Category Archives: journal

I Lost My Phone in Peru

After our 7 day retreat in Peru, Hana and I decided to go to Bolivia because, well, why not?  Honestly it was all Hana’s decision and she made her angry face when I acted hesitant about extending my trip past the 7 day mark.  I made my hesitant face and then she made her angry face and I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Yeah, I’ll go.  Sounds like fun!”

And it was fun.  It was incredible.  It was awesome.  For the first time in almost 2 months, we felt free.  Free of walking the Camino, free of the prison retreat that starved us and locked us inside its grounds.  We were, for the first time, truly free.

But I lost my cell phone at the bus terminal in Cusco.  My guess, it was stolen because I forgot to button my freaking pocket.  The one time I didn’t button my pocket was at a stupid bus terminal….of all places!  Why Melanie?  Why…

That’s why I haven’t posted anything.  I couldn’t.  But oh man I wish I did.  What a trip.  Have you ever seen the sunset in a desert?  It’s the most awe-inspiring image I ever seen in my life.  It’s not an image though, it’s not a scene, or a view…..It’s like Pachamama, or Jeong.  It’s like an emotion became a reality.  Words, just like a photograph, will never capture it.  It’s like looking up at a dome – sunset surrounds you on all sides.  The colors….a perfect mix of contrasts swaying and changing and spiraling.  It’s dizzying like on drugs.  I kept looking all over from one side to the next to take it all in but my eyes weren’t big enough.

Me – “I can’t believe this happens every day and nobody knows about it.”

I decided whenever I’m feeling down, all I have to do is think about that sunset and how it’s there everyday but we just can’t see it.  It happens above my own house everyday but I just can’t see it.

Hana bought us a room for 2 nights at the most luxurious hotel I’ve ever stayed at, Hotel De Sal Luna Salada.  Everything in the place is made entirely out of salt taken from the desert.   The floor is even covered with a carpet of salt.  It crunched under my feet as I walked.

It’s an isolated hotel in the middle of a pure salt desert and seeing that it’s in a 3rd world country, all the games in the game room were broken.  Their one ping-pong ball, the darts, all the pool sticks….etc.  But we played with them anyway and laughed our asses off.  Hana drank 5 large gin and tonics and got the asian flush.  That’s the night we met Alejandro.  A pilot for the Peruvian airline.  The three of us had the best time together.  Like we’ve been friends in a previous life, carried over into today.  It’s still so odd for me to meet someone for the first time and feel like I’ve known them my whole life – that’s how it was with Alejandro, a young man from Lima.

I loved Bolivia.  It’s not an easy place to get into for wayward backpackers like us.  Before we left for Bolivia, I researched what was needed to enter the country.  Evidence that we’ll be leaving, a hotel that we’ll be staying at, and a passport photo.  It’s even more difficult for Americans and journalists because we have to pay to get in.

I thought it wise to get our Bolivian visa’s in Cusco at the embassy so that way our bus wouldn’t take off without us while we fumble with the paperwork.  This has been known to happen when the process takes too long.

We show up at the embassy with nothing but smiles and good intensions.  Then we were directed to go to the nearest internet cafe to print out our paperwork because smiles weren’t enough proof that we’re good, law abiding people.

I was so glad we got that done and out of the way.  We were both proud of ourselves for being prepared.  We actually had to buy our plane tickets home in order to get into Bolivia and you know that can be time consuming.

Bolivia was awesome but the moment Hana left to catch her plane back home, my luck went out the door with her.

My plane was the next day.  Early morning.  So early that I wouldn’t allow myself to fall asleep for fear of missing my flight.  I had no cell phone to set my alarm, no clocks in hotel rooms in Bolivia and I didn’t trust the front desk to call to wake me up.  So I had to stay up.  I had no choice.

I hop in a taxi at 4:30am the next day and drove up to the top of the mountain where the La Paz airport resides.  The views are stunning.  La Paz is dusty, dirty and old, but good lord it’s stunning from the top of that mountain.

I find out that my flight has been cancelled.

Delays are one thing, but cancelled completely?  What do I do?  I don’t even have a phone!

By gods good graces, the La Paz airport has a computer room that also let’s you make long distance calls.  I had to find the Bolivian phone number for American Airlines on the computer and call them.  The next flight was two days later.

So I drove back down the mountain, found a hotel, and slept until noon.  Thankfully, Bolivia is cheap as hell.

La Paz is the capital of Bolivia.  As I lay bored in my hotel room, I can hear a celebration happening a few blocks away.  The same celebration being televised on TV.  It funny how many TV stations in Bolivia cover everything that goes on in La Paz whereas America is just too big for that.  It’s not tightly knit.  I’ll never get on TV but in Bolivia, everyone’s a star.

I just wanted to go home so badly at that point.  I was worried about my business, worried about not having any money left in my account, worried about my parents….I was freaking out.

