On mourning, any and all the things
Journal Post #34: August 21st 2023, Dubrovnik Croatia
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Arriving to Montenegro last week meant many wonderful and exciting things, like seeing the ocean for the first time in months, and most importantly swimming in it, floating in it, being one with it, right until my fingers were all wrinkled. I missed that so much, and the truth is that I still miss it, because a European sea is not a Caribbean sea. But I digress.
Arriving to Montenegro also meant that our full-time travels are coming to an end. Our time here marks one month until we are back in Mexico and “back to work”. To be clear, this is not a pity post. We are extremely fortunate that our “going back” will simply mean we will be working *while* we travel, rather than *just* traveling.
But still, it will be a big change in our day to day lives.
And you see, I love change, crave it, wish it, always find ways to materialize it. I love the anticipation of change. I love what change does to me, how my senses sharpen in a new environment, how a new challenge always brings out a bit of a new me. I love the evolution (of me) inherent to change.
And this year has been an onslaught of change. On a monthly, weekly, daily, and even hourly basis. New countries, new experiences, new people, new feelings, all the freaking time. Constant change. It has been like jumping in a freezing body of water over and over again. I am without breath and exhilarated at all times.
I have learned more this year than I have in the decade prior; about the world, about others, and about myself. It’s been enriching in ways I didn’t expect, and also exhausting, but in a good way. Like how you feel when you finish a solid workout, or spend hours cooking something for someone you love.
I guess what I am trying to say is that this year I have been in my element, and have appreciated every second of it, even the stressful ones - which have been many - and the sad ones - which have been few. And so I’d love for it not to end.
But I am also trying to say that it coming to an end means change, so that in itself is exciting to me. I am genuinely looking forward to what the future is going to bring.
I want to mourn that this phase of our lives is going to be over, and I also want to celebrate what comes next.
It’s complicated, as life usually is.
So that made me think deeper about mourning, and what we get and not get to mourn and why. Because as with everything in this life, there are society expectations surrounding it. You are supposed to mourn the loss of a loved one (but not indefinitely, as if grief had a schedule), you are supposed to mourn a serious illness or an accident, a large financial lost, etc.
But in its basic form mourning is simply “to feel sadness about the loss of something”.
So why shouldn’t we mourn losses even in the face of positive changes? You can be excited about all the good things ahead and also mourn what you are leaving behind.
You can mourn not longer living alone even if the reason is that you will be moving in with your partner
You can mourn losing some independence even if the reason is that a baby is on the way
You can mourn no longer spending time with your coworkers even if the reason is that you are quitting a terrible boss
You can mourn moving out of a place you have called home for years even if the reason is that you just bought your first house
You can mourn leaving a city you love even if the reason is that you are moving for your dream job
You can mourn no longer being with your partner even if the reason is that you finally left an abusive relationship
You don’t need my permission for absolutely anything, but just in case I want to tell you that it’s okay to mourn the end of ANYTHING! You can hold multiple emotions at the same time, we are humans. Nothing is black and white.
Today, with a year of intense experiences (almost) behind us, big changes looming ahead, and lots of unknowns, I can say that I am both happy and sad, both confident and reticent, both unafraid and terrified. I am mourning and I am excited. I am human.
Besides, as Alan likes to say, I have never taken a month-long vacation, so there is still much to enjoy!”.
Where are now?
We arrived to the darling of the Balkans a couple days ago, Croatia! Certainly the most popular country in the region and this is obvious by the amount of people… and the prices. That said, we are excited to be here! It’s beautiful. We arrived to Dubrovnik and we are staying in a lovely apartment a bit outside of town with gorgeous views of the bay, and there is no denying the old town is impressive. After Dubrovnik we will visit a small town near Split and then spend a few beach days in Hvar Island, before heading to the famous Plitvice Lakes National Park and then to Zagreb, the capital.
In Montenegro we not only visited the coast but also went inland to hike in several of its national parks. We spent the last few days there in Durmitor National Park and wow! that place is incredible. Definitely add it to your list if you are into hiking!