Holiday blues are still over me but I decided not to give in to the poopy back-to-the-city feelings I am currently getting (even though it's been 3 weeks since I came back).
I was in Foca for a 4 day short holiday and it was heavenly. I have a pretty 'retired' mentiality of what's a good holiday and that means not having to put on make up, not having to attend anyhing, not having to 'have super fun' and get drunk. I just want to let the silence soak in, watch people (who are not drunk before 4 pm) and go for a swim in a cold, clear sea. I went to the holiday feeling very tense, very nervous for no apparent reason. Worrying about things that probably will never happen is not my idea of having a blast. The last thing I needed was another reason to push myself to look presentable, keep a fake conversation going and talk to random people I don't give an eff about. When you are nervous, everything feels like that last hit that'll push you over the edge.
So with this state of mind, I was standing on my hind legs and preparing myself for anything that'll poke me in the wrong places. - which never really happens. So the tranquility of Foca was so good to me, I can't even express it properly. It took a good day before I could convince my body to give into the aimlessness and slow pace of life but when I managed to do that, it was utter happiness. I realized I would be perfectly happy living a 'small' life (which is a life no smaller than the 'glam' ones but only less noisy) if it meant never beating myself up with surreal responsibilities and ridiculous deadlines full of 'things should be done before you are 30'. It's funny a 4 day vacation can make you realize what you actually want for yourself, but it was that kind of place and that kind of environment. I let my faith in humanity go and I only realized that when I got to know the local people there. And then I realized something shocking - I became one of those 'Big City Girls'. It was a shock because I never consider myself as one of the busy, ambitious, nervous, career focused urban women with a bright future with a heavy paycheck. My city is considered a 'big city' alright but it's not New York. I am not competitive - I have goals but not 'must have's. I don't really beat myself up about career which is not acceptable in several environments I live in. I don't have a job that keeps me awake until midnight with deadlines, reports and many other things that could cause my hair fall out out of anxiety. I thought I was immune to all that until I realized I was trying to keep up with a lot of things on an emotional level and it wasn't really doing me much good. Trying to be better, trying to be more 'successful', trying to own all the things that are considered as the proof of your success... Being a successful person is very satisfying but when you get stuck in other's idea of what should be considered as success, you start to feel like you're missing out, you're not doing enough and you're failing at life over and over again. I never really felt like a failure but 'Am I really doing enough to be as good as him/her?' was a constant though. I guess these, combined with a few personal problems, made my brain too tense to focus on the brighter things in life and the early summer was heavy on me.
Noticing that there are so many life choices, so many different kinds of 'happiness' are out there is very enlightening. Once you are able to say 'okay shush now' to the norms your friends, family and generation forces on you, it start to become less crushing, less intimidating and less frightening. I live in a society where not doing the job you were trained for in university is considered a failure. Not a fail in 'you suck at life' but a fail in 'oh sweetie were you not good enough to keep up with others?' kind of failure. And it may be the kind of sympathy I just hate. That compassionate condescending self-affirmation of 'she fails but I don't phew' mentality really makes me sick to my stomach and I'm pretty sure it's pretty much the same all around the world. So when you make a choice that is out of the comfort zone of your familiar society, you start to feel like you have to defend your decision, even if nobody has told anything bad about it. Being in a constant state of defence is exhausting, let me tell you. Apologising for your job, apologising for not being ambitious, apologising for not being into the crowds and endless social life - the list can go on and on. And when you are stuck in that hamster wheel of never being able to risk something and take a chance in a way that could make you happy, contant and peaceful, you can't see that the life you are living is actually a pretty tiny part of what many people have chose to do with their time and lives so far. It's a pity that realizing this takes time for some of us and what others think of us is such a big part of how we live our own lives.
During this vacation, it wasn't just nature, the quiet life, the amazing sea, the amazing weather and the kind people that made me a little bit more easy and comfortable in my own skin but seeing that people could live without trying to make it to the top and still be content with their lives. The delicious food helped too. I felt a bit like I was pulling my chain to reach something I didn't really care for and now I can breath because where I am feels okay, if not perfect. The leash is imaginary.
This was the longest ramble, which I haven't planned. Congratulations if you've made it this far.