December 31, 2014 will live forever in history as the saddest, most beautiful New Year's Eve of my perfectly insane, painfully beautiful, wonderful little life.
"i'm outside," one of my fave surf buds texted me from beyond the gate of the luxury beachfront condominium where i'd been half-living for the past month and counting.
i hurried past the security guard's forced smile and hopped in the front seat, glued to my iPhone as we drove south along the coast and i worried about the glitches my British-Balinese babe of a web designer, presently on location in Turks and Caicos, worked to fix in time for our scheduled launch of tarantula surf on January 1, 2015.
"you want a sip, tarantula?"
with a slight wave and semi-convincing 'no, gracias' i turned down the mystery drink described to me as bitter and passed to me from the backseat, barely looking up from my whatsapp. i probably laughed along to a joke i didn't hear as my mind raced between thoughts about shit that didn't fucking matter.
because when does the shit in your mind ever really fucking matter?
slowing along the sandy road, we joined the dozen-or-so cars parked in a makeshift lot in the cleared space between thick rows of beachside brush. walking the few steps over piles of driftwood, down to the beach, i hugged and cheek-kissed the warm-hearted, free-spirited crew of my extended surf family, also known as team Oasis. arms around shoulders, we watched the orange sun dip below glassy, overhead surf, wishing we had brought our boards, but really just grateful in being, there, in that moment, when the light changed color over the horizon to remind us just how blessed we were to have lived another beautiful year of the fucking incredible experience we call life.
we danced to the drums under the stars and sang 'stir it up' against the blazing heat of the tree-trunk-pyramid bonfire. we blessed drift wood and threw it into the flames, symbolically burning the old and igniting the new. we stared up at the moon and danced and got sandy-sweaty and laughed and didn't give a fuck about absolutely anything at all.
and it truly was, completely fucking beautiful.
so beautiful, in fact, that i couldn't help but feel just a little bit sad.
"we're already drunk!" three friends laughed, dressed up for the evening, as they greeted me from the couch back at the beachfront condo as i tiptoed to the shower, trying not to get black sand all over the white, freshly washed floor.
i put on my backless little black dress, shellacked a shiny flash-tattoo down my spine and made the salad. i laid down after dinner and tried to figure out why i didn't feel at all like celebrating. why you couldn't have paid me to make small talk with the people in the living room, some of whom i actually knew and loved. why i hadn't the slightlest inkling to drink a glass of champagne and toast to the new year with one of my best friends on the fucking planet.
we started walking over to our surf family's party across the street. because that's what you do on New Year's. you celebrate with the people you love, and you dance, and you have a good time, and you don't give a fuck because it's the last day of the year and tomorrow starts a whole new reality where nothing you did last year matters and you get to start back at the top without so much as a scratch on you. so we were going to dance and reminisce and be merry and have a drink with the people we love on New Year's Eve, just like every other human on earth.
so why did that feel so fucking impossible?
"Jennz, i really don't want to go over there right now," i admitted, slowing my strappy sandals to a stop as we neared the fiesta. lightheaded, i imagined myself trying to dance in the dress so tight that it unzipped a little bit everytime i took a deep breath, or trying to smile in the skin that was unfortunately mine in all the ways i wished it wasn't.
lucky for me, my girl friends are more like sisters and they forgive me, and love me, for being me. either that, or they just know me well enough to know there was no way in hell i was going in there. and at that point, they know better than to put up a fight.
