Why invest time in people who are unhealthy for our inner beings?
A month ago, I had just about enough. I was feeling overworked, overstuffed with questions, overused by suppression. I thought about where I had always wanted to go. Somewhere close, relatively small where I could walk for a few days and get lost…or get far, FAR away from my beloved but trivial Parisian routine. So I booked a flight that would take off in 3 days to one of the most beautiful places on earth: Cinque Terre, Italy.
Five days in Cinque Terre alone was sheer bliss. No one to converse with during meals. YES! Stuffing my face with all kinds of pasta, meaning, binging on infinite kilos of carbs and not have a care in the world. YES! Wanderlust through five fishermen villages with wine breaks whenever I wanted. YES! Meeting Italian locals at bars. YES! Tiramisu. Yes! Panna cotta. YES! Cannoli. YES! Did you know that I hate sweets? Apparently, not in Italy. YES! YES! YES!
It was the loveliest escape, the greatest solo getaway. I indulged, I cried, I laughed, I discovered, I reflected, I walked and walked…and walked some more. At the base of colorful houses and at the top of hills overlooking the Italian Riveira, I was grateful.
Staring into the deep blue sea where waves thrashed against massive rocks that reminded me of the algarve in Lagos, Portugal – where my previous solo travel took place in 2011 – I often thought to myself: God must’ve created Cinque Terre as proof that there IS heaven on earth. And I’m THIS lucky to see it, to take it, to grow from it in whichever capacity I choose.
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Let me start out by declaring: it’s amazing where your mind wanders when you’re alone in a foreign land. So this is what I learned from Cinque Terre: As a woman who runs a business and still treasures a vibrant personal life, I wake up every morning thinking there aren’t enough hours in a day to accomplish all that I want to do…today. Not yesterday, not tomorrow. But I open my eyes, have my cup of coffee each day thinking I want to do 15 things, but I’ll probably only get to 8, or 11 on a fantastic day. So in my personal life, why do I spend these deeply cherished hours on bullsh*t people? Or…other people’s bullsh*t? Or…my own bullsh*t?
Recently, I had to let go of a few people in my life. It was hard to cut them off. Completely. No turning back. Sayunara. Ciao. 再見. See ya. I’m an extremely emotional person. I get attached to my family, my friends, lovers, especially cats. But I left Cinque Terre knowing that as a worker bee thriving on efficiency – because the real high in life, for me, is when I can actually cross off all 15 things on my list at the end of the day – then why do I want to invest my time on, well, for a lack of a better word, bullsh*t people?
So thank you Cinque Terre, for cleansing my soul from those who make me self-doubt, or even friends who are simply unhealthy for my spirit. The glorious kilos I gained from lasagna, gnocchi, penne and tagliatelle might’ve given me extra muffin tops as I try to squeeze into tight jeans. But staring and pinching at them, I’m reminded by the refusal to merit someone else’s insecurities and allowing those toxins to overtake my thought process. Because someone else’s bullsh*t is his or hers to deal with, certainly not mine. I’d much rather spend time on true, loving and meaningful relationships in my life.
As much as I want to be compassionate and understanding, I’ve now come to realize that tolerance should never be too high for those who make you: anxious, insecure, angry, hateful, exhausted (that’s a good one,) or under-appreciated! When developing a relationship is clearly a waste of time, recognize it quickly then move on.
Who’s got time for bullsh*t? I absolutely don’t.