I’m laying in my own bed now.  I got home at 3am this morning.  I don’t know what the hell I ate or what, but I contracted a nasty stomach bug.  My stomach started gurgling during my first flight (Santa Cruz) and as soon as we landed I went straight to the bathroom and was shocked at what came out of me.  Then it happened again on my second flight of which I couldn’t hold it in and had to shit 30,000 ft above ground in the tiny shaky airplane toilet.  And then it happened again minutes before my third flight.  My flight was boarding at 7:05PM and that’s the time it hit.  I ran to the bathroom and I couldn’t stop going this time.  It didn’t have that “okay I’m done now” feeling and my asshole kept wanting to dry-heave (sorry for the imagery).

I was vaping during all of this, while sitting on the toilet and murmuring, “oh god….shit.  Oh no oh no please stop.”

I had no cell phone to tell me the time.  I was afraid of missing my flight due to being stuck in the bathroom.  I thought about the two girls who weren’t allowed to board their flight because the doors closed moments before they arrived.  They, for some unknown reason, boarded the plane and decided to leave it a few minutes later.  When they returned, the attendants wouldn’t let them back in.  Once the doors were closed they stay closed.

Me thinking – “Why the hell did they leave the plane once they were on it?  Did they not see the time?”

One of the girls made a scene, swearing up a storm as Americans do and then broke down in tears saying, “I don’t know what to do, what do we do?  Our luggage was on that plane.”

They were in Miami going to Boston.  For me, it didn’t seem like that big of a deal.  But sitting on that toilet right when my plane was boarding for takeoff, I felt sorry for judging her.

I still have the stomach bug.  Every time I eat, it all comes back out.  At least this happened after my trip and not during.

Man, I’m home.  I miss Hana.

Hana – “We’re perfect to travel with.  I complain and you don’t.  You’re a very positive person.”

Me – “I bottle everything up inside good and tight.”

Hana – “It’s destiny that we met.  We can grow old together, not have children and just change each others diapers.”

Me – “I never wanted kids so I can totally do that.”

Hana – “Are you sure?”

Me – “I’m sure, pinky promise.”

She does her weird asian pinky promise thing and walks me through the process.

It’s just like having a best friend in junior high.  Girls our age don’t talk like that anymore.  I forgot how much I like hearing sentiments like that.  It makes me feel loved.

Hana makes me feel loved and cared for and the only thing she wants in return is for me to travel the world with her.

I don’t know….call me crazy but if my life from now on consists of world travel with a person who sincerely cares about me, I’ll be pretty damn happy with that life.  I’m okay with that.

 

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I’m Home I’m Home I’m Home At Last

But not for long.

I’m still so freaking tired.  Still!  I slept my ass off last night and the night before, but my eyes invariably want to close.

I fell asleep at 9PM last night and woke up at 3AM.  I didn’t know where I was.

Me thinking – “This is a nice hotel.  I don’t remember this hotel.  It’s so warm and comfortable.  Oh, and my audiobook is playing.  So nice….”

Then I realized I was home in my room and I was like, “Praise the lord thank you I’m home!!”

For the last 40 days, I’d wake up in a different location every morning only to hike 15 miles to god know’s where.  Everyday.  Waking up sucked.

And when you wake up at 3AM thinking you’re someplace you never been and realize you’re safe and sound in your own bed, it’s like a snow day from school times 20.

I love home.  I am a homebody big time.

But I’m going to Peru on Thanksgiving to check Machu Picchu off my bucket list.  I got home late on the 19th, and off again I go on the 23rd.  Today is the 21st.  I just booked my flight.  A one-way because, well, you never know.

Hana wants to do Ayahuasca.  I personally don’t want to do it for two reasons:  The taste and the barfing.  But Hana is dead set on it so we’re doing a package deal of ayahuasca and Machu Picchu.  There’s a really nice retreat that offers both.  They even have a doctor present 24/7.

Oh god aya-freaking-huasca again.  Shit.  No thank you.  No no no.  I’m so done puking.  I don’t have to do it, I’ll probably skip it anyway.

I better leave.  I’m meeting some friends out for drinks.  I ate beforehand so I don’t have to spend money on dinner.

*******************

It’s now the 22nd.  I leave tomorrow, Thanksgiving.  I can’t believe I’m doing this.  But I know I’d regret it if I don’t.  That’s what I base all my decisions on, regret.

Last night I hung out with the 3 girls that ditched me after I came back from Nepal.  2 of them are completely fine with me, but the other one….I don’t think she likes me much and I didn’t have the mental energy to override it this time.  Or maybe she does like me, but she doesn’t make me feel relaxed, you know?  Not something you’d want to deal with after walking across Spain, that’s for sure.  It’s like she can’t decide if she likes me or not, she can’t pin me down and me being stupid empathetic, can feel all this and so I get confused myself.

People I met along the road on the Camino, never made me feel that way.  And they didn’t even know me.

My brother and I have this weird “gift”.  I don’t think it’s much of a gift actually.  But me and my bro are affected by other people’s energies too much.  It’s their micro-expressions that trip us up – we pick up on it.  And the tone they use.  We can spot bullshit a mile away.  We see the inauthentic, the egomaniacs and narcissists.  My brother wants to slap it out of them, turning to violence and anger while I curl up in a ball and question my sanity.

