It's typical of me to not know where to begin, but this time there is just too much to pick a starting point.
I'm on a plane from Barcelona to Singapore. I think we're at about hour 10 of this 12-hour flight and I'm not as restless as I thought I would be. The stewardess just came around with hot towels so I'm assuming we're going to be fed again, THANK GOD. Side note: Singapore Airlines is primo.
I think I slept for about 5 hours, which I am stoked about because I pulled an all-nighter last night and I would be in an exhaustion-induced fog in a new continent if I didn't sleep.
I think it's important to mention that being on this plane is a bit of a victory because it means I successfully got through passport control at the Barcelona airport after overstaying my tourist visa for approximately 4 months, which may be one of the crazier thing I've checked off my bucket list.
I finally escaped the bubble and it feels strange traveling again. This whole thing didn't feel real until now. I really feel as though I was under a trance in Barcelona and that I was just shaken back to life. What the actual fuck have I been doing for 10.5 months? Everything and nothing. I have been the most unproductive and unmotivated that I've ever been in my life, but I have also never been more present. Successfully living "in the moment", which is something I wish I could tell my 22-year-old anxiety-ridden self in DBT therapy: Girl, life is going to take you in a weird, unexpected direction, but you are going to be more than fine. In fact, you're going to thrive.
I went back to BCN in June thinking I was on the cusp of some profound artistic endeavor and that I would have all the time in the world to develop it and focus and create some meaningful body of work, but something else happened and it is only now reflecting back that I realize that everything happened exactly the way it was supposed to. While I was stressed about "producing" something, I failed to realize that I was living presently and forming bonds and unconsciously collaborating in several different mediums (I rediscovered my love of music). Instead of churning out some art for the sake of feeling productive, I decided that I want to keep my work genuine and I'll produce something when it feels right. I had an enlightening realization: the majority of the art I have produced has come from a place of discontent and trying to understand and come to terms with my bipolar/borderline diagnosis. I was whisked away from dwelling on myself and what's "wrong" with me by the hostel -- constant immersion in a social atmosphere, encountering every type of psyche you can imagine, and just automatically loving and accepting each other. Everyone is their own brand of crazy, and crazy becomes normal, and then it's not crazy anymore.
I had to get right with myself, and working in a hostel in the Barcelona bubble helped me immensely. The best therapy I've ever had. This was exactly what I was supposed to do.
So, to sum up this chapter of my life: I will miss you with every fiber of my being, Catalunya. You've been too good to me. 360 Hostel Arts&Culture: you were the closest thing to home I've had in a very long time. Thank you Gonzalo for letting me stay well past my welcome. I know you were worried I was never going to leave... ;)
I lived with 60+ people. I bonded with other work-exchangers from all over the world who are now some of my dearest friends. You have all changed my life and I will be forever grateful for you. Thank you for accepting my brand of crazy.
Signing off for now, Europe. Next stop: Saigon.
^ Good times with the best kind of people during my last bit of time in Barcelona
^ George and I made this Gotye/Shakira/Destiny's Child/Justin Timberlake/Ace of Base/Tupac/Eminem/Snoop Dogg/Eiffel 65/LMFAO/Spice Girls/Bruno Mars mashup (standard...) and decided that our many fans would want a photo to accompany the masterpiece.
^ Mercat Del Encants and surrounding area
^ Elissa freezing her ass off for this photo (thank you!!)
^ When Mom and Rachel came for Christmas