"i just haven't felt like myself lately," i tried to explain, fighting tears as we turned our beat around.
safe inside the gated beachfront compound, i laid in the lounge chair beside the well-chlorinated pool, seeking wisdom from the stars. and when i was alone, at 11:15pm on New Year's Eve, i let myself start to cry.
it wasn't gonna be one of those like all-out sort of cries, where my eyes get all puffy and i look super ugly and i have to put frozen spoons on my face to calm the swelling the next day. it was just gonna be a few tears, letting go of all the things in 2014 that no longer served me. it would be a nice little cleansing sort of mini-cry, and then i would be just fine in time to toast to midnight. and no one would ever suspect a thing.
i wasn't about to let the crying get all outta hand; it's fucking New Year's Eve, for Christ's sake.
cuz that's how that works.
like when you sit there with the perfect sunset as your magic mirror on the wall and you stare at yourself being reflected back at you, and you have no choice but to face the music that your insides haven't really matched your outsides for quite some time now. years, maybe. when going through the motions isn't exactly moving you anywhere anymore. when you can't imagine doing that ever again, not even for one teeny fucking micro-second. and you have no fucking clue what the alternative would even look like or where to begin to find it. that's the end of logical, reasonable, venerable, you. and that's the moment when crying wins.
at 11:17pm on New Year's Eve, i listened to the store-bought fireworks on the beach, worrying about little kids catching on fire.
and in the reckless abandon of no place else to go but me, i cried my fucking eyes out. alone. poolside in the starlight.
then some giddy-ass gringos with glowstick necklaces jumped in the pool and splashed water on my hair and fucking ruined my New Year's Eve self-pity party.
i walked out the back gate and down the unlit path to the beach. my tears, silent, fell in deafening contrast to the dazzling explosions in the sky, to the cheers of uninhibited silhouettes in couples and crowds, and landed unceremoniously on the dark sand i squished between ten, lonely toes.
i realized this was the only night of the year i could possibly walk alone on the beach at night in Jaco.
the only night of the year when no one would hear me cry.
high tide washed over my feet, erasing my footsteps behind me as i walked, stopping only to admire the impossible beauty around me. stars and more-than-half moon, glowing above bursts of loud color in every direction. bodies of lovers and friends and children standing on the darkened shores, backlit by fireworks in unpredictable intervals.
i thought about all the men who didn't want me to love them this year. and the one in particular who mattered the most, and was probably somewhere between the fireworks at the other end of the beach. so close, in fact, i might have walked down there and found him among the crowd. not that it would have mattered; the oceans between us now.
i guess i was sad about that, too.
really, i was sad about everything.
i asked the moon for guidance and the sea to wash away my sadness. i held my shoulders, arms crossed tight in front of my heart, and felt safe. i looked from side to side at the madness of sheer beauty exploding in every inch of life around me, in every direction my vision could carry me.
and there i was, a total fucking disaster, in the center of it all, breaking down completely, to the bottom of the pit inside my belly and the holes inside my heart, and i couldn't feel the difference between the anxiety in my soul and the meteors of light falling wild above the sea.
and there, among the chaos of the crowd, standing powerfully alone in the middle of my dizzying moment of complete and utter darkness, at the very height of my soul-defying breakdown,
i felt absolutely fucking beautiful.
and it made completely no fucking sense at all.
and i couldn't wait to share that feeling with the world.
so i made some resofuckinglutions that i hope you'll love as much as i do. and i think if we embrace them, and hold eachother to them, the world might just be a little more beautiful for it.
give less of a fuck about most things...
like that inch of cellulite below the crease where ass meets thigh, and how you're going to get everything done that you're supposed to, and which spirulina is most organic, and what that guy you don't respect had to say about your flaws in character, and how many likes the selfie of you in your bikini got on instagram, and if your website will launch the day you want it to, and if saying sorry will make your soul mate love you again, and why twenty-one-year-old surfer babe doesn't want to fuck you anymore, and whether people are going to care that you just said fuck a whole bunch of times.
i spend so much psycho-emotional energy on the annoying little things, like my own insecurities and fears and worries, that the life-giving beauty around me goes unnoticed, and the light i need to be shining on the important things in life gets lost in the shuffle.
so yeah, here's to not doing that anymore.