Why do some people make me feel uncomfortable?  Like I’m being probed?  I wish I wasn’t affected by it but when you’re freaking tired, all defenses are down.  This girl I’m talking about is starting to date and once she finds her match, her confidence will rise and her hard edges should smooth out.  Hopefully.

Anyway, it’s tiring is what it is.  Not fun.

Today I’m seeing my friend Mo to return her dress finally, and I have to stop in work to visit my office manager.  And the 3 girls I mentioned above are going out again later – I’d like to join them if number 3 isn’t there – too much work.  I mean come on now, can’t we cohabit in peace?

I should pack.

I woke up at 8:30AM.  It’s raining.  My room is trashed – the most trashed it’s ever been in my life.  But I like it because it means I get to clean when I get back from Peru – a new person is waiting to be uncovered.  I will reemerge anew.

My feet are still sore.  I need to brush my teeth.

I need to dump my brain out of my head, you know?  I can’t remember shit that happens.  It’s a lazy brain to a fault.  My brain acts how a homeless person looks.  I’m not retaining anything.  I guess if I do ayahuasca again, this will be my one focal point – to clear my head.  Sleep doesn’t help.  Perhaps it’s lack of a certain mineral?  Or I’m dehydrated?  Or it could be my messy bedroom, I don’t know.

Or maybe because my life has been crazy for the last few months.  No me time.  No grip on reality.  Completely out of my comfort zone.

What do people do when they wake up early?  I don’t know what to do with myself.  I really should pack…..

My plane leaves at 19:42 from Boston.  That’s 7:42PM.  It takes around 2.5 hours to get there, arrive 2 hours early, factor in 90 minutes of traffic to be safe and minus 40 minutes of boarding from 7:42 so I should be at the gate at 7 sharp….let’s calculate.  Beep boop beep….

7Pm – 2.5 = 4:30

4:30 – 2 = 2:30

2:30 – 90 minutes = 1PM

1:00 seems awfully early but I refuse to panic like I did last time on my way to the airport.  I will do anything to avoid fear like that.  If I was 3 minutes later than I was, my plane would’ve left without me – 3 minutes!  You know how nerve wracking that is?  And I hate cutting people in line.  I feel like such an asshole.

So, 1:00 tomorrow it is.  I have to be ready.  It’s a long 14 hours flight with 2 layovers.  I’ll get to my hotel in Peru by 11PM on the 24th and at 10AM the next day, we’re off to the retreat.  Fuck me.  Seriously.

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4 Days Until Camino

I leave for my trip in T minus 4 days.

My mind is in shambles.  I’m laying here in bed – so unbelievably fucking comfortable you have no idea.  I’m warm, I’m fed, I’m loved, my life is grand and wonderful these days; I’ve even spoken with my lawyer today about the lawsuit and he says the whole case is stupid.  Literally, he called it stupid.

Him – “It’s a straight forward simple case.  You did nothing wrong and there was no way to prevent any of it from happening.  If I were you, I wouldn’t worry too much about it.  You’ll be fine.”

I’ve never had a lawyer before and I’m sure they all say things like “it’ll be just fine” or “don’t worry about it” to their clients but in my case, it rings true.  There were literally no precautions or warning signs that I missed or could’ve foreshadowed.  It was all a roll of the dice.  Shit luck.

This was the first time he told me not to worry though.  Thanks buddy, you could’ve told me that sooner.  Before my mental breakdown and going through the 5 stages of grief hundreds of times over.

Anyhow, I’m truly loving my bed right now.  Oh God I love it.  I love Netflix.  I love doing nothing and this time of night (11pm) is the time I can get away with doing nothing.  I have a big plate of nothing all to myself.

So why’s my mind in shambles?

I had a long-ass summer.  It ended with me having to house sit two dogs and a cat for 10 days.  I just got home, when was it?  Yesterday?  I don’t know.  But during those 10 days I was up at the ass crack of dawn letting those dogs out to pee.  And at night, they had to sleep with me.  They taken up the whole bed to where I was sleeping horizontal on the mattress.  I’d wake up in the morning cranky as hell.  They’d wake me up with a paw to the face.

Both dogs like to lick.  They lick your face, your pants, your eyeballs, inside your mouth….etc.  One day as I was exiting the shower, I walked over to the bed where my clothes lay spewed out everywhere and there were the dogs on the bed with my clothes.  Both of them, at the same time, decided to lick my naked nipples.  Each of my nipples had a dog attached to it.

I felt so grossed out, I felt violated.  I just wanted to get dressed.  That’s all that I wanted.  But instead, there I was cold, wet, and had two dogs sucking at my teats.

I love home.  I love it so freaking much.  I want to stay here and hunker down for a while.  I want to be alone in a bunker.  But this can’t be, it’s not in the stars.  I leave in 4 days to go someplace opposite of being home, comfortable, well fed and feeling stunningly fantastic.  I’m going on a 35 day torture hike across Spain to lose weight.  To lose weight!  So I’m not one of the first to go during the zombie apocalypse.  I’d be able to run goddammit.

