I am here in Bali for one week having quality time away from everything with my boyfriend. Yep I said it, 'boyfriend.' Never did I ever contemplate that at the age of 40ish I would be saying that word or six months ago consider we would actually be here on a holiday alone for a whole week. Basically like much of the past few years, it's pretty much a head spin.
Anyway, back to Bali. I've been to this gorgeous, messed up in the most complimentary way, jewel of an Island many times before but still smile at the complete disarray of the place with no road rules, unique standards of engineering, and the gentle nature of the people that in their innate calmness can ensemble their entire family onto one motorbike and head headfirst into traffic. As westerners, we find this amusing. It's like here we don't fight against our learned discourse of western 'order'. (actually the reality is if you did fight against it you could really detest the destination).
This is the place where you turn up to your gorgeous private villa near the surf beaches of Canguu to a demolition site as they smile and explain there is currently no reception as they decided to build a day spa, " No worry your villa is back of property. No hear noise." Here you smile and say 'okay.'. In Australia 1/2 of the first day of your holiday would have been in conflict with management to ensure the 'justice' of what you paid for.
But in our world of 'right' and 'wrong' which culture is actually 'right'?
Our Western society is built around the notion of 'law, order and systems'. Legal, Finance, Real estate, Education, Matrimony etc etc. The way we learn, write, dress, judge each other, express ourselves all helps to create and portray order of these systems. Yet, the whole concept of life and being a human being is the complete opposite. It is an array of trial and error, broken down systems across many entities that we continuously continue to to fight to build back up again. Think financial systems, politics, relationships, education just as a starting point.
Personally many of us fight most of our lives to keep that order or 'perception' of order because what are we without it?
(at least that's we've been taught to believe). Not being able to keep up with the pretence of fitting within the 'cool' model at school, teenagers suicide. Middle aged men are fighting depression and suicidal thoughts striving to keep the order of providing financial security and the perception of a life-style that their friends, family and acquaintances are accustomed to 'seeing', women are putting on the makeup and clothes to mask the inner overwhelming sensation of not being able to keep up with the order that comes from being a woman in modern society. You may think this is exajerrated but believe me from the number of conversations I have had in the past few years I know many feel they are programmed to live up to an expected 'order' of living in order to live the perception of a successful life.
How do we function without that order? It's engrained in us.
It's not engrained in the Balinese.
The realness, 'whateverness.' get it done when it gets done attitude, the smiles as they walk through the crap on the beach, as they work their asses of in the sun, they are authentically being them. There is no pretence, nothing to prove, they just are.. (and as a side note separation and divorce is almost unheard of). Basically their lives are stark differences to ours.
Even me coming here with my boyfriend without knowing what it really 'meant' or what the future holds threw me into a complete spin.
Oh yes back to the boyfriend. He does exist and does have a name.
Despite my strong premonitions (that I made up in my own head!) that the next man in my life would be either African American or European with a name like Romano or Rapheal ( wasn't really fussed about which country in Europe) his name is Daz (aka Darren, Dazzy) he's as Aussie as they come and yes that includes big blue eyes.
Daz is a mad surfer ( hence being in Canggu), works in finance and within a council system and is actually funny
(an oxymoron if I've ever heard one), completely kooky yet quite reserved. He is an incredible ( and I mean incredible) almost full time dad to two gorgeous young boys, does not exist on social media ( wtf?), is neat, plans things months in advance, has organised cupboards, shakes his head at me a lot (!) has the biggest heart and basically came along 10 months ago and stole mine when I really was not ready to give it away; what a bastard!!!
When you enter into a new relationship after spending half your previous life in another one it comes with a lot of trepidation, caution, questions, analytics, intense caring for not wanting to hurt the other person as much as yourself, watching the integration of this person with the people you love the most in the world ( thank goodness that has been amazing) and then the experience of the fun, joy and innocence of the almost chaotic notion that is new love. The thing is though this time you are not 18 years old and you are fully aware of the 'order' of life and now needing to navigate this unexpected but beautiful new element into your own.
Much of my life for the past 2 years could be viewed as a small case of chaos theory and for an ordered person, who for 32 years of her life has written and ticked off goals with direction, focus and a gun hoe approach to find all the answers, this has ensued a case of mild panic, amusement and at the same time a strange kind of peace.
I can however feel my inner focused self fighting back slightly and do know that one day soon my life will once again become ordered and measured and that instead of sitting in a coffee shop writing down these random thoughts I'll be again writing goals and creating vision boards working towards that place where life feels ordered again. I might not want to, I might try to fight it but as sure as the North wind will blow, that is just the human nature engrained in me.
But, for now, watching how the Balinese just 'are' and getting down these thoughts amoungst the stunning beauty, the mess, the smells and the complete realness of their life, I have to wander if it's them that have got it right.