I have spent a large portion of years nurturing everything but myself that one day I decided it was time to really start flipping that narrative. After meticulous planning and conspiring, the time came to give to myself. Time to start making dreams reality, to warm my own hearth. And so I did. On the morning of my 48th birthday I woke up in an abyss of crispy white linens, across the street from a gothic cathedral in Barcelona.

Spain was a dream come true on more levels than I even hoped for. You ever go somewhere completely new and the second you’re there it just feels like home? That is exactly what it felt like. There aren’t enough words or photos that will ever summarize the impression that was left on me. Start to finish it gave me beautiful weather, incredible nourishment, a concrete labyrinth of beauty and art that I lost myself in, endlessly and willingly. And in her, I found even more pieces of myself that I thought were lost. When you have nothing to do but exist, wander and take in, I had a lot of time to think. I didn’t realize just how much I was willing to accept crumbs until a banquet was laid out in front of me… and not only did I make that happen, but I allowed myself to trust in its process and myself a little more. And for me, that is an enormous but uncomfortable revelation. I needed this Catalonian love affair far more than I could ever have imagined. It was perfection.

It has been a week since I returned and I am still trying to wrap my head and heart around it even happening. I was ready for it, but what I didn’t expect was just how deep it would sink into me. When you finally make something happen, a lifelong daydream turn reality, and then for it to come together so seamlessly, you can’t help but wonder its veracity. Even when you have the carnage, bruises and longing embedded deep in you as evidence. I will forever twist my own flesh into believing it even happened.

For a brief moment I got an exquisite taste of life, thriving, passion and my own capacity. I (and others) saw a depth in my eyes that hadn’t been seen in quite some time. I can’t even think or talk about it without weeping… not sure if it’s the post travel blues? Joy or happiness incarnate? Fulfillment and cup filling after being in a state of deprivation? I walked myself into something special, something so beautiful that I knew would change me even while knowing of the possibility it would split me in two, and boy did it. A voluntary walk into the fire that while transformative, also burned. It aches. Deliciously.

One thing I do know: this birthday was the most perfect Spanish autumn, a series of firsts and bucket list checkmarks, an adventure of a lifetime that I will soon not shut the fuck up about. Best. Birthday. Ever.

And now all I can think about is “what is next?”, because there will be a next…

Mark my words.

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