A Story Worth Telling
Sometimes while traveling, you get caught up in the adventure. You meet new people constantly, sharing each other’s stories and advice on where to travel. You venture out with them each day, then spend the night dancing it away, all to wake up and have it all repeat once more.
For this very reason, I had not been as dedicated to what I am here for- to write my story. That is, until today happened.
I went out yesterday in Canggu, Bali to see Tanah Lot, the famous water temple. Two travelers and I were scorching in the heat that had finally returned to Bali after days of rain. We took a seat in a café to have a few drinks, cool down a bit and plan the rest of our day when the very song I dedicate to my brother, “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa came on. I had written previously about my brother’s passing and what that song meant- it had meant he was letting me know something was about to happen. I took in the moment, wondering what exactly would happen on that day.
Forward to evening happy hour. I’m ordering a drink at the bar when a stunning lady caught my eye. I just had to tell her she was beautiful, and so I did. We began our conversation about how long it was that we were traveling. She lived in Bali while I told her I had been traveling for four months and have another 8 months to go. She then asked the question, why? Knowing the mixed responses I get when telling my reason of being on my travels to other travelers, I briefed her saying that the reason is pretty rough to hear, but that I travel because I had lost my brother a few years back.
She gave me a look at that moment when I said it, as if to say ‘of course’, before sharing her story. Four years ago she had lost her son. He was just 16 years old and she chose to get away nearly two years ago to help set herself straight from all the grief his passing had brought her. We finished telling one another our stories before she let me know that she actually was working with two girls on a documentary on whether losing someone close to you causes you to be debilitated or liberated in a sense, and how one chooses to overcome the grieving process. She asked me if I would like to be apart of the documentary. Standing there in shock, I quickly replied with an over-relieved yes.
I had come to Bali to get my spiritual awakening, in a way closure to my past and all the tension I have held in all this time. Some part of me told me I would get it in Bali but up until then I had not felt any relief. That was, until I met her. After talking with her some more, she let me know she had not planned to come out tonight but for some reason she made it out. We looked at each other and agreed, it was her son and my brother that made us two cross paths.
The next day, we made plans to meet with the other two girls working on the documentary. I mentally prepared all day. What would I say? What would they ask? How can I get my message out there-my story? Felicity, the woman I had met the night previously, picked me up from my hostel on her motorbike to meet the other two girls working on the film. A ball of nerves, flashbacks and thoughts of my brother weighed me down, yet I knew this was something I had to do. I wanted my story to be out there, my experience to be told.
We met the girls at Old Man’s Bar, a young American and English girl who travel around the World in order to form documentaries with the people they meet. We headed to the beach for the footage that would be shown during the documentary. I walked along the beach, wrote in the sand and got wet by the waves in Canggu.
We began scrambling around for a quiet place to do the interview until Felicity offered to have it done at her friend’s surf shop- somewhere away from music and the noise of construction to distract from the emotional content I was about to spew out. We got to the surf shop and I took a seat in the left corner of the surf shop, preparing myself to hold back tears in order to tell my story.
They all sat around, recording, listening and asking questions of how I had lost my brother and what happened after. I told them of the pain I felt, the realization I had after losing him that life is just far too short to live a life you don’t love. I made the decision to live a life worthy of two people. For him and I. I take him every place I go and show him the World. He is always with me, and I thank him every day for leading me on the path I need to be on whether or not it fits in the lifestyle I am told I should have- of work, work ,work.
So we all sat there, nothing but my words and at times, tears, flowing. With silence and over-attentive stares, they each watched me with as I told my story to them.
At the end, we sat and all hugged. Tears prolonging their stay on my cheeks, quickly wiping them away.
I felt at peace. I got what I needed, I got ears. I had people listen and give me a chance to tell a story so meaningful to me, one that had been hushed away too many times.
Finally. I had just needed to be heard all this time.
On my way back to my hostel, I realized I had been distracted by living the life of a traveler that I forgot what I also am. A storyteller. I have a story to tell, and my last day in Bali I was healed in more ways than one. I got to tell my past and now I must write my present in order to shape my future.
Thank you Felicity. You have given me what I came searching in Bali for-