I live in Paradise.
I am sitting on my bed in my Bali apartment looking out onto the palm trees & rice fields. Nag Champa is burning, the air is sweet smelling & fresh. The humidity combined with a slight breeze feels nice after the tropical rain we had the past 16 hours.
My tile floors are sparkling, the maid just left and 2 liters of fresh coconut water are on their way to being delivered. There’s a plumeria tree in my yard (my fav flower!). I just walked outside, danced through all the butterflies & gathered several plumeria to decorate with.
My senses are completely delighted.
Before I completely lose you to boredom, envy or an eye roll…
Paradise is NOT perfect.
Perfect doesn’t exist. Adjusting to change, particularly a significant change, will almost guarantee us “opportunities for growth.” My first teacher here was my “roommate” the cockroach… I learned to accept him (blog: ‘Acceptance Is The Answer’) before I moved. Now, I live in a community…
There’s thousands of ants, a dozen geckos, spiders, mosquitos, flies, a rat, a salamander (at least I think that’s what I saw go under the kitchen cabinets.. Not sure, def didn’t have those in San Francisco), gnats and a cat wondered in the other day…
Overwhelmed would be an understatement.
And let me tell you, in the battle of Kirsten Vs. Ants, I’m not going to win. Not even close. I’m convinced that for each one I eliminate, 10 return in his place. Not cute.
Acceptance isn’t going to cut it!
And despite the “community” in my home I’ve been lonely. Really lonely. I spent every night last week alone because I’ve been afraid to drive my scooter in the dark. It’s winter, dark by 6, and female tourists on motorbikes at night are mugging targets… So fear has had me isolating.
A few days ago was the final straw for being home alone with the critter community. miss my friends. I miss my family. I miss a clean home. “Ut oh,” I thought as tears started to come, “Home Sickness!” I knew there’d be at least one moment when I thought,
“Why the eff did I move here?“
The moment was happening. Overwhelmed, I cocooned on my bed in mosquito netting & Skyped a bestie in NYC, she was just waking up. Talking with her cheered me up until it became a party of 3. Somehow a mosquito had snuck in my sanctuary and I was getting bit. Her Skype view instantly became a circus of me doing backflips while frantically swatting my pillow at the bugger.
It was time to ask for help!
Figuring things out (the hard way) can be stressful. When you recognize that you are in over your head, especially when adjusting to change, it’s time to start asking for help! And the best person to ask is someone who’s already done what you’re trying to do.
So I spoke to some Bali expats and made a couple changes:
1. I hired a maid to keep the critters at bay. I realized I hadn’t hired her straight away because I felt guilty around her low rate. Sounds crazy maybe? But she charges less than $1/hour!! So I was living with bugs instead of living with feeling uncomfortable paying her so little.
Solution – she’s hired, the bugs are under control & she got a raise. Boom done. Plus, now I choose to practice feeling gratitude that I am able to give her a job!
2. I scheduled a night to motorbike in the dark. My own experience has taught me that it’s possible to overcome fear & that generally the solution is to do whatever you are afraid of.
So it was 7:30 last night & time to leave my friend’s house. I was getting ready to brave my first night ride home and BOOM tropical storm. WTF. Looks like the Universe is upping the ante. My friend insisted that one of her staff members escort me home. It felt like way too much trouble to allow him to drive the 5 miles home with me. Surely he didn’t want to spend his night in the rain.
I opened my mouth to decline & paused. I had prayed earlier for a safe first night ride home.
My prayer was being answered, and as usual, in a way different form that I expected.
I took a deep breath, swallowing my unease with the offer, and graciously accepted. This was not a time for my independence to shine.
Panchos on & we scooted off. Wayan took the 20 kph (~12 mph) lead & around half way I pulled forward since he didn’t know where I lived.
There was a halo of light surrounding me.
Wayan’s headlight was illuminating my back on the rain filled road. I was being taken care of & felt safe. This angel was guiding me home. Gratitude flooded my from my big smile down to my feet, with a knowing that my prayer was answered.
Is asking for help or receiving help uncomfortable for you too? Has help come in an unexpected form ? Do tell in the comments below : )