So I found peace in the middle of nowhere Morocco. And I’m grateful for that, of course. While here, I have gone through many phases. I have been a hermit, a coward, a risk-taker, a reader, a writer, a student, a teacher, a traveler, a homebody. The list continues. Some of these I’ve been the whole time, others intermittently. Some simultaneously, and others in a vacuum.
I have been here about sixteen and a half months. Over this period of time, I’ve found a balance, to whatever extent I believe anyone can find one. I’ve been sober for most of the last sixteen and a half months. I’ve been physically alone for longer than ever before and more bored, confused, and drained. I have stood out and been more independent, self-sufficient, committed than ever before. The extremes created a void that I never had to fill before. If I didn’t find peace here, I would have gone crazy. Or gone home. Peace (for me) is presence, discipline, self-love, mental health, and fulfillment.
And peace is so dope. It’s what I’ve been missing, why I’ve been subconsciously sabotaging other parts of my life for so many years. To my surprise, my home in Morocco has become a comfort zone. I’ve become my best self in this place. It’s still not my comfort zone in every way, of course. There’s no pizza for starters. However, I have found a fulfillment within myself here that is a comfort much greater than what’s temporarily missing.
But as you all probably know, I’m not planning on abandoning the rest of my comforts to move to rural Morocco for the rest of my life. There will come a day, in about nine months, when I will look out of the airplane window with tears in my eyes, heading to who knows where, thinking of the first time I looked out of an airplane over Morocco. I’m sure I’ll be catching my breath, in awe of the most unexpected period of my life so far.
I’ll also be really scared. I’ve found this peace, but every time I leave this town I encounter distractions. Whether I go to another volunteer’s house, a training in the city, back home to the US, to another country. I am easily distracted from this presence I found in solitude. Often when I’ve encountered these distractions throughout the last year, I have lost clarity and control. My actions do not reflect the truths or intentions of who I am here. I almost exactly get sucked back into the person I was. It’s a strange sensation, especially because it can happen so quickly in both directions.
I don’t place blame on the circumstances that bring out the worst in me. It’s my responsibility to protect myself, to distinguish what I will welcome into my existence and what I will reject. I decide to whom and what I gift my energy to. Peace is a practice, a study, and I am preparing to face the incoming distractions with strong intentions and will.