Happiness from shiny new things
Last night I set my alarm for 6 o'clock sharp with the intentions of registering for a Vinyasa flow yoga class at 7. Waking up this morning I felt rushed from the get-go: I threw on my clothes and brushed my teeth but quickly realised I probably hadn't allocated enough time for driving to the studio. Excitedly I'd rented my first scooter the day before, picking my chosen one based on colour (cream and blue if you were wondering) and visualising myself in an Audrey Hepburn Roman Holiday vespa scene kind of way. I've been driving for over 4 years now, but this was my first time on two wheels. I had flutters as a navigated the hand-operated accelerator and balanced my weight before taking off out of the rental place.
Fast-forward to this morning where all my hopes and dreams of 'living my best Bali life' were riding (if you pardon the pun) on my new scoot.
Here's what I should've done:
1) Carried my laundry bag yesterday or the day before
2) Worn shorts or something more practical to ride with
3) Gone to yoga later in the day
4) Taken a deep breath
Instead, what I did was run out the door slinging my laptop bag and washing over my shoulder. Attempting to shove my multi-tasking items into the under seat compartment I finally caved and stuck the bag on my foot well. Given my limited wardrobe options I had thrown on a slinky long flowey dress - looks fantastic - not the best for scooting. As I'm shoving my key in the ignition remembering how to turn off the safety break and simultaneously trying to wrap up the extra material of my dress underneath me I was not even present. Pulling out of the lot I bumble along the dirt path with scattered tiles and puddles (classic Bali).
Coming around the corner to turn onto a more main road I rev the engine to get things going. Unfortunately, in that same moment the pesky canine who barks like mad came charging out of his front gate. In a bid to avoid his snarling jaws, I jerk the handles too sharply. Looking ahead I notice a little ravine at the side of the road and in my panic I throw my feet down to stop the vehicle. When I swerved the vehicle my hand accidentally slipped and twisted the accelerator causing the front wheel to go up in the air and for me to be crushed underneath my new toy. Shock kicks in.
Thinking fast I took the keys out of the ignition and wrestle my limbs from underneath me. Thankfully I wasn't on a busy road. Thankfully I only have two pretty minor scratches. Thankfully the dog retreated when he saw me fall. Thankfully two lovely Balinese men came out from their houses to help me. It took everything within me not to burst into tears right then and there.
Gesturing to the men that I was fine 'look' and returning my scoot down the little lane back home, I started to hyperventilate. It's okay. It's okay. It's okay. I repeated under my breath trying to calm myself down. Everything's okay. It's okay. It's okay. Just breeeathe. Shaking I pull my scoot back into the parking spot and the pain sets in that my shoulder doesn't feel quite right. I went back inside the house after one too many attempts to fit my key into the lock and scuttle upstairs to the comfort of my freshly made bed. As soon as I dive under the covers I burst into tears, little sobs of feeling sorry for myself and fear that my arm was worse than it was.
You'll be relieved to hear that all's well as far as I can be sure and about 30 minutes later I hopped back onto my bike in a more sensible outfit with less cargo. Currently I'm sitting at my desk in the co-working space sipping on a fresh coconut so I'm well and truly back to normal. But the minor trauma I experienced this morning really got me thinking and a little bit of backstory here is probably helpful. For the last week in Bali things have not been going to plan, in fact everything that could go wrong - has gone wrong. From food poisoning to vermin we've encountered it all in our short trip. Throughout this whole series of unfortunate events I kept recounting to family and friends that I would be happy when I finally had my freedom in the form of a vespa.
In my mind, everything would be easier and better when I could go wherever I wanted when I wanted. You see, this external condition was piggy backing on another external condition - let me explain. For the last two months before I came to Bali I've been eating like crap (think Italy), my productivity has been at an all time low and procrastination at an all time high. I'm talking I made it to the gym once in that period and only wrote 1,500 words for my Year Abroad project in 60 days! Now, maybe I'm just being hard on myself but it's just so frustrating after how successful 2018 has been for me. Especially, in terms of daily routines and starting to live life in my best interest. Long story short, I was putting off all these feelings of insufficiency with the phrase 'I'll sort that out when I get to Bali'...
My fitness routine = yoga in Bali
My healthy eating = vegan in Bali
My school work = co-working space in Bali
My happiness = Bali, Bali, Bali, BALI
Oh boy, I should've known it was going to end in a car crash from the start - quite literally it seems. I believe that when you get thrown a bad hand you always have a choice to determine what you want to make out of the situation. I'm not always in the clearest headspace to rationally determine what conclusions I want to draw out of trauma, but today I want to use my scooter infraction as a wake up call. A wake up call that if my happiness and self-acceptance relies on some hypothetical future I will never be happy. This comes down to how I feel physically and mentally. I'm in Bali and so what if I haven't made it to a yoga class yet - let alone everyday - and I've been eating pasta and more crap than before. The reality is that it doesn't matter what I have (scoot) or where I am or what I eat or what I do or what I achieve. If I'm not adding perspective and compassion I will be perpetually dissatisfied with my life. So, in the words of the Arctic Monkeys SNAP OUT OF IT.
Maybe this was helpful, maybe it was just a rant. Not yet sure, but I hope you don't postpone your happiness or self acceptance to some far reaching goal. I'll be happy when I'm financially independent. I'll be happy when I move out of home. I'll be happy when I land the graduate placement of my dreams. None of those external conditions will make you happy - trust me - I am literally in paradise right now. There will always be a barky dog or a ditch at the side of the road or a flowey dress that's a hazard in disguise. Love yo self now.
All my love, Sam