Whoever says it’s fun is full of shit.

I think I need to see a therapist.  I have a few friends who see therapists, so why shouldn’t I?  The major issue’s I want to address is my laziness and my lack of caring what people think of me.

Now, most people would say that that’s wonderful – it’s great and liberating to not care what others think but they’re wrong.  So way off the mark wrong.

Firstly, I don’t engage with people anymore.  I don’t care enough to engage with them.  I don’t care enough to, well, care about them.  Why?  Because I was a huge engager in the past and everyday the more I engaged, the more people expected it.  At the end of the day, none of it mattered.  No matter what I did, it was never permanently good enough and when it was good enough, the next day I had to be even better.

I went the other way.  It’s not that I don’t care exactly, it’s more like I stopped trying.  I don’t try with people anymore.  My office manager pointed this out to me last night over a few pints.  I pointed it out to myself about a month or so ago.

As far as the laziness goes…..”how the hell can you be lazy and walk across Spain then?”  Is what you’re thinking.  The thing with that is, laziness is a privilege.  Laziness is not just about laying around, it’s a mind-set.  It’s a mind-set of complete and utter ease.  No worries.  No responsibilities.  Just freedom of all problems.

My type of laziness, the kind I’m talking about, it’s my personal drug of choice.  And it’s addicting as hell.  It’s better than anything else out there on the market.  Not even beer can hold a candle to it.

Basically, I can’t be both fat and lazy.  They cancel each other out.  I won’t feel completely at ease again until I lose at least 25 pounds.  Hence, the Camino and why I have to walk it (again).

If everyone experienced the same type of laziness that I experience, everyone in the world would be their own boss, have a clean conscience and stay healthy.  Having a clean conscience also affects how well I can rest and relax.  All vexes must be aired out and all foibles on my part must be atoned for.

Delicious laziness to extreem.  Extreem power resting.  Angelic homeostasis.  Until I start trying with people and it all goes to shit when it’s never enough.  Best to stay under the radar.

I’d tell these things to my shrink but what good will it do?

Does everyone experience the same type of lazy bliss?  The same natural habitat of my resting mind?  It’s my home base.  The place I can always return to once all else is settled.  To take my bra off and let the pups lick my nips….no.  That’s disgusting.

But you know what I mean?  A place where I can’t be hurt.  Not by myself nor by any others.

I don’t think people grasp it the same way I do.  They either don’t get it or decided to live a lie – a lie they reason with as being their only viable option.

I downloaded 18 audiobooks for my 500 mile journey.  If the actual walk doesn’t change me, I’m sure one of those books will.  My goal is to want to try again with people.  But this time, I’ll make it enough for me and not care if it’s not enough for them.  That’ll be my emotional goal this time around but my main focus is losing 25 pounds.

I don’t need a therapist, just give me a pen and paper.

 

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Filed under All about me, camino de santiago, journal, random thoughts, Self help, Travel

ESO ESO ESO!!!!

It’s a beautiful Saturday at my homestead here in CT.  It’s exactly 12 noon and I just woke up via text which is the way I wake up most days (texts before noon don’t rouse me).

I got nothin’ to do.  Well, there’s always my hike up my big little mountain but I think I’ll take a day.  A day all to myself.  An Elder Scrolls online kind of day.  I have the faintest of blisters on the top of my baby toe from breaking in my new boots so I don’t think it’s wise to hike today.  Even though it doesn’t hurt like a regular blister, why irritate it?

Anyway, I should get to it.  My level is still so low.  I don’t even have a horse yet.

In the meantime, hurricane Irma is turning Florida into the end times.

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“Problems”

I had to buy a new pair of hiking boots goddammit.  Apparently I lost my arch from the last time I hiked the Camino and now my toes hit against the front of my boots.  If I walked the Camino wearing my old boots this time around, I’d have no toe nails left by the end of the trek.

It sucks.  Not only the spending money part, but buying and breaking in new boots specifically for a 500 mile walk is daunting.  My old boots were so comfy!  They were perfect!

And this my friends, is the height of my current problems.

I’m wearing them now, my new boots.

When I first took off my old boots to try on the new ones at REI, I was literally astonished.  “Holy crap they’re fantastic!  It feels like I’m giving my feet a drink of water!”

They felt lighter and even more comfortable than my old pair.

Me – “I probably don’t even need to break these in they’re so comfortable.”

My first hike was fine but when I went again the next day, the illusion shattered.  They’re a lot looser than they were on that first day hike.  Today I added an extra insole but now the tops of my toes on my left foot are getting scuffed.

I have crazy narrow feet.  They’re long and they’re narrow.  These boots are made for narrow feet but they haven’t seen the likes of mine before.

Tomorrow I’ll try again without that extra insole and make sure I lace them as tightly as they allow.  If that doesn’t work, my next move is to double up my socks.

But seriously, I can’t think of any other pressing problems other than that.

Well, there is one other problem……

Since I started listening to audiobooks about virtual reality MMORPG games, I went on ahead and bought myself one.  A MMORPG game, not virtual reality.  Elder Scrolls online.

