Rain

I found myself standing alone, in the rain, in Mexico. The temperature had dropped and the muggy air broke into a tropical rainstorm that brought cool air and a drop in pressure. The rain itself, however, was warm.

My plan had been to hop on the bicycle and ride to a candlelight yoga class–for the ambiance–instead, I left my bag inside and went and stood in the rain. I looked around at the concrete patio with the bright blue furniture and the tropical/nautical designs on the wall. I watched the cactus and aloe leaves bounce as big, fat, raindrops hit them.

I walked back and forth through the puddles and watched the downspouts start to pour from the rooftop as the rain picked up the pace.

It was a beautiful interruption to my evening plans.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to stand still and enjoy being soaked by the rain. It gave me this sense of longing and of home and of comfort and of…something I can’t quite put my finger on. The act of standing there was a release.

It’s been a wild ride. I’m trying to grow two businesses, continue to be an artist and a maker, maintain friendships, relationships and, other personal connections.

It’s the standard trope these days—‘work/life balance’, ‘freedom from the grind’—whatever you want to call it, I’ve been entrenched in it for a while. It’s hard to operate at full-speed all the time.

So for the month of April, I took an opportunity when it struck and went to a land where things really do happen slower. I rode a bike to get everywhere. If I couldn’t ride, I walked. I didn’t have days stuffed full of meetings and phone calls—I lived an uncluttered life for 24 days.

It wasn’t easy, necessarily. This wasn’t a standard vacation filled with all-inclusive resorts. I lived in a neighborhood, managed house contractors and broken water pumps and a laughable language barrier. I was deeply lonely for the first week. I knew no one. I had no friends and no network.

And then the clouds broke, so to speak. I found groups and a trivia night and went out and met the neighbors as best I could. I leaned on the people who had offered to help me feel welcome and took them up on offers at face value. I went to a yoga class taught in Spanglish almost every evening and I found my way into the community.

I spent as many mornings before working hours as I could on the beach or in the water or at the fruit stand getting breakfast and as many evenings as I could out in the city. Reading in bars and restaurants and talking to the servers and bartenders at trendy expat restaurants.

It was awkward to begin with. I was awkward. I’m usually a little awkward.

But it worked out—and all of the sensations and frustrations and loneliness and triumph and other muddled and mixed-up feelings I had seem to be falling on me and through me and over me in that rainstorm.

Make space for those interruptions.