This title is what I named the document when I wrote this about three weeks ago. It was edited today. I feel the same way, still working on letting go of judgement and fear.
I’m currently sitting at a café in Missour, been here for four hours waiting for a knuckle (really, it’s pronounced knuckle; no, it’s not spelled knuckle) to leave in another hour and a half. I’m on my way to Joi’s site to help her take photos for the food blog she’s hoping to start. Conveniently, she lives on the way to Fes, where I’ll be flying out of next week on my first trip to France. I can’t believe I’m going to France!! My first time in Europe was last year, when I lived in Spain for the summer, but it still felt familiar to me in a way because of my Latina background. But France feels very “Europe.” It was always the epitome of traveling to Europe for me, and it almost feels like I’m hitting that milestone again. Can’t wait to spend a few days away with my fellow foodie friend Pariesa.
Today has been a long day of waking up early just to wait. I only slept two and a half hours according to my Fitbit, but I’m so tired that I’m not tired. Surprisingly, I’m feeling full of energy and gratitude during this arduous trip. I got to Missour before the town was up and running this morning. I sat at the knuckle stop for an hour or two on the cold curb before coming across the street to a café that I watched go through its opening routine. Dozens of kids walked past me to school this Saturday (one reason to be grateful, never had school on a Saturday). I enjoyed a bomb omelette with cheese, olive oil, and bread along with hot milk, all for about a dollar. The crisp early morning turned into a sunny fall day. This whole time it was unclear to me how I was getting to my final destination, but what’s the rush?
I asked several people along the way how I could get to where I’m going, getting the Moroccan staple, “the knuckle is coming, wa7d shwiya, inshallah,” or, “soon, God willing.” I even think I missed a knuckle at some point, but that may or may not be true. I’ll spare you the details, but a knuckle did come and go without me on it. I’ve been at this café for longer than it feels with the welcoming, sweet-faced owner and cook waiting for him to tell me what knuckle to get on. He’s trustworthy, you can tell by looking at him. He just gave me a complimentary cup of Moroccan mint tea and wished me a safe trip because he said my knuckle is leaving soon. I had time to write in my journal, a new morning ritual of gratitude that has changed my life. My mornings have become a meaningful part of my day instead of the bane of it. I tried studying a little for the GRE, but I actually am too tired for that. And now I’m writing a blog because although my brain isn’t down to memorize vocab, I’m feeling a sense of clarity.
I’ve started to stop taking myself so seriously lately, in all the right ways. I’m still serious about my next steps after Peace Corps, making the best of my last year here, staying connected with my loved ones, and pizza. However, I do not take fear or judgement seriously anymore. I will no longer allow myself to be censored by fear or judge myself on behalf of others or society. In theory. In practice, this is all a work in progress. I will say it until I embody it because I believe in it.
I won’t change what I’m saying, sharing, or doing because I’m scared of being judged. I love a good cliché so here it goes, “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” I will respect others, and I expect the same in return. But if someone doesn’t agree with you, it doesn’t have some deep meaning about your flaws. The only reason a know-it-all exists is the ego’s fear of dissolution. My ego has gone on long enough, so insecure about how it’s perceived that it fights to its dying breath to be right. I’m over it, I’m not scared. If you don’t believe or agree with me, that’s ok. I’m still me. I’m not my ego. Honesty and respect are the only criteria on the rubric.
My isolation has muted so much outside influence, making room for the longest inner dialogue I’ve ever known. It has lead me to dissect and explore my fears. I also know who’s important in my life now more than ever. The only people present in my life are the people who want to be there because I’m not readily available, and those people love me and don’t judge me (see above cliché). I don’t feel controlled by time, people, expectations. I’m overrrrr it. As my mom would say in an outdated manner, “BYE FELICIA.” I am full of gratitude and freedom, and I wish that for you.