I played for 2-days straight.  The last 2 days of my life were lost to that game.  And now that I’m back from my hike, all I can think about is playing that game.  I don’t care about anything else.

I’m supposed to call my friend today……yesterday I blew off 3 separate people all wanting to do something.  And alll I want to do is game.  This isn’t anything new, people are used to it but with this game in particular, there’s no end to it.  I can’t say I beat it and then shelf it and wait for the next one to come out months later, no.  This never ends.

It’s September 5th.  I leave for my trip on October 9th…I think it’s October 9th.

I’m not ready for it.  I’ve been hiking up my big little mountain non-stop to no avail, it’s not getting any easier.  I haven’t lost weight.  I’m not stronger.  Four years of working 70-hour weeks did this to me.  I find it hard to believe I haven’t lost anything yet.  When did my retirement from massage begin?  It has to be at least 3 months ago.  3 months of hiking every single day with no improvement?

I don’t know wtf’s going on with that but I’ll keep at it.  I’m pretty relentless when it comes to certain things.  Like leveling up my character.

Speaking of….

I have an idea that will make me more money but I don’t want to write about it now.  I’m losing daylight (game time).  I’ll save it for another day.  But an idea such as this, one that is actually doable on paper and doesn’t cost an arm or a leg, is so in-my-face stupid obvious I kick myself for not doing it sooner.  I guess it takes about 3 months to recoup from 4 years of hell and that’s why this idea is just becoming known to me now.  I was too stressed and too tired before now.

Anyway, I got to play my game.

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Life is a series of constant recoveries

I got home yesterday from a weekend bachelorette party.  Only one of us threw up, so it wasn’t anything too crazy but still, it was the best time ever.  I want everyday to be like that.

12 of us girls went up to New Hampshire.  I went up the day before to pick up Steph from the Boston airport so we can spend the day there before our New Hampshire exertion.

But her plane delayed by 12 hours so that left me with 12 hours to kill alone in Boston by the harbor on a beautiful day.  I walked 10 feet to get Chinese take-out and stayed in our shoddy hostel watching TV until the 12 hours ran out.

I have no right writing a blog.  I’m a closet bore.  I stopped caring or being curious about anything.

I’ll provide you another example of this;

There were 2 girls at the party that I wasn’t acquainted with.  In my younger years I would seek out people I didn’t know and be the first to strike up a conversation.  But now I’m too tired for anything new.  I contemplated this as I sat next to one of the unfamiliar women with no interest in learning anything about her.  I compared my new self to my old self and this was an unmistakeable difference.  One I couldn’t overlook.

Rational Brain – “What’s changed?  Why are you like this?”

Me – “I lost interest is all.”

The past 4 years of owning a business really has kicked my ass.  It’s a different type of ass-kicking than your regular job.  But I hate blaming it on that.  Like it’s not a valid enough excuse.  I have different habits and priorities now than when I was younger but can it really stem from business ownership?  Or has my laziness simply gotten worse?

Rational Brain – “Maybe you’re still recovering from busting your ass all those years?”

Recovering…..

If that’s the case, than I’m in a cycle of continuous recovery.  Recovery from debt, weight gain, hangovers, lawsuits, broken hearts, strenuous exercise, loss, grief, stress……it never stops.

To help mitigate my plethora of recoveries, I’m planning on buying this in the near future:

It’s a Harley Davidson Tri Glide Ultra.  I’ve seen a bunch of them on the road lately and they all scream freedom.  Oh god I want one so bad.  It can change my life forever – change me as a person so I’m not always in “recovery” mode.  I’ll be in “life’s a blast no matter what” mode.

They say owning a motorcycle isn’t a hobby, it’s a lifestyle.  This trike will help me get through life in a certain style.  Who wouldn’t want that style?

Before I buy this bike, I’m still planning on buying an electric bike first for my cross-country trip.  I’m choosing an ebike first mostly due to the benefits of exercise and I’d rather not see my country from a highway perspective.  First ebike then tri bike.

When I get back home in November from walking the Camino, I have to be sure to keep the weight off and still work at the same time.  So I’m going to join cardio kickboxing near my house.  I have the place already picked out.  And I won’t stuff my face like I did last time I got back from my walk.  It’ll all be for nothing.

I’m not sure what’s worse, weight debt or money debt.  Weight debt is always in your face screaming at you from your closet full of clothes that don’t fit.  Money debt weighs on you differently.  It makes planning your future harder while weight debt is more in the present moment.

As of now, I hardly think about money debt anymore.  I’m affected more by the impending lawsuit than anything else really.  But I can’t recover from something until it’s actually over. It’s sort of hovering over my head, stealing my breath every time I think about it.

You can’t recover from something that’s ongoing and the lawsuit is the only problem I have that’s ongoing.  All other issues are being resolved or have already been resolved.

But I must say, this has been the best summer I’ve had in a long time despite the lawsuit pangs.

