Sometimes you have bad days, but you feel weirdly embarrassed to admit this to people because you think everyone is expecting you to have the time of your life every day and you’re expecting you to have the time of your life every day. You are living the dream, afterall. But sometimes it’s raining or you’re hungover or you’re feeling discouraged about the fact you can’t seem to write a blog post even though you have so much to say because you can’t figure out how to say it. And what kind of writer are you if you can’t figure out how to write?
Maybe you just checked your bank account or maybe you looked in the mirror and actually felt a little scared by what was looking back at you. Maybe you miss someone or maybe you’re simply tired of carrying your towel and toiletries to the shower instead of having a bathroom that has all of your stuff already in it.
Whatever the reason is, sometimes you have a bad day. And you feel like this shouldn’t be happening and you feel like you aren’t allowed, and you feel like an asshole because look at your life! Fuck you for thinking you’re allowed to complain about the fact you are in NZ living only for yourself. So you swallow it. And when your friend messages you to ask for updates you respond with something that indicates today is meh but you are LOVING life and feel so very lucky. How are they?
And you aren’t lying. You are loving it and today is meh. But you don’t fully admit how you’re feeling because you feel guilty and you feel embarrassed and you feel like you aren’t allowed to be anything but blown away by life every second of the day.
The other day I met a girl named Steph. She was interesting and cool and had this dope flowered shirt on and ordered two beers instead of one, so obviously we were instant friends. But instead of rolling a joint and sitting under a tree talking about life and love and how LUCKY we were, we went for a walk by the lake and talked about all of the reaons travelling sucks. All of the people you met that you actually didn’t like that much but spent time with anyway. Not having a good sleep for the past 3 weeks. Forgetting your towel and forgetting that you had clothes hanging on the line and fuck man, you hardly have any clothes as is so you really can’t afford to be leaving any men behind.
We talked about the bad days. About the money we wasted and felt guilty about wasting. About the moments we didn’t appreciate because we were just over it at the moment. About the times we invested in things that weren’t necessarily worth it.
And it was so freeing, because it was like we both knew in that moment we were allowed to feel this way. That it was unrealistic to think that just because we were living an adventure we were supposed to be happy every second of the day. Sometimes you don’t want to make new friends and you don’t want to say goodbye again and you don’t want to have to figure anything else out. You just want to fall asleep and wake up and know what to do with yourself. Sometimes you crave a routine because wasn’t it so easy when you just knew how your time was going to be filled and who was going to fill it with you? Now it’s all up to you. You owe nothing to anyone or anything – and although this is quite possibly the best feeling ever, there are times when it is insanely overwhelming and you just can’t be bothered making today new and interesting.
We talked about all of this and more, and I loved every second of it, and I loved that this was what life was right now. Walking by the lake and complaining. Because you need that! Even if yes, you are in the most beautiful and liberating place on earth, you’re still a fucking human. You still have irrational thoughts and unplanned tears and moments that make you question everything you’ve ever done in life. And it’s like I needed another human being to help me realize that this was okay.
And then, then, you have moments like last night. We piled in a car and drove to the hot springs, sitting in the rain drinking wine out of plastic cups. This time we did roll a joint and we did talk about life and love and how lucky we were. And we just sat there in this natural hot tub staring at all the lights over the lake, talking and not talking. Laughing and not laughing. And it made me understand that this is all part of it. That I’m not just “on a trip”. I’m not “spending a few months in New Zealand”. I’m living my life! I’m still just a living human in this world making her way through all the bad shit and all the good shit. And yes, I’m somewhere new and yes, I’m with new people and yes, this isn’t what my “normal” life probably looks like. But I’m still just living the same life I had before. And with that comes ups and downs and highs and lows and feelings that you aren’t quite sure what to do with. Moments that make you feel so insanely beautiful and alive and moments that remind you that yes, you are a bit neurotic and you do care about making sure you tuck your rings safely in your wallet before you fall asleep because you know life will never be the same if you lose them.
I’m allowed to feel unsure. I’m allowed to not appreciate every single step I’m taking. In fact, it’s kind of cool that I’m not. It’s kind of nice to feel this comfortable in a new place that you don’t feel the need to acknowledge that every second is new and crazy and cool. It’s become a new normal, and living that is almost more freeing than feeling overwhelmed by newness and beautiful shit all the time. I mean, the other day we watched Coach Carter in the hostel and it was only the third time on this whole trip I’ve cried (which if you know me at all, is pretty surprising). But like, after days and weeks and months of feeling happy and sad and scared and liberated. After being surrounded by beautiful things and knowing I was a beautiful person and feeling like life was so so real, the one thing that made me cry was a basketball movie?
Embarrassing, I know, but also this was so normal. I would cry about this movie in Toronto. I have cried about this movie in Toronto. That scene where all the guys drag their desks into the gym to finish what Coach C started? Man. I’m tearing up just thinking about it.
But it’s normal! It reminds you that you aren’t just a ‘traveller’. You aren’t just ‘travelling’. You’re just a human person in the world. So my point is this. Maybe you’re travelling, maybe you’re not. Maybe you’re super pumped about life at the moment and maybe the only thing you’re excited about is the fact that your Chinese is set to arrive in less than TEN MINUTES (!!). It doesn’t matter. Regardless of what you’re doing and where you are and who you are, you are allowed to have a bad day. You are allowed to be tired and irrationally gloomy and unappreciative of what you’re doing right now. You’re a fucking human. Our brains are weird and our hearts are weird and it’s okay to let that weirdness dominate sometimes. It isn’t embarrassing to have a sad, blah day. I actually think it’s pretty great. It’s kind of cool to reach a point in your life where you don’t feel the need to fake it anymore and pretend like everything is peachy keen with a cherry on top. Having a bad day, sometimes, can just remind us that we’re normal.
Besides, having a bad day is really only another excuse to pop a bottle of wine and/or open a bag of chips. Need I say more?