Some little gremlin must get his kicks off eating my minutes. That’s really the only way to explain the fact that I only have three months left in Thailand. We settled on one year when we embarked on this journey and our year is about expired. It’s crept up so quickly and I’ve realized I’ve spent entirely too many minutes living in indifference and boredom rather than basking in paradise.
So a few weeks ago after the monsoon depression, Lindsay and I made a pact to get our minds right because the only possible way someone can be dejected in paradise and in life in general is if they can’t find a smile in every situation. We’ve been spending less time indoors and more time trying things we’ve never done—like surfing, 30 consecutive days doing yoga in a sweatbox or taking a FREE sociology class online at Princeton. (coursera.org ... DO IT) My stress from teaching came from the seriousness I placed on a classroom full of four year olds—tiny little people that just want to make teacha proud. My only real job is to make them giggle and try and keep them from hurting themselves with over sharpened pencils—that I can do.
We stood up on our first waves and shared some life revelations while sitting on a cliff watching the setting sun engulfed by the enormity of the ocean like a misplaced firefly and pondering how the sun decides on which colors to paint the sky each night. After talking a lot about the absurd idea of one’s singular “soul mate,” we agreed on the fact that a person can have many soul mates… not necessarily many people who romantically fit the connotation, but friends, family, random people, moments, songs, inanimate objects, sunsets, smiles—these things can all be our soul mates if we recognize when they stir our spirit.
My coffee lady, in the moment when she places the perfect combination of coffee and milk into my cup that gives me the vigor to brave the day is momentarily the most appreciated person in my life. Princess Cuddles—my dingy grey (once stark white) teddy bear—is my snuggling soul mate. Every sunset that recharges my reason like a petrol pump of wisdom is my soul mate. My friends who constantly support me, challenge me, hug me, laugh with me and tell me when I’m completely full of shit are yings to my emotional yangs. My mom’s screwball cackle that shatters formality like a baseball bat in a glass shop is my laughter soul mate. That random old lady that resembles an incarnation of my deceased grandmother in Thai form who smiles deliberately (same menacing dentures and all) at me like she’s glimpsing deep into my being is my soul mate. And that little girl in 7/11 who pointed to Koala Yummies when I was having trouble deciding which cookie to go with on this eve was my snack time soul mate.
There is that perfect song for you at any given moment, that awakens something inside and drives you to the point of inexplicable tears and for those seconds, you’ve found the musical equivalent to a soul mate. Or some scene of beauty Mother Nature when mysteriously throws a flock of pigeons into your gut or raises the baby hairs on your hands fully upright and the universe reveals itself, giving you a connection to some enigma somewhere. It took me awhile to realize that life is 10 percent what it actually is and 90 percent what you think it is. We control much more than we’re given credit for even as much as to say your life is what you think it. No making involved.
And as we cruised through the jungle through the cool nighttime air, an assemblage of constellations materialize from beneath the dissipating grey clouds, our own personal planetarium as far as the eye can see. In this most honeymoon-esque of our adventures, I thought to myself, one would have to be a real shithead to be anything other than gloriously happy in this place. And as friends have left or are gearing up to leave, moving on to new chapters and new adventures, I cherish every second I have in this dreamland and I’m so very thankful for the sights I’ve seen, the things I’ve done, the knowledge I’ve gained and the multitudes of soul mates I’ve encountered that have enriched my life for sometimes only a moment, but left a tiny and lasting imprint on my soul. I guess what I’m saying is… thanks.
“There is no right or wrong, just masses and masses of ignorance and wisdom. Dearest Ann, think round.” –An anonymous inscription on a used book I found