Wednesday, July 21, 2010

should I stay or should I go

I was very happy in Bali, I guess it was self-apparent by the fact that I intended to stay for 3 weeks and ended up spending over 7 months there. Every morning I woke up with a feeling of bliss. At the end of each yoga session I thanked to be in Bali, to be aware and to experience whatever was going on around me. For once, I was in touch with myself and I felt every bit of thing; be it pain, jealousy or joy. I found my little paradise, the place that I belonged. Yet sometime around March, it became clear that I had to go back to Dubai in June in order to take care of the stuff I left behind. That decision made me feel depressed for an entire week; I guess sense of responsibility doesn't really agree with me.

I was trying to convince myself that I acquired a lot of different approaches and skills in Asia, and being in Middle East would be the ultimate test of how much I had really internalized them. Would I be able to keep my cool in traffic, would I be able to maintain a spiritual approach when everything around me was so materialistic, would I be able to pass shopping and say “I don't really need this”. To some extent, I even felt a sense of mission; Dubai was where  I seriously started practicing yoga and felt the seeds of change sprout. If I could help just one more person in Dubai get in touch with his/her true self and feel liberated, I would feel as if I paid back and then return to Bali with a feeling of contentment. (No, I don't expect everyone to be liberated by means of jumping on the next plane to Asia and meditate all day like the statue of Buddha)

Here I am in Dubai for the last two weeks and things are really super difficult. Police fined me for driving an unregistered car and I cannot register my car without an employment visa. So I am pretty immobile. I try to get a job but apparently I forgot how slow things can be during summer in Dubai – nothing moves. My tourist visa is about to expire and I just figured that I can't renew it, so unless something miraculous happens I need to leave Dubai in 2 weeks and cannot re-enter for another month. Did I ever mention that life here is also ridiculously expensive?

Every day I try something new to ensure that I can stay here. Latest by the next day, I find out that option would not work. As dramatic as it sounds, I feel as if all walls are closing on me. After all the carelessness and freedom in Bali, no wonder life here makes me feel claustrophobic. Every day, I take sometime to convince myself that this is what I have to go through.

Artist Name: Hajime Namiki Title: Banyan Tree
I'm pretty sure that if Gottama the Buddha lived in 21st century, he wouldn't have bothered fasting for months under a banyan tree to feel misery and suffering. He would have probably chosen to live in a soulless metropolitan city to accelerate his enlightenment. Yet every day, a voice in me says “why bother, haven't you learned to love and to protect yourself? Give up struggling, know when to quit and just go back to Bali”. Every day turns out to be a constant repetition of internal dialogues such as;
- oh I feel so trapped in Dubai without a car, job and money, it's good training for my ego / Why do you suffocate yourself with such barriers when you can be in Bali smelling incense?
- I will try a corporate job once again, this time equipped with the patience from meditation and mental flexibility from yoga / Why do you keep banging your head against the wall, hoping that this time the wall might be softer?
- I want to help people but they are so out of touch with themselves I don't know what to do / Why bother and waste your energy in the world's most materialistic city when Bali is full of people who know what they seek?

Both voices are mine and both have valid points... I still have to decide after hearing them both. I wish there was one correct answer and if I really thought hard, I would have it figured out. I'm generally happy to sit back and let things flow in their own course so that I can avoid making any decisions. But this is a time that I need to decide; knowing that only I can make it and it'll be a big one.


  1. I know exactly how you feel, I am too in the same position as you are. Hell I used to be a big city girl and the city loved me. But now it broke my heart to see land of bricks here in Jakarta. But you know what, I paid my dues, am going back to Bali next month. But I know that I needed to be here at that time, but now it's time to go back to my sanctuary. Should you stay or go? You already knew the answer in your heart ;)

    Love, Wid xoxo

  2. My heart may know the answer but it's very reluctant to share it with me. It's been over 2 months since I left Bali and still haven't figured out what's in store for me... Either I'm too dumb to read the signs or the universe is taking a remote beach holiday :S