Life · Travel

Bittersweet time traveling.

Carry this picture for luck. Kept in a locket,
Tucked in your collar, close to your chest.
Make it a secret, shown to the closest friends.
~Dashboard Confessional

“And meet me at quarter to seven,
The sun will still shine then, at this time of year.
We’ll head to the inlet. And we’ll share a bottle there.”

For some reason, as I look around my room strewn with mismatched shirts and underwear in the process of being packed and stowed in preparation for departure from the place I’ve called home -Bali Indonesia- this song comes to my mind.

At first I never really thought about it, but now it makes more sense to me. You see for me these past three years are seemingly only instilled in pictures, photos of my past brought to life in colour and light. It is these pictures that I have saved on the cloud that will be basically the only thing I take back with me, a few clothes here and there and a surfboard but those feelings, those moments that will eventually fade, will always be encompassed in the few photos I have of my time here.

“And color the coast with your smile
It’s the most genuine thing I’ve ever seen.
I was so lost, but now, I believe.”

This is a farewell post, a brief memento to myself as I try and process all my thoughts and emotions. How do you say goodbye to a place that has given you so much? How do I appreciate the life I have had for the past three years in a few hundred words? How can I grasp the memories, the people, the feelings in a few pictures and words?

~I can’t.

But I don’t need to. We carry our past with us. I am what I have made myself. These past years have shaped me and built me not just physically, but mentally as well. I have understood the weight of responsibility more. I have learned to pursue what I love even if it means having to sacrifice and be selfish because it is my own time that I keep, and my own memories I want to make. I have learned to accept and communicate more than I was able to before. I have learned more about the weight and space of love in these past three years than I have my whole life, and I have learned to let go of the things that seemed permanent as a fixture in my life but actually weren’t.

“And follor me south of the big docks, where they tether the boats,
And the rich men revere as so important, they hire our fathers to steer.”

It’s truly astounding how we find things in life that bring us joy, my life -for which I truly am grateful for- has brought me surprise after surprise and finding calm and peace in moments that cannot be replicated anywhere else is something I will treasure and cherish for many years to come. I taught myself many lessons living in this wonderful country. I learned the limits of my body and how important the unconscious is for the human physique.

And I realize a lot of the writing I’m doing today is roundabout and seems vague but it isn’t. It’s specific to my mind, and the memories I hold, as the song says: “follow me … where they tether the boats,” This is a guide post for myself, a process of lost silences, of tears of joy and sadness intermixed. This post is a reminder of a bigger world, but also the sadness of the new, when the old is a comfort.

“And down to the edge of the water,
Where we’ll spill our guts,
And we’ll name our fears. I’ll give you this picture.
Keep it and don’t be scared.”

Love finds you. It is a force unequivocably inexplicable and to this day I still am trying to define my own version of it. This stubby-tailed bundle of joy wormed its way into our room and hearts and hasn’t let go. This post hinges on the bittersweet from her -squishy potato- as we commonly refer to her as. She is an enigma that is boundlessly curious, wary and feral and has brought nothing but joy and sleepless nights with her door singing at 2am in the morning. She is a reminder that some things cannot be held on to even though you truly wish you could. She will be missed, cried over, and will probably break other travelers’ hearts who fall for her feline charms too. But if you ever find yourself in a certain Srikandi guesthouse in Bali, and happen to see a black cat with a balding butt and an annoying meow that you can’t help but want to hug her from, give her a pat and a space on your bed to sleep on, she will melt your heart just like she did to ours.

Memento Mori.

There are more things I want to say. There are more ways I want to talk about, ways I want to express my time here, things I can’t explain, people I never want to forget, moments that will never leave my consciousness…

But time moves forward, it does not stop and it does not care.

I find myself looking at the future now. Looking at new adventures, the unknown. But I know I will be heading forward and back at the same time. Have you ever been home after so many years and everything has changed? It’s like time traveling to the future, you want to fit into that mold you had before, but people have moved on, they have their own lives. People don’t have time for the past, time for the people they used to know, because we live in the now, the present, the what’s happening to us at this moment, from here.

And you know, I’m scared of that because that’s been me too, and will probably be me in the future. So I’m going to end this memory as I started it bittersweetly. In the hopes that those who time travel like me remember sometimes the past may be gone but should never be forgotten. Some people are out of touch with time, but they are still there not ever too far away. We are the memories of the past and the hopes of our future so never forget, but also never stay still.

With love and hope thank you to all those who have been a part of my life during this time. ❤

Termakisih, to Bali with love.

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