Just be, I tell myself as I’m a million miles away. Sipping my coffee this morning with an accelerated heartbeat, that has nothing to do with caffeine and everything to do with standing somewhere in the world, deciding which way to go. My mind has blossomed in the last three months, in ways that I don’t even fully understand. But one way I do, is that I look around and be fully where I am. I’ve gotten good at it and found my peace in it. But this is where the split of mind tests me. I’m standing, people-watching as always, in a place I love but I’m not here. I’m already back at the place I call home. I’m fast-forwarding three weeks, three months, a year. Spiralling.
“What’s going to happen?” “What will I do?” “Will the people that were there when I left still be there when I return?”.
I always knew I would come to this mental deadlock for one of two reasons; 1. I would come to Cambodia, absolutely hate it and not live here but be at home in my mind, counting the days until I return. Or 2- the reality; I would come to Cambodia, fall completely in love with where I am and feel conflicted to leave this place but also long for home. I have been here. Really and completely here. And I think that’s why I’m drowning in adoration for this place; I have been here. Each Tuk Tuk ride, I am only existing, smiling, in that moment. I’m not worrying about where I’m going or what comes next. I’m just existing. I have learned that a life lived mindful is much easier to comprehend than a life with a mind that’s full. I found a calm in this chaos, like no other.
This was somewhat inescapable as the sun started to set on my time in the Kingdom of Wonder but I know it’s driven from fear. The boundless fear that time is running one pace quicker than I can. And I know, this feeling is temporary because everything is temporary. But as I am within and without; hugging the people of home and smiling at strangers saying hello in Phnom Penh, I’m not winning because I’m not existing in either. I’m not in Ireland, holding loved ones with one hand and a cup of tea in the other. And I’m not technically, in Cambodia if I’m only here in body.
But as I’m having this dualism of my mind, I’m proud of the seeds I’ve sown. The fruit of my mind is sweet and I’m no longer poisoned by it. As I said, I have learned each day to be more in the moment. Every moment has brought me more to myself. Each day, a new version of myself. So I can smile at the person I’ve become. Because although she’s fighting time now, she still has the awareness that time is a concept we created. And as fear flows through her veins, she knows that all good things are on the other side of that. And although she may not feel how she would like to, she knows that this is fleeting. And as she is torn between thinking of the green grass of home and the craziness that Cambodia has shown, she has learned, and will continue to learn, how to