33: First, solitude

This past December, I took my first solo trip. Officially solo, I didn’t stay with any friends or meet up with a loved one at any point, I was by myself for the whole duration of the trip. This baffled the people I joined tours with, who were all couples/a couple with their daughter. They made comments about how women can do this now but why would they do so, and that they hadn’t done this and were now married and I get it.

Solo travel never appealed to me much. Probably because I wanted someone to listen to my jokes or ask for extra pillows when checking into the hotel (I sent the side comments to friends via text and didn’t need extra pillows because I had the bed all to myself). It was kind of exhilirating not to have to follow anyone’s schedule but my own, and do whatever I wanted. For the extra dose of solitude, the place I stayed at did not have wifi signal or a TV. I did end up watching my downloads on Netflix and reading a bunch, but only to stop myself from having out loud conversations because I wanted to hear something other than the wind across the hills.

I picked the right place to do this though. It was gorgeous, and clean and the community was small and secure. People were friendly and accommodating and somehow both aware and unaware of how breathtaking their neighborhoods are.

I’m very lucky to have been able to do this and go home and back safe, full, and extra in awe of the country I live in. I take it for granted when I read the news or have to commute for an extended period, especially when dealing with the almost unnatural traffic. I’ve come a long way from my 20s, both in good and bad (Bad: weight, Good: travel) I guess my 30s aren’t so bad after all.

Gratitude · Jodythinks · Love/Life

525,600 minutes later

This time last year, I was probably nodding off to sleep in the room my sister and I had at Montemar, savoring and digesting the heavy early dinner we had because the kitchen closed at 10 pm.

I was on melatonin to try and sleep more than 2 hours at night time and failing, waking up in the middle of the night and dreading 32. It just seemed so unremarkable, so dreary, to be moving to my mid 30s in the middle of picking up the pieces of my heart, after an inevitable break.

It was depressing, and even if my sister was a massive help, the quietness of the resort, the tranquility was so goddamn defeaning. Giving me time to think of the “might have beens” or could have happeneds”. It was an exercise in futility that I could have told the past version of myself was part of the process to get me to where I am now, different but invariably, more rational.

I haven’t made the “enlightened” joke yet because I know I regained all the weight I lost last year but hey, the food and the company I spent it with, truly worth every straining dress and groaning pair of shorts.

Right now I am lying on my semi new mattress (Still new after 3 months thanks to my mattress cover) trying to convince my bunnies to snuggle with me to bring in my next 525,600 minutes. It’s not so cool, (or maybe cooler because the airconditioning is cranked up) but definitely much more my speed these days. Making the most of those moments that pass by that you never appreciate until you can’t have them again.

We are never going to be here again, and the non-picture perfect moments are what we tend to miss now, because of the priority to “record it for posterity”. We can’t capture the feeling, but the idea of being fully there is so exciting to me now. Not to demean anyone who loves taking photos because hey, you do you! Maybe I’m just not a front of camera type of woman, and what I can jot down is the romanticized, distorted version of events, but my heart says it true. And that’s good enough for me.

But I digress (as always). I’m not there yet, I’m still figuring it out and finding the right path for me. In life, career, and with the people I love. Luckily for me, the people that are around me have been loving, supportive, and can crack the whip when needed.

I guess all I’m trying to say is I’m grateful for 32, and I’m looking forward to what 33 has in store.


Hello, Goodbye

This is an old photo, one taken late 2015. It keeps popping up in my head though. I keep thinking about new beginnings and what it means to the old things that I have closed chapters on in my life. The old jobs. Friends I no longer talk to. People I’ve loved and lost. It’s amazing how many new steps also means walking away from the person you were before, the one you thought was the one you were gonna be.

I’ve always been so sure of my life, the path I wanted, but 2018 threw me for a loop. It was a doozy of a year and ultimately, made me grow so much as a person. Different, maybe not better, scarred but healing, doing a lot of things I never thought I would be doing.

It really is true that life happens when you’re busy making other plans. It’s harder for me admittedly because of my work in the past, operations does a number on your personal life because it bleeds into it. You find yourself looking for solutions to other people’s problems when no one asked you to get involved. Or when a person tries a different solution to the one you’ve thought of and it goes wrong, you get agitated or smug about it.

I’m trying to be less operations and efficiency and more human and friendly. Embracing this new me and bidding goodbye to the more Type A version that I was. I hope it lasts and impacts the next post I go to. It’s only time, and it’s better not just for my health but the general environment I’m in.

So Hello, Goodbye. This is Jody Alarva, version who knows what, and I’m hoping to live with love.