, I'd lose my shit and nobody wants that.
I love this. Staying at the same place for at least 2 weeks is cool, because it’s like we are floating in this dream-like lifestyle. A routine is set and it makes everything easier. It helps that we are right on the beachfront of the white sands at Miramar Beach. Truly.
Despite the very cold weather we’ve been getting lately, we are basking in the beauty of our site. Currently, we’re in a hotel to avoid the deep freeze. I didn’t want to deal with using the propane continuously to keep Meraki warm. It’s our first time to stay at a hotel since we embarked on this journey.
The WiFi is way better, that’s for sure, but we found ourselves feeling the cabin fever and anxious to get out. Oh and, the beds are amazing for jumping. It’s sorta like a mini adventure on our adventure.
I’m looking at the calendar and see that it’s already 17 days and we’re halfway through our one month long stay. Two more weeks of waking up to the sunrise, doing homeschooling, some screen time and then sitting outside on the beach with our firepit as the sun descends.
Then it’s off to Atlanta and pretty much nonstop moving until it’s time to go home. I’d be lying if I say that I’m not stressed thinking about the end of this one of a kind bliss… but, for now, we’ll just let ourselves float away in happy boredom.
I also want to share an article I wrote for the UNUM Magazine, about finding my meraki.
Special thanks to: Tricia English for publishing my raw piece and to Elise Nye for bringing me to her as well as my GIF gals for encouraging me to stay real. Love you guys.
They say it takes two weeks to form a new habit. Break it even. It’s like one minute at a time for two weeks and then all of the sudden, it’s baby steps toward something permanent.
Few weeks back, I was so frantic inside my core, like a lava lamp vigorously shaken while hot. All the little bits and pieces floated, completely unhitched. Then I got sick. My lamp was off and they all sank down to the bottom, melded a single solid lump of cold wax. I questioned a lot of things, especially about choices in my entire life that have led up to this.
One of the biggest things that gnawed at my peace was that sense of being alone. I am fully aware of the amazing love and support I have from so many people regarding this journey however, I still felt incredibly utterly despondently alone. I made this choice and regardless of how amazing this experience is, my aloneness is present and will be even more at the end of this trip. So, with this revelation, here’s a haiku I wrote:
alone than ever
surrounded by everything
yet, the best moment
The realization and acceptance of my being alone has allowed me to warm up and float up gently, causing my life to seem as mesmerizing as a lit lava lamp. I am okay with it and I am now a big warm blob levitating and embracing little pieces at the slightest touch. It’s the step towards something permanent, a me that’s okay with being who I am.
I then wrote:
what is one more light
when you can shine so much more
hotter than that fire?
Anyway, hoo wee, back to the topic of “habit forming/breaking.” It is impossible to form a habit on Finding Meraki, we’ve been moving from one place to another, never longer than 11 days. Now today is our first time to be at the same place at day 12. I found myself itching to explore another town, looking at different places and hotels deals. I stopped myself. I picked this place to stay for one entire month solely to experience a lifestyle I’ve always wanted, and that is, living on a beach.
And it’s the place to be. The place where it’s the tipping point of knowing what happens next. The place to be daily inspired from. The place that I can make an entire book out of. It’s my meraki.
just a mother who fled from society's constraints and is super excited to wake up to the outdoors, remain braless daily and teach her boys the art of boredom and discovery.