where are you going next?
i am inspired to write again today after taking a little break. my break from writing was because of my continuous break from life lately. to figure out where i am going next. i am not back yet. and i have not figured it out yet. but i have figured out enough to share.
one would think that paradise IS a break from life. but conscious beings are never done. the thing about tulum, it attracts people who are all going somewhere next. the thing about traveling, is that you are always going somewhere next. before, i was not going somewhere next. i was where i was. but the thing about leaving the life we are supposed to have, is that anything, and everywhere, becomes possible. and this phrase starts ringing in your head like bob marley tunes on a summer day back home. ready for a surf, eating some trail mix. listening to the catchy tunes, resonating, never seeming to forget the words and the rhythm.
before i left my old life, i dont think i ever heard it before. ‘oh, and where are you going next?’ but day after day out here in the wild, its a way of life. new people you meet ask this. “and where are YOU going next?”, friends you have had for months are trying to figure this out, “I think I want to go here next..” and then when those who have been lucky enough to get close to your heart figure it out and go, “I’m going here next.” and it becomes a game of people coming, leaving, attaching, detaching, loving, and losing. and then you see that the open road of life comes with a pretty hefty pricetag of human relationships taking shape in a very different light than in the real world. and this phrase starts to require attention and brings forth some pretty insane philosophical thought processes and realizations that go along with those 5 little words.
and the ironic thing is that we arent just talking about a shallow airplane ride to the next exotic location. which happens out here. we all live in paradise and then we leave for other paradises in our mind and under our feet, on our quest to self-discovery and inner satisfaction in a way never matched by being back home. and it becomes addicting. here and ther, and you never want to go home. and return to subways and traffic and 9-5 jobs when you know life can be so different now. going home is like dying a little inside, until you’re ready to return. and the endlessopportunities surround you. like my friends leaving to backpack guatemala, or to work in the summer in spain. explorers off to new zealand and morocco and india. nothing is exotic anymore and everything is reality. but its not just about the location. its about the secret mission behind it all. its about the self-discovery that gets abandoned in the US when we go to work everyday, when we are tied to possessions and responsibilities and expectations. Its the metamorphosis that comes from being free. free to live, free to express, free to adventure and discover and follow your dreams and create whatever you want. this turns have tos and need tos into want tos and dreamcatchers and crystal blue skies while you’re thinking. and sand between your toes and crafting coconut candles because you want to and writing a book and making feather earrings or climbing sacred ruins or watching sunsets over lagoons and biking under palm tree canopies along the teal ocean, and mostly, to listening to your heart and having the ability to actually do what it wants to. the world becomes your office. the universe becomes your limit. its the existence of this question that makes life so different, and the fact that out here it is something that is contemplated that is never really reflected upon back home. in the structured world, we are not given the opportunity to think about this. we think this stuff is all unrealistic. risky. craze even. but those of us who know, feel it. and so this very phrase makes the world starts to look very different..
so this is where i have been lately. immersed in this question. i call it introsection under construction.
and i have not figured much out yet. my ‘under construction’ sign is up. ‘hombres trabajando.’
but the point is, that i am. i am free to go wherever from here, whenever from here. it is the strangest feeling. it is the most amazing feeling. the scariest feeling. liberating.
do i follow the mountains or the ocean. the southern cross or djembe sounds. do i canoe one day or dive a cenote. do i keep going? do i return?
and for all of us back home, we can ask this question as well. it doesnt matter where we are. its about living life. and being conscious and taking responsibility for our lives. where are we ALL going next. emotionally, physically, relationships, as individuals, as parents, dreamers, students, employees, employers. what is guiding us. what do we want.
what do I want. what fuels my heart at this time. what satisfies rivers craving for world stimulation. i spend my days and nights thinking about this.. really focusing. before i make any hasty moves like move back to the US and accept a job at a new university with a huge paycheck and retirement plan, before i accept an offer in the marshall islands, before i stay somewhere just to stay, and before i ever make a decision based on anything other than my heart, i am taking my time to figure out.
where i am going next. inside, outside. mostly inside. think about it. its a pretty big thought. if you could do anything, go anywhere. what would it be. i feel blessed for the time and space to ponder this. and in exchange, i am trying to honor it as best i can, without having any answers. each day i get a little closer. my heart wakes me up at night and gives me a sliver of clarity. special people touch my heart and give me a few more answers. the sun and moon and stars, they are good too. the teal ocean on a sunday morning or tuesday afternoon, the fireflies in the jungle, the quiet of mexico at night while everyone sleeps in hammocks, and watching my daughter sound asleep next to me, freckled from the sun and radiating happiness, well that fuels the fire as well. and then i put it all together, and see what that sounds like. and when i get there, i will know.
where are YOU going next?by