Strange funk

Today my spirits are low. I’m doing what I tend to do from time to time: Overthinking things, being overly critical of myself. That combined with my new surroundings is putting me in a strange funk.

Two nights ago was a great night.

Djuka was playing a gig so we drove out the 40 minutes to Sanur to the venue owned by their friend Ben. The restaurant functions based on a unique, donations-only business model influenced by similar places he encountered during his stay in Australia. Everything is free and you pay what you can.

The same people that come in and out of the Yard were there, and I realized quickly what a tight-knit community they are. There was great food, great music, and great people, all the ingredients for a great time. I really enjoyed myself.

Because we stayed out late and I had woken up so early that morning, I knocked out once we got home past midnight. And slept better than I have this entire trip.

I was happy about it because the next day, everyone rose early to get ready to go to an event I’d been hearing about nonstop since we arrived called Permablitz. A bunch of local farmers get together and volunteer to help nearby places clean up and cultivate the land for growth. It’s really a passion project for all of them, and they love doing it.

That morning, one of my waves of nausea hit, so Jordan said I had the option to just stay back at the hostel–he was fine getting the footage all on his own.

I knew in my heart that I would get over it in a few hours, and that I was fine to go, but for some reason I accepted the cop out.

I don’t know if it was because I was scared of being out of place at Permablitz, since I had already encountered uncomfortable moments of self-consciousness around some of the new people.

I get that way sometimes. I worry too much about what any one person is thinking at me at a given time, and I just get so in my own head. I think Jordan giving me the option to stay was a way to avoid that.

Soon after they left I regretted my decision. Why am I even here if I want to just sit by myself in my room all day?

Then I got hungry. Jordan usually decides we should go to the market. We go. He picks out the vegetables, converses with the vendors, pays. We come back. He cooks. Then it hit me how dependent on him I had become and I suddenly got really pissed at the realization.

So I picked up the backpack and decided I was going to the market.

By the time I got back, walking around in the 95 degree, humid heat, I wasn’t even hungry. I showered and found myself in front of the laptop.

I noticed the chicken and the rooster from next door were out. I knew they shouldn’t be, because they destroy the garden, so I quickly told the one other guy, who also opted out of Permablitz, since he has been working here for months and knows his way around.

Either he had already been trying unsuccessfully and was over it, or didn’t care in general, but he dismissed my concern with a wave of the hand. So I accepted it and carried on with my day. I kept an eye out as often as I was outside, shooing them away from plants if it looked like they were pecking. But that was the extent of my actions.

This morning Djuka was pissed because some of the plants were completely destroyed. I immediately felt guilty. Was it my responsibility? No. Did anyone ask me to look after the place while they were gone? No.

But I knew it wasn’t right, and out of consideration for the place I was staying and these people who have opened their doors to me, I should have done more. And I couldn’t help but think they wondered why I didn’t do the same.

Then Jordan and I went through their footage from yesterday. They were gone all day, from 7 a.m. until 10 at night. And it was clear I’d missed out on a truly eye-opening, incredible day. And then I got down on myself even more.

Who am I? American tourist afraid to meet people and learn how they live, their passions and what they do, out of insecurity of how I will be perceived? What am I even doing here then?

As I’m sitting here in this cafe while Jordan works on some footage, I’m telling myself that it’s over and there’s nothing I can do about now. I guess it’s good to just be aware — I need to just welcome the discomfort, it is usually only temporary anyway. I need to just say yes and go with the flow. And with this post, I exhale these thoughts and move on.

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