2021: In an empty room, hoping someone would remember or visit. At midnight I fall asleep, disillusioned.
2022: In a beach chair overlooking a pool, surrounded by people celebrating while I celebrate my 32nd birthday in an equal amount of degrees Celsius.
To my left I see palm trees, to my right I see a trash can with people‘s opinions. Interesting how life can change once you take charge of it.
It has been over 180 days since leaving, not 180 degrees, but taking a right turn turned out to be the right turn. Letting go whilst losing grip was what made me hold on.
The further away I steer from my old life, the closer to happiness I get. The traveling contrast, opposites in a backpack.
My phone screen shows me missed calls, birthday wishes and questions of how the journey is going, it is message galore. Now that I live a life I like living I receive that which I craved when I was waiting for life to happen.
I look around me. I don’t actually know any of these people in this hostel. They are all temporary friends and acquaintances. There’s no ‘amazing’ party going on and I’m certainly not the life of it. Yet I feel so much better than a year ago.
It all boiled down to consciously making an effort to think and speak more positive. And even though I still frequently mess that up, I notice that the southbound train of thought has slowed down and is more and more considering heading north.
I look around again and feel comfortable, at ease. It’s been quite some time since I felt the need to save face. Nowadays I’ve got my confidence decapitating insecurity on the daily. This is a heads up of the daily massacre.
I stand up, close my eyes and whilst the sun embraces me I count to thirty two. I dive in the pool, splash into the water, splash water in my face, place my hands on the sink and look in the mirror: a black dress shirt, slicked back hair and a slight tan. I’m content with the person I see in the mirror. And I smile.
I smile… call the fucking papers.
Venues change, reggaeton comes on, intellect fades away. Painkillers leave the palm of my hand, an irresistible smile enters my view. Her hand held out to me is an offer that can’t be refused.
I accept her invitation and get a birthday kiss. She moves her lips away from mine and whispers in my ear.
“Happy birthday, baby. You’ll be alright.”
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