Before my trip to NH, I went up to RI with Jill, her mom, and our friend Andrew came up for the day to meet us.  I was the only one who threw up, so it wasn’t anything too crazy, but it was a good time.  This whole summer has been filled with good times.  I never want to go back to working 70 hour weeks and I won’t have to as long as I have my office manager.

I still can’t believe my plan actually worked.

According to this plan, I was to retire this month (August) but it happened a few months sooner.  I have not paid off my debt entirely and instead, retired a few months ahead of schedule.

I would like to pay off my debt when I get back from the Camino, but that’s no longer a priority.  My cross-country trip is my priority now.  I’m telling my financial planner to take out $1,600 a month starting in December and ending in June.  That’s when I’m leaving.  I’ll have almost $10,000 saved for it.  $5,000 of that money goes towards the bike itself and all the equipment I’ll need.  The other $5,000 is for motels and food which I doubt I’ll be needing that much, but I like to be prepared.  Whatever is left over goes towards paying my debt.

*************************************

Aside from all that, I’ve gotten into audiobooks about video games.  This is a real thing, a new genre.

They’re not about Playstation or Xbox, they are about virtual reality games of the future.  MMORPG’s.  Open world role playing games in virtual reality.

I can NOT stop listening to them.  I love them more than any other genre known to man.  So much so that I want to write my own.

One guy wrote his own during his downtime and sold 5,000 copies on audible – possibly more.  People are pestering him about his third book asking when it’ll be released.

Author – “I do this in my free time.  I have no set schedule when it comes to writing so I don’t know.”

My head is already full of idea’s.  I want to write one because it’s fun, and not for recognition or money.  I really really want to write one.  None of my friends would have interest in reading it, but I don’t care.

 

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60 Times Around

The last time I walked the Camino, I cried on my first day.  That’s how hard it was.  The first day especially.

The 10th day was the hardest.  On the 10th day, I hit the wall from not getting enough protein.  I had to rest on the 10th day.  I literally couldn’t move.

I have to walk 25 kilometers on that first day.  Break that down into America’s language, that’s 15 miles.  One mile is 4 times around a track.  4 times 15 is 60.

It’s like walking 60 times around a standard track.  Yesterday I walked 12 times around so, 3 miles.  And my feet started to ache and my left knee cramped up.  On a technologically advance cushioned track with no ups or downs.

I did wear my ankle weights.  Only a pound and a half on each foot.

The thing about walking the track is the boredom.  I forgot how boring walking can be.  And since I already walked the Camino once already – I’ve seen all that stuff, it’s nothing new.  Which only compounds to the boredom I’ll have to face.  I’ll be in pain and I’ll be bored.  At the end of the day I can look forward to a bland simple dinner, not enough to satiate my hunger and on top of that, I’ll be bunking with 300 strangers in a dank gothic style church.  On that first day, there’s no shopping plaza’s or restaurants around for miles.

I have to pack more food.  Extra food for dinner and a little something for the following mornings breakfast – stuff I wish I knew the first time I walked.

15 miles equates to walking from my house to the middle of New Haven, possibly a little further than its middle. It’ll take me at least 8 hours.  It would take me 6 hours without breaks and if the path was completely flat.

I can’t believe I’m walking this shit again just to lose weight.  I hated it the first time.  I loathed it.

I’ve been keeping up with walking every single day.  My stomach looks like it’s slimming down, but I still weigh the same.  And my slim stomach may just be an optical illusion.  My pants don’t feel any looser.

Today I will attempt to hike up my big little mountain with my ankle weights on.  It’s going to be torture.

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Just Another Gut Wrenching Normal Day in the Life of Mel

I hardly work, but I still find myself busy every stinking hot sticky day of the week.  I woke up a few days ago and decided I needed to start a food truck business as soon as possible.  I spent hours pouring over any information I could find online.  None of it was in one place.  I wrote down every possible license I’d need, every possible permit and searched for used food trucks on eBay and Craigs list.

I had an insane urge to open a food truck business – an INSANE urge.  A scathing, stressful, eye-popping urge.  Why did I have this toe curling, life or death asphyxiation towards starting a food truck business?  Because I’m broke as shit.  I can’t even cook!

I hired a financial planner, so now I can finally get a sense of how much money I have in the bank.  None.  Zero.  Zilch.  I’m one broke ass bitch.

Last month was quarterly taxes, property taxes, and I bought a plane ticket to Spain.  When I realized the impending financial doom I was facing, I nearly clawed my eyes out.  My answer was to open a food truck.

For at least the last 3 days I was obsessed with this food truck idea.  Every moment was spent on my laptop in my hot musty room frantically pouring over my options.  Did I mention I was stressed?  Oh yes, there was stress.

When I wasn’t stressing about my newest venture, I went hiking up my little big mountain.  I went 3 days in a row and each time I completed it, while I was walking back to my car, I didn’t have that fresh feeling of relief or accomplishment, no, I had the most rueful scowl on my face.

Me – “This is such bullshit.  Fucking bullshit.”

Again, the trail has kicked my ass.  I go almost everyday to hike up that god awful place, risking my precious ankles from rolling or cracking my skull open on a sharp rock (they are everywhere pointing out of the dirt like daggers!)

