For the past six months I felt lost. My thoughts and feelings took an unexpected turn and it seemed like I put my life on pause. My body was there, experiencing everything, but I wasn’t. Pretending to be fine is one of my strong traits, yet there are a few people who can read me even if I don’t want them to.
Last week I went on a trip to visit Mark in Graz, Austria. For those of you who don’t know, Mark and I are currently working on a book, Okay, you’re right!, a collection of his life stories (click on the link and read about our journey). I arrived in Graz after a nine hour bus ride at 7 am. The first thing that welcomed me was the smell of smoked meat, a smell that took me straight back in time when I was five years old and my grandfather would take me to the local market. I took deep breaths and smiled at my grandfather’s memory.
I spent three days with Mark and Sophie, in their home, somewhere in a small town, in the middle of nature where the buzzing of the city life can’t haunt you. Everyday seemed the same, yet felt very different. Their house, a paradise for any creative soul, felt cozy and warm. Every morning we went to the bar across the street, had our coffee and “second” breakfast at 12 pm, and then walked back home through “Wonderland”, where we were surrounded by trees, flowers and a small stream. I fell into silence for my entire stay there. I watched, analyzed and allowed myself to feel every bit of their life, their home, the surroundings. Somehow while watching them go about their lives, dancing together, having fun and just being, I felt myself not feeling anything. I felt my numbness and indifference towards life and it slapped me in the face.
I embarked on the nine hour bus ride back to Florence contemplating my time there. My journey back was uncomfortable and tiring, much like my state of mind. I arrived home and fell asleep in my bed at 7 pm. The next morning I was prepared to restart my robot like life when something happened….
I got to work and turned on Spotify to play my favorite song. The next thing I knew I was standing up and dancing in my office, smiling like an idiot. I must admit, being alone in the office most of the time has its perks. I got home and danced some more, alluring my daughter to dance it out with me and we kept going until bedtime. The next day unfolded the same and for the past five days dancing and smiling like an idiot became my daily routine.
I left Florence lost and confused, arrived in Austria numb and somehow returned home and started dancing my way back to life.