Cumpleanos En Route

Well. I’m 35. In Spain. Sitting on the beach at 8:40am before my flight. Tired from jet lag and overwhelmed from a long day yesterday of walking and working, emotional from the weight of my body, and from being alone and talking to so many strangers in three languages.

But I’m at peace on this beach, hearing women laughing in the water, sitting on the cool sand with food in my belly and a car ready to take me to the airport, humble and tired and sore and grateful. And ready to go home.

I haven’t missed connecting via social media at all on this trip: not on the 14 hours of flight via Sweden over here. Not while walking the streets of Barcelona, looking up at the architecture and art, wandering the markets for my research, or even while eating solo at some lovely restaurants that would definitely have been more fun with someone to share with. I’m tired, but not lonely, even though the pressure of traveling alone in this body is sometimes so much that I muse as to if it’s even worth it.

Yesterday, I talked to someone from long ago in my past. He’d called the day before I left to come to Spain, and it took a few times of hearing his message for me to accept it was him; I’d thought this person had hated me for many years now, and I that I deserved his hatred. But when I finally got back to him, sitting on the stone steps of a church looking out at the Spanish scene, it was like nothing and everything had changed. I can’t and don’t want to share particulars, but having a conversation with someone from my past, while sitting so firmly in my present, meant something to me. The idea that I could still have adventures – pain-riddled body or not – and that I can still leave an impression on someone to the point that they tell me they’ve “loved me every day”…. I’m thankful.

On this beach. In Barcelona. Before I fly to Norway and then home again.

35.

 

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