But it doesn’t matter how many times I attempt it, it’s not getting any easier.  Granted, if it was cooler out it may be a different story.  I don’t know.  I just don’t fucking know.  I can feel those 30 extra pounds every time I walk up that hill and have to take those large steps up the rocks – the same rocks I used to fly up 5 years ago.

Me – “I can never let myself get like this again.  Never again.  I have to diet God dammit.”

And when I’m not doing any of the above activities, I’ve been keeping social and hanging out with friends.  Seriously, who has time to work?  I’m freaking exhausted!

Tomorrow I’m stopping in at work to check the phones since my office manager isn’t there on the weekend, then hike up my big little mountain, stop at the grocery store for a snack to bring to my friends cabaret play later that day.  It would be wise to not shower in the morning and to wait until after my hike.  I hate showing twice in one day.  I never needed to before, when I was 30 pounds lighter.  I never sweat like I do now.

I keep fantasizing about how awesome I’ll look after walking across Spain.  Not just look, I don’t care how I look.  But I feel like a lazy fat shit is what it is.  I want to feel better.

I’m trying to amp myself up for the Camino by listening to audiobooks about trekking.  Right now I’m listening to Wild by Cheryl Strayed and it’s depressing the shit out of me.  Much of it is about her having to deal with the loss of her mother – something I never want to think about or deal with ever in my life.  The book is too wishy-washy and makes me miserable.  I cried while listening to it during my hike today.  That’s not invigorating.

Can you imagine seeing a 170 pound woman with a beat red face, sweating her balls off while crying into her water bottle and meandering through the woods alone?  That was me today.  Go on, try to picture it, I’ll wait.  It’s a sad sight, see what I mean?  Now picture me trying to hoist myself up over the rocks with my fat ass.  Go on, picture it.

But the book did end up amping me up for the Camino.  So much so that I want to go on another pilgrimage in March to Shikoku island in Japan.  That one is much more expensive than the Camino but only if I stay at Minshuku’s, paid accommodations, everyday.  They have free places for Henro’s (pilgrims), but you should call in advance for them and if you don’t know Japanese, you’re SOL.  The biggest shit stick about trekking Shikoku is having to call accommodations in advance.  At most, Shikoku will cost me $100 a day for 60 days, so $6000.  The Camino costs $2000 for 40 days.

Damn, it’s already midnight.  I’m going to watch the season finale of Fear the Walking Dead and go to sleep.  Damn damn, I forgot I need to buy lotion for the business – there goes another $100 freaking dollars.

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Laying Around and Buying Shit on Amazon

That’s what makes America great!

It was too hot to hike, so I laid in bed listening to Awaken Online: Catharsis, an audiobook that got really good reviews on Audible.  I Love it.

And I bought shit online.

One such thing that I bought is my plane ticket to Spain.  I decided to buy it now because I was worried the price would go up.  It cost $566 which ain’t bad I guess.

I bought a round-trip ticket to Santiago, that’s where my walk ends.  I can bus it to the airport in less than an hour for my flight home.  No fuss, no muss.

On the way there, however, I have a layover in Madrid which works out perfectly since I can hop out at Madrid and take a domestic flight to St Jean Pied de Port for $66.  I found a small airport next to St Jean Pied de Port, I swear that airport wasn’t there last time I hiked the Camino.

I’m already dreading it…..the hike.  I leave October 10th and come home November 19th which leaves me with plenty of time to complete it.  It just sucks, having to do it again.

Okay, we all know how lazy I am, right?  I’m fucking lazy.  I worked today for a total of 20 minutes and for the rest of the day?  Nada.  I woke up at 12 noon and listened to my audiobook for about 8 hours.  After the 8 hours, I bought a plane ticket to Spain so I don’t have to exercise or diet on a regular basis.  I can lose the weight all at once in one month.

I’m too lazy to exercise so I’m hiking 500 miles across Spain.  That makes about as much sense as me starting my own business because I don’t want to work anymore.

I’m accomplishing more as a lazy person than I’d ever hope to accomplish as a productive one, that is, aside from having babies and getting married.  You either do or you don’t with those things, there’s no in-between.  You can’t push a baby back into your uterus and I believe in only getting married once, otherwise, what’s the point?  It’ll be like dating with a shared bank account.  No thank you.

My Aunt Marie died Monday morning.  If they did an autopsy, it would conclude she died from a drug overdose that the hospice kept pumping in her.  She would’ve had a few more weeks, if not months – years even, if not for all those meds.  But she couldn’t live with the pain.

These next two days are going to be hard.  Wake and the funeral split up in two days.

She’s why I’m hiking the Camino again, really.  Life’s too short.

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I Slept Until 1:30PM

Shit……I just woke up.

I had bad dreams today.  I can’t remember the specifics, but they weren’t good.

I always dream of vibrant colorful aquariums filled with beautiful exotic fish and today that aquarium shattered and cut up my hands as I tried repairing it.  That’s the only dream I can really remember.

