A different kind of journey

Whoa, hold up, let’s back up here for a second – it’s been almost a full month since I sat down and wrote something that has nothing to do with the One Act Play Festivals or (word)plays/SCABS or work? Something that is not an email about submissions or sponsor letters? I’m equal parts amazed and appalled. Time has moved so incredibly fast! A blur and a swish and we’re a solid week into March.

SCABS poster
Seriously! This is less than two weeks away!

However, halfway through that swishing and blurring, I went to Costa Rica.
Lets preface by stating that before I left, I was a bit of a mess. Swinging between hyperactively stressed out without ever feeling on top of things and lethargically staring into space from the cushy confines of the couch. Grouchy and easily irritated and having no sense of humor or patience. Okay, “a bit” is an understatement. I was a mess.

In Costa Rica, we headed into what is known as the thorny, dry jungles not too far from Montezuma. It was a 30 minute trek through the wilderness, spotting birds and lizards along the way until we reached The Sanctuary at Two Rivers. And what a sanctuary it was.

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Our tree house, with’walls’ made out of mosquito nets. They didn’t quite keep the cacophony sung at 3 AM by the howler monkeys at bay. I didn’t mind.

Twice daily we had yoga practice; we got up in the dewy mornings before six o’clock, feeling invigorated and happy. We meditated, talked, spent time thinking and reading and connecting with one another. It was challenging at times, absolutely. Both the physical practice as well as the mental and especially emotional one. Really and truly working on and accepting yourself can be loaded with fear and shame and hurt – but in the end, it always felt refreshing. Restarting. Definitely worth it. And a bit horrifying.

For me, it wasn’t as much about finding myself per se, but rediscovering parts I had completely forgotten about while focusing on all the have-to’s and should-have’s. Most prominently, I remembered how much I love and crave water. Humidity, oceans, ponds, pools, beaches. My hair turned as bouncy as I usually am (unfortunately, the copper in the pool also turned my hair green, but that’s a story for another time), my skin cleared up in a matter of days – and I spent as much of my time as was humanly possible tumbling around like the little clown fish that I am. One day we went into Santa Teresa, another surf town about an hour away on terrifying ‘roads’ (i.e quad tracks) and I was hard pressed to leave the waves. I need water to balance my fire. In water, I am genuinely happy – my nose full of salt and phlegm after being tumbled around in a wave I didn’t quite catch – and at peace with everything.

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We have been back in Fort McMurray for a week now, and even though the amount of projects haven’t really diminished in the slightest – I feel ready. Charged. Tuned into things instead of numbing out of them. I’m excited for the things coming our way.

Maintaining habits that truly make you happy once the serene surroundings and disconnect from the outside world are gone can be excruciatingly hard – but not impossible. I will remember to breathe, to move, to be grateful and compassionate. To be present.

And I will remember to stay the hell away from gluten.

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