...and more of a fuck about the few things that really matter
like your life goals, and living in alignment with your values and intentions toward a more beautiful world, and celebrating the beauty of your own authenticity, and raising your vibration, and nourishing your body with the things it needs to be brilliant, and spending unproductive time lost in conversation with the people you love most, and playing with kids, and working on the projects that make your heart sing, and contributing to the lives of others just by being there and being you, and fucking the beautiful men and women who actually want to love you, and saying fuck whenever the fuck you feel like it, and spending time outside in the jungle, and surfing every single moment you possibly can.
because when it comes down to it, those are actually the things i really care about. and the rest just kinda gets in the way.
2. cultivate the sacred unexpected
now this one's tricky. especially for those of us who like having a plan. but isn't it true, when you stop and think about it, that the soul-irking moments that leave you saying 'holy fuck, is this really my life?' only happen in the spaces between the things you planned and the time they come to fruition?
like i was so busy sticking to my plan of fixing my website before sunset on NYE that i nearly missed my ride to the fateful bonfire that turned out to be the most perfect way of honoring the old and welcoming the new; so perfect that i couldn't have ever planned it myself, especially because i was so busy sticking to my plan of fixing my website that i might very well have completely missed what turned out to be the most inspiring moment of the entire fucking season.
or when i almost stuck to my plan and went to that New Year's party with my friends, where i would have faked a smile and shined it on, instead of crying myself into oblivion alone on the beach among a thousand people, a billion stars and a gazillion tiny sparks of fireworks that opened me up so wide i could let all of its beauty right into the spaces i thought were empty and lifeless.
you can't plan for that shit, the shit that moves you to pieces; you just have to be wise enough to cultivate it, by allowing it to make its way into your otherwise tedious little life.
so i'm not saying don't have a plan; i'm saying create space for the unexpected, because that's where the magic of the sacred lives in you.
write a different story
a wise friend's facebook status once said: "if you do what you've always done, you'll be who you've always been."
and for those of us who absolutely fucking love ourselves and are fully satisfied in the way our own individual lives contribute to a more beautiful world, being who you've always been would be pretty fucking awesome.
but for some of us, like me, who are straddling the modern-mayhem / utopian-futurist divide, being who you've always been isn't only completely ridden with overdoses of anxiety and existential angst, it actually comes down to the reality that being who you've always been is totally fucking impossible. and it's not only totally fucking impossible because our process of spiritual awakening has led us to unravel aspects of our identity and relationships we no longer wish to acknowledge as our own, but it's also totally fucking impossible to be who you've always been, because once we've recognized that the global transformation we seek is a direct reflection of our evolution as humans living this life on earth, it actually requires significant changes at the core of who we are as people and how we interact in the world.
so i've been thinking about my life, my story, and the things i want to re-write.
for example, i'm tired of getting dumped by men i think are perfect for me, who actually aren't really, because if they were, they wouldn't keep dumping me. and i'm tired of writing stories about that.
i'm tired of not living in integrity with my values because it provokes an identity crisis i can't fucking deal with anymore. i'm tired of wasting my light-energy on listening to uninspiring people drone on about shit i don't fucking care about, and i'm tired of the fact that instead of saying 'excuse me, will you please talk to me about something that actually fucking matters?' i just sit there and listen and want to fucking die. i'm tired of knowing that most of us feel the same fucking way yet we still fucking do it, putting ourselves and eachother through the same misery of living the same day 365 times and calling it a year, when we could be making everyday magic happen together to actually do justice to this incredible fucking experience we call life.
and i'm really fucking tired of writing stories about that.
so i'm ready to write a different story.
and i'm going to start listening to my intuition and my uncommon certainty and start doing things that line up with what i believe in. and stop wasting energy on the things that drain me. and living like this might feel strange to the people around me, which is why it's scary to even think about, let alone do. but i also hope it's inspiring.
so all i ask of you, is to forgive me, and to love me, for being me.
because in that instant of finding my own absolute beauty inside my disaster of a breakdown on the saddest, most beautiful New Year's Eve of my life, i looked up at the sky and asked:
what the fuck am i doing still standing here?
i have a fucking brilliant story to write.