I was sitting on the beach when I noticed this bee, a little hornet, innocently hobbling through the sand. I’m not sure what he was doing there, with no nectar to suck on, no other bees to nest with. He seemed confused, crossing down the sand towards the waves. He wasn’t flying, only stumbling over the grains of sand with his stringy legs. He looked so all alone. And then he began to go in circles, like he had no idea where he was going, where he should be going, and a little frantic to get anywhere. He went in circles one way and then reversed course and circled in a different direction. Maybe he was suffering from heat exhaustion. Or looking for a good place to die, hoping his small bee body would be safely buried and whisked off the shore by the nearby ocean waves.
I couldn’t help but to feel like that bee, confused and worried and wondering where I should go, where I should land. I started on this journey nearly a year ago and I fear I’ve gotten nowhere. No major changes have occurred that I can sense. No big shifts in my personality or character that I can tell. I feel different, indeed I probably am different, but my the things I wish I could change about myself still plague me. I wonder who I am. I wonder what would make me happy. I wonder why I can’t just live a simple life like everyone else, why I don’t fit in anywhere. Every place I go I love – Asheville, India, Puerto Rico. But I can’t see myself living in any of these places. I don’t know where I’m supposed to be. And maybe I’m supposed to be traveling in circles until I figure it out. Or maybe I’m supposed to just keep going.
I came to Puerto Rico with one goal in mind: to open up. I didn’t realize until recently what a closed off person I am. This fear, this constant worry of what others think of me, and taking things way too seriously all the time has caused me to shut down, shut off my personality and live within myself, where it’s safe. But I need to learn that it’s safe outside of myself. And that every little detail isn’t so pertinent and important and I don’t have to drive myself crazy with the thoughts spinning around in my head. I need to learn that it’s OK to fail and fail again. That’s what life is. Failing and picking yourself up again. I think I’ve been too scared to let myself go, to open up, because I knew deep down I felt it wasn’t going to work anyway. But that’s no way to live life. And how often have I been wrong about this or that? I have no authority to say what will or what won’t work. And I don’t need to take every word everyone says as the gospel. Nor do I need to think that every word *I* say has to be never changing. Everything can’t be perfect. It never will be. Sure it’s nice to strive for it, but not when it hinders your ability to explore, to live, to sink in deep to the sea of life.
I wrote the above words a few months ago while I was living in Puerto Rico, sprawled upon the bed in the furnished apartment I was renting. And now that a few months have passed and I’ve turned full circle and came back to the place I started from, I can tell you that I do actually have an inclination of where I’m headed next. A cloud has lifted slightly over the landscape of my future. And I did end up breaking free and finally opened myself up more. As for where I’m headed? A picture is worth a thousand words. Ah, but to be in the sand again!