I wanted this post to be written sweetly from my room in Kathmandu, while gazing out my window at that now highly-progressing construction project. I’m a romantic for reasons like this. Instead, I got my ear pierced then got a phone call from my mother the next instant warning me that I was under the impression that my flight was 2 hours later than it was. So that was the end of my last blog in Kathmandu fantasies. Although, here I am in Abu Dhabi where I started documenting this whole thing and I am still pleased to be logging this last installment. 30 blog posts later and here I am, simply gazing back, observing, like I’ve been doing this whole time, but from a different direction.
My final larger-scale venture took place this past weekend in a small village above lakeside Pokhara at Sadhana Yoga Center. My friend Devyn and I spent 2 nights and 1 full day relaxing, eating phenomenal food, taking in incredible views, meditating, chanting, mud bathing, doing yoga, but most importantly focusing on ourselves, in ways that westerners are often not taught about. Our full day of yoga may have been the most mentally peaceful day of my life. I may have been an abomination of a meditator, as I am incapable of sitting still (probably rule 1 in meditation), but all in all, the day seemed to be not so much of a pampering sort of day, but more of a day of mindfulness, of understanding where I was and where I had been, of how many gifts I had, though sometimes it seems like I have more bad than good. I felt reminded of what I wanted out of life, and I realized it was, in fact, much less than I sometimes thought I needed. My trip gave me so much in terms of experience, understanding, learning, self-expression and self confidence, but it was small moments like centering in, learning about myself, listening to what I wanted, hearing myself, spending time with others that made me realize how very small, yet big in impact, that which I longed for was. The day before I left, so yesterday, I had a late lunch/early dinner with one of my closest friends and housemates, Devyn. This was another example, and perhaps the best ending memory to have left with. We ate at a wonderful Israeli place where the seats were cushions and the lighting was mood-setting, and the food too was actually quite good. And for sometime between 2 and 3 hours, my favorite thing occurred. Conversation. I realized why I would miss spending my time in Nepal for the summer. It was because of the people I’d met who had reaffirmed to me the meaning of time spent together, whether in silence or in conversation. I can honestly say I was so grateful to have had my last meal out was relaxing, long, and full of love and openness. This was something I wasn’t sure I’d be getting as often when home. My dates may be a different story, but meals with friends are more than often quick, and you barely have time to do more than eat. Maybe I’ll take these things back with me: meditating, quieting myself, conversation, lingering.
Moral of the story for now: I’m happy I went, I’m happy I’m on my way home, but I’ll always remember that feeling of walking away from my office, driving away from the volunteer house. For as much as I dreaded some days, the men on the streets, the smell. I am grateful.