Life’s a beach.
And a bitch. You thought this was going to be a positive holiday post, didn’t you. Haha. No but it will be, eventually. Trust me. The past half year has just been … a bitch. Not in terms of things going utterly & fatally wrong, which they normally tend to do in my life — anyone in need of some drama? Got plenty left over here! — but in terms of my mind spinning off in utterly & fatally wrong ways, which made Chrissy T struggle a bit more with the ways and wonders of life, failing to make sense of it all. Which in turn affected my writing. Or rather, not writing. Chrissy T has a long list of apologies that would probably not interest you, so I will save those. You may just forgive me and be done with it.
Hence this post that is about four months overdue, just like half my bills probably — don’t judge, but I could use some Beyoncé-magic-singing “can you pay my bills, can you pay my telephone bills, can you pay my automobills”, you get the point — when I strutted the streets of Barcelona in a cheerful bliss, by myself for the first time, in a hostel for the first time. And promised myself and everyone around me that I would write one fabulous article about it once I got back home. Big oops. But well, here it is. Arriving on time has never been my strong suit, now has it. Plus anyone ever heard of the term ‘fashionably late’, ehem? So far the ‘bitch’ part.
What sparked my creativity again into writing posts that are way too long — I can never shut up, you know that — is heading back there tomorrow to catch the feeling I had when I was there in April; that same feeling I can barely hold onto while I’m back home.
It’s a feeling of being carefree, of hope, of freedom, of getting lost in the streets and finding yourself again on an unexpected corner. It’s the feeling of unexpected happiness on ridiculous tourist bus rides with hair waving in the wind, endless conversations and abundant laughter. It’s the feeling of balcony nights and city lights. It’s the feeling of strangers becoming family. It’s the feeling of ‘Despacito’ — back then pretty unknown but now the best known Spanish song to mankind, and some even say the most annoying — becoming your life’s anthem, and I ain’t even ashamed to say it still is #noshameinmyspanishgame.
It’s the feeling of watching the port at night, feeling like lions so sleep-deprived, yet owning the night. Invincible. It’s the feeling of dancing the night away, nights that never seem to end until they do and you arrive home tired, but so full of life. It’s the feeling of getting your phone stolen on those same nights out, of panic attacks that couldn’t even be tethered by the sight of waves and the feel of sand. It could’ve been heaven, but I didn’t know where I was. It’s the feeling of friendship and relief, “I’m a strong independent woman who don’t need no phone, y’all”.
It’s the feeling of sitting on the beach that same night, waiting for a sunrise that would never come. And isn’t that a metaphor for life. Waiting on something, wanting it to happen so badly, remaining so full of hope, setting your sights on something you’ll never see.
And isn’t that the irony of it all.
And isn’t that the magic of it all.
Life isn’t for waiting. Life is for happening.
(Please someone print this on a poster)
I remember getting lost in the streets by myself without my phone to help my poor inner navigation system, figuring out shitty maps with roads that led merely to figuring out myself, to a discovery of self I hadn’t encountered in a long very long time.
I remember sitting on the beach close to the water and staring at the waves, hearing them wash over the sand, the most reassuring sound my mind had yet encountered. Like the rippling waves, I felt calm. At peace. I was disconnected, lost my phone to a probably very handsome Spanish fella — we would’ve made beautiful babies if he had just gotten to know me instead of my phone — but I felt connected to myself more than ever.
Like the tide, people came and went. Hostel walls hold many secrets, shared by human interactions that only last for what feels like a brief splash on the window of one’s life. But in between the waves, for a brief moment, we were bonded. It felt like we already knew each other for as long as waves know shores. ”And in that moment, I swear, we were infinite”. Nothing left behind, words washed away, just like our footprints. Only memories remain. And a feeling.
“Life’s a beach.”
I shut my eyes and I know. I’ll be lying right by your side. In Barcelona.
PS: when traveling with a bunch of Americans, it’s almost inevitable that you end up in a McDonald’s or KFC somewhere along the way. It is part of the circle of life, really. I was fortunate enough to experience both. You have been warned.
PS2: Sant Jordi, let’s go.