Bali Learning

Back in Bali – A Time of Growth

August 7, 2016
Tanah Lot, Bali

I’ve been in Bali (Ubud aka spiritual hippie central) for three weeks now and I’m finally settling in.

I have a place to live (arranged prior to my arrival), I organized a scooter rental, a Bali SIM card, a gym membership and I’ve finally got myself into a routine. I am a creature of habit so routine is important for me.

It’s strange, moving to a new country.

Both times I’ve moved across the world, I’ve developed an inconvenient and awful sickness. In New Zealand, I contracted some sort of flu type virus during my first week at work. In Bali, I developed a fever, then an ear infection, which turned into my entire ears, nose and throat being inflamed on my second week at work. Cool.

For those not following my every move, I’m currently working with Start Me Up, an internship abroad placement program, doing social media, blogging and learning how to pitch to the media. I get to hang out in one of the world’s best coworking spaces, Hubud, as determined by Forbes, Forbes Asia and Uproxx. AND everyone who works here is unbelievably genuine, intelligent and overall cool as hell.

Because I promised to make this blog journal-esque, I figured I had better be honest with you. You may see my happy posts about hanging out at the beach and Snapchats doing super rad activities, but I’m struggling. I haven’t felt myself, and to be even more honest, a bit useless. And anxious and insecure and crabby and all these emotions everyone experiences at one time or another.

I’ve been doing some soul-searching and figured out why I’m feeling this way.

I realized I haven’t been following my own advice. I’m no stranger to giving out unsolicited advice (a [debatable] flaw I’m [kind of] working on) so it’s weird that this hasn’t been at the top of my brain.

One, I’ve been sick and in this odd brain fog not allowing me to function like a normal human being. Part of it’s because I’ve been eating shit food. I’ve been told it’s cheaper to eat out in Bali than it is to make something at home. I also don’t have a kitchen so I eat out for every meal. Traditional Indonesian meals are super high carb (I’m not moving enough to burn all that energy) and most places the meals are about $2-$3, which leads me to believe they use the basic, highly processed type of grains, meats, veggies and sauces. In New Zealand I told myself, “I’d rather spend more on food and feel better than buy cheap food and feel like crap.” I guess my body needed to remind me to follow my own advice.

Two, I’m surrounded by intelligent, successful entrepreneurs who are basically living the dream. So as you can imagine, I have a case of imposter syndrome. I felt like I knew a lot before coming (for a naive 23-year-old, anyway) and then I arrived and realized I know essentially nothing (woo!). I often say, “There’s always room for improvement,” but I’ve found myself resisting to follow my own advice.

Three, I need alone time. The moment I wake up to the moment I fall into bed, I’m around people. I absolutely adore everyone I’m spending time with, but I know better – I need Haley time. I failed to realize this until two weeks in – after I felt burnt out. So I spent some quality time with Haley and Haley was very pleased. Once again, this is something I know about myself…where has my brain gone?!

Just to be clear –  I’m not complaining. I’m thrilled to be here and in this position, but I do want you to know that my life is not as perfect as my photos appear and I struggle just like everyone else.

Bali, and Ubud in particular, is extremely unique. I’m not sure if it’s because all of the hippies and entrepreneurs gather here, but there’s a vibration of growth here. Between the retreats and coworking spaces and yoga classes – growth is inevitable.

Last time I was in Bali, I wrote a post called Bali is Good for the Soul and I attended The Institute of Code. I was feeling overjoyed and learned a bunch and ate good food and did tons of yoga. I was feeling rejuvenated and completely alive. It was a vacation, one where I learned, but it was a short-term holiday in which I didn’t have to do any adjusting.

Here I am again in Bali and I was confused as to why I was not feeling as joyous as I had before. As I was sitting in a cafe this morning I realized I feel all of these uneasy emotions because I’m so uncomfortable.

I had all the same feelings when I moved to New Zealand. It’s scary how similar theses situations are. Hm, interesting how you block out any bad emotions you felt during an overall happy memory.

I was sitting in this cafe grinning to myself like a crazy person because I have all of this advice and wisdom and woo-woo shiz in my head THAT I HAVEN’T BEEN FOLLOWING. How had I not realized this sooner?

I’m uncomfortable but in uncomfortableness comes growth. Life ebbs and flows like this and soon enough the heart-exploding joy will come again. And then uncomfortableness again. And so on.

So I’m going to open myself up to more vulnerability and willingness to learn.

And take it easy on the rice and bread (holy cannoli you guys stop eating bread, it’s unreal how bloated it makes me – and probably you).

And be kinder. And loving. And treat myself to massages – I am in Bali after all, hehe.

If you can’t relate to this post, please please please do something to get out of your comfort zone. It’s not always pretty but the result makes the struggle all worth it.

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