The unexpected opportunity to take a vacation came by, I took it, because the traveler in me never resists a vacation.
So here I am in Sayulita, Mexico. I expected myself to be sipping a coconut on the beach, looking at waves, but I found myself in a strangely contemplative mood since I’ve gotten here. I look around, instead of beauty I see poverty, despite Sayulita being pretty developed compared to other Mexican towns.
Having travelled in South-east Asia a lot I am used to beach towns like this, so I am uncertain why this time it feels so disconcerting to me. Is it the sudden contrast between San Francisco and Sayulita that knocked me off? I am careful not to feel too self-righteous because despite the apparent poverty of the people, perhaps they are happier than those of us in richer cities. Or not.
I am keenly sensitive to the energies of physical locations, I remember having no such uncomfortable feelings being in Thailand, but I also remember feeling this strange discomfort in Ho Chi Minh.
I actually feel bad for remotely enjoying myself as a tourist. An extremely privileged one, despite whatever I truly think of my situation. At times like these I feel bad for pursuing self-fulfillment, when people are struggling just to feed themselves.
But I keep on having to remind myself, that only when one truly acquires self-empowerment can one barely try to empower other people, or help others with their own self-empowerment journey. My instinct tells me to give up all my first world comforts and live as a nomad, because it seems like that is the only way I can feel somewhat equal to less privileged people. Yet I ask myself, what real impact would it make?
Despite my hippie roots I am strangely ambitious, only because on an intellectual level, this ridiculous ambition seems to be the most efficient manner of creating the impact I want. When I look myself in the mirror I see a still extremely vulnerable soul struggling with self-confidence issues, and I feel the disconnect between my ambition and my self. I almost mock myself for being so ridiculously ambitious, but in my soul I understand that I must have my guiding north-star, no matter how distant it is right now.
If I were to even try, why aim for less?
It is hard. Plenty of times I crave for a simple existence. A little place to call home, surrounded by the people I love, with grateful contentment. The irony is that no matter how I feel and think, this seemingly simple existence feels almost selfish. Everyday I feel the call of my purpose, imagined or not. It is extremely painful for me to give up my emotional attachment to my desire for a simple life, but even more painful when I do not answer that call.
Right from the very start, I am aware of the trade offs I have to make. Everyday it is a conscious choice to make these trade offs. Do I want a simple, fuss-free, existence for myself? Yes. Do I want to leave the people who love me? No. But can I ignore my calling?
To give a brutally honest answer? I have tried to ignore it, but failed. I tried to ignore it because it seemed easier that way. Only to hear my soul drowning a little bit each day.
What is the probability of me attaining my ambition? Very low. What are the chances I’ll stumble, fall and have to live with my heart broken in a thousand pieces? Really high.
But I must at least try. If I can’t ignore the call of my purpose, I must at least try to answer it, the very best way I can figure out how to, or perhaps live through a series of pathetic attempts, but still an attempt nonetheless.
I look at the massive ocean at Sayulita. I feel a timeless connection to the waters. It gives me a surreal reminder why I am here. I let out a huge sigh, understanding and accepting the way things are even though I sense plenty of pain for myself ahead. This is what I’ve signed up for, out of my own free will. I know myself. I would still rather die trying with a broken heart and a fatigued soul, than to have it another way.
There is just no way, in absolute terms, I can ignore the painfully beautiful connection and empathy I feel to this world.