Heart, gut, mind.

Photo: www.ficemusic.com

It’s 8:11am, Pacific Standard Time, and I’ve been awake for roughly four hours and 11 minutes. I’m sitting at my mom’s little red dining room table with a can of La Croix near one hand next to my trusty Moleskine planner and a steaming cup of Morning Boost tea in the other as little streams of light make their way in through her Swiss dot curtains.

I hear birds chirping, there’s a small fan that quietly stirs the air soon to reach the high 80s, and my muscles ache slightly from my sunrise jog where I dipped past my friend’s homes and through the light spray of sprinklers and over fallen plums past their prime and through alleys covered in ivy. The sounds are familiar, the smells are comforting, and I feel healthy and free.

A typhoon that reportedly only occurs once every 160 years delayed Yoshi and my flight to Taipei 10 hours from Phnom Penh. We then waited another seven hours in a transit line in Taipei before getting rebooked and then had another 10-12 hours in the airport before each of our departures back to Washington and New York. The experience was stressful and a bit mind boggling, but I am so blessed to have had her there with me to laugh, to cry, and to contemplate the past months working and living together. By the time I boarded my plane, emotions were at an all time high and we were longing to get back to our respective homes, no matter how much we would miss each other (Michelle, too, since I won’t see her for a bit either!).

Now I’m back- and I almost don’t know what to do with myself now that I have such little stress in my life. I feel as if a weight has been lifted off me and to make sure I stay “grounded”, I create things to stress about or little problems to add a bit of weight to tie me down. People tell me I stress out too much- now I believe them. Yesterday, after reading an insightful, wonderful, and important article yesterday in the Wall Street Journal about ruminating I was able to take everything into stride a bit more. The same thing my therapist told me at age 12 hasn’t gone away, and to expect it to simply because I get older just doesn’t make sense.

During one of my many LeLe pho lunches (Gig Harborites- you must indulge if you haven’t yet…that bone broth…) with one of my mentors, Andy, he asked whether I make decisions with my heart, my gut, or my mind. We were discussing current life and employment situations and in that moment, I couldn’t answer. I don’t know if I can now even. I admire him, and he says that he follows his gut- so I’d like to say the same. But even as I write that out, I know it’s not true. If I truly followed my gut senses, I wouldn’t have found myself in many situations that had me thinking “what the hell?”, in trouble, or just plain awful because of other people’s actions. But then the differentiating factors between gut, heart, and mind become difficult to gauge…what sets each apart from each other? The lines are fine.

I just got off the phone with dearest Yoshi and after rehashing what feels like a lifetime of what has only really been three days, I feel refreshed and a little bit lighter. At this interval of my life I don’t have to know exactly how I think or why I think the way I do. To be aware of these things is important, but I’m not going to be figuring out the facts any time soon. For now I’m going to let this jumble of heart, gut, and mind steer me into what’s next whatever that may be and like always: hope for the best and expect the worst- and also know that everything will be amazing in the end.

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