My Aunt Marie got diagnosed with terminal cancer and now she’s at a hospice center in Branford overlooking the water.  She’s on so much medication that she can no longer speak and when she does, it doesn’t make any sense.  When I was there, they shot her up with two vials of something.  One was for anti-anxiety and the other was for pain.

It’s crazy how all this happened.  The steps leading up to it.  She was turned away 3 times by doctors telling her the pain was all in her head, until the 4th doctor told her she has 6 weeks to live.

Her daughter is my age, Christina.  Her only child.  Her husband died in the 80’s.

We have a huge family.  Yesterday I met two cousins I didn’t even know I had.  And last Friday there were over 20 of us visiting her in her hospital room.  But it’s still not enough.  We all went back to our normal routines after our visit, figuring out the next time (if) we can make it, while Christina is there everyday.  All she really has is her daughter.  No one else will be there to go through her belongings once she’s gone, or know what to do with everything, Christina is alone in it.  No siblings and no more parents – completely alone.

It’s my job as an awesome person to make sure she never feels that way.

Yesterday during my visit, my cousin and I took a walk outside the hospice to gaze at the ocean.  It’s there where she told me everything.  My Aunts best friend from high school, Joan, stopped talking to her 5 years ago because my aunt had trouble getting around.  So Joan dumped her for someone who could get around.  She completely cut her out of her life with no explanation.

Christina – “She broke my mom’s heart.  She never been the same after that.”

Me – “You’d think by that age people learn a little compassion.”

I know Joan.  I used to work with her at a restaurant in Meriden.  I always considered her weird.  Always busy, no time for deep conversations, shallow really.  She was always focused on the next big thing.  Nothing seemed to sink in when you spoke to her.

I know exactly how it feels when a friend leaves you for no apparent reason other than them not needing you anymore.  They become aggressively indifferent towards only you.  It’s probably in the top 5 worst pains a person goes through.

My Aunt became increasingly depressed as she got older and needed to see a shrink.

Christina – “She’s been suffering long before she got her diagnosis.”

The old woman sharing a room with my aunt is 94 years old.  A whole 24 years older than my aunt.  If my aunt wasn’t so depressed all these years, she would have another 24 years to go.  But 24 years of what?  Of more depression?  More suffering?

Depression…..if you seen my life up until these past few months, you’d say I had every right to be depressed.  People would see why and understand.  But it never quite got a hold of me.  Rational Brain would call me a pussy, a cry baby.

Rational Brain – “Don’t wuss out on life you pansy.”

Sure I got lost a bit in that whimsical world of spirituality, where broken hearts go to get restored (clearly you can see those days if you scroll back a few years in my blog).

But I got up, dusted myself off, and focused all my efforts into a goal and dreamed of a better future for myself.  That’s the trick right there.  And now I’m living in that better future and life is wonderful these days.  And now I have more goals, and an even brighter future than this one.

As for the p90X goes……I made it to day 2.  Day TWO!!!!  Before succumbing to summer mojito’s, parties and hangovers.  And then this thing with my aunt….

I decided it’ll be a hell of a lot easier for me to just walk the damn fucking Camino again.  Even though it sucks, it’s hell, it’ll be easier in a way.  I won’t be distracted by Netflix or sleeping late.  And I have everything I need for my trip.  I don’t need to buy anything.  The only thing I really need is a travel fork since the one I got is rusty.  And one more pair of travel undies.

Last time I walked the Camino, I did it on one pair of underwear.  My spare pair got stolen on the first day.

A huge reason why my aunt was so depressed was because of her health.  She’s obese and can no longer exercise even if she tried.  I’m vowing to never get like that.  That’s why I have to do this now.  I have to do it now before I start working again to save for a house.  I never exercise when I’m loaded up with clients.  It has to happen before then.

And I can’t go balls to the wall with my business, raking in fat stacks, not until this lawsuit is over.  There would be no point to buy a house only to lose it in the end.

I’m shooting for September.  I’ll buy my plane ticket last minute (because of the whole lawsuit fiasco) and fly Royal Moroc airlines.  They are insanely cheap!  I’ll fly straight to Madrid for $400, then hop a plane to Pamplona for $100, then taxi to St Jean Pied De Port.  The whole trip will cost me around $2500.  And I did it all before, I know exactly what I’m in store for and how to prepare for it.

Is losing 20lbs worth $2500 dollars?  Now that’s the real question.  But if I’m going to do it, September is the best time.  And if I don’t do it, I’ll be struggling with this weight for years to come.

If my Aunt Marie decided to walk across Spain at some point in her life, that may have been the turning point for her to keep the weight off and discover how easier life is when you’re healthy and fit.  There wouldn’t be any depression or cancer.  All because of a measly 35 days spent in agony.  I shouldn’t say agony, it can be fun.

My friend wants me to watch her house for two weeks in September, so I’ll have to leave after that.  Shit, she just texted me back.  I won’t be able to leave until October 5th.  Oh well, it gives me more time to save and prepare.

Shit, it’s my friends birthday dinner today.  I have to be there in an hour.  I didn’t even shower yet.  I’m a shitty person sometimes.

 

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