Tag Archives: Camino

Random thoughts about the Camino

Señal del Camino

Señal del Camino (Photo credit: gabsiq)

I’m in work waiting for my client to show.  She’s my pretend sister, my brothers fiancé.

I’m still sick.  All I want to do is go home and put my pajama’s back on.  I feel a type of exhaustion I only felt one other time while I was suffering from altitude sickness when hiking up the goddamned Himalayas.  Unable to move or function.  It’s stress induced, I know it.

And when I am home, I feel bored.  I never get bored!  I’m bored because I’m too exhausted to do anything.  It’s frustrating.  And so I mess around with iMovie and make YouTube video’s like an asshole.

Experiencing boredom makes me understand people better.  They push themselves everyday just to escape this kind of boredom – escape the meaningless of it.  Nobody wants to be alone with themselves.

Time is approaching for the Camino launch.  It really is a big deal.  Not to anyone else, but for me it’s huge.

People go on the Camino expecting to find miracles, insights, to find God, secret cults….etc.  They think it’s some prolific journey and are let down when all they’re up against is walking on blisters.  They can’t find the spirituality they seek.

People need to realize that spirituality happens when you’re alone with yourself.  And just like it is with boredom, it can scare the shit out of anyone.  Make them itch off their skin.  Wanting to get out.

This is the world I live in – the world of reflection.  I’m at ground zero in fighting my own bullshit.  I crave solitude and being alone as a way to find faith in myself, a way to find my ground.  However, with such a big journey approaching, I’m feeling that I need others support more than my own courage.  It’s like reaching for a life raft before sinking into my fears.

I’m not brave enough on my own.

This is why I’m sick.  This is why I felt boredom for the first time in years.  Right now I need to be around people, but unfortunately I’m stuck in bed.  I stretched myself out too thin over the past few weeks and it all caught up.

Now I’m stretching myself out on my bed with my laptop on my crotch.  It’s 9:10 pm.  I downloaded three audiobooks for the Camino.

Ellen DeGeneres – Seriously….I’m Kidding

Tina Fey – BossyPants

Mindy Kaling – Is everyone hanging out without me?

They are all safely stored on my iPhone awaiting day one of the Camino.  In all honesty, I’m looking forward more towards listening to those books than I am to the actual walking part.

I’m having second thoughts about this whole thing.  No no, wait, am I?

I can’t stop sneezing.  My coughs are coming from the bowels of my spleen.  The spleen is a dark slimy green, loud, mucus organ.

Omg I need nightquil.  I have a tear rolling down my salty hot cheek.

Why am I doing the Camino anyway?  I already went through all that spiritual crap, I get it.  Let go, go with the flow, hold no negativity, be compassionate, all suffering is self inflicted.  Yep, got it.  I don’t need to walk across Spain to gain understanding!

My laptop is getting all germy with my hot sweaty hands all over it.

I’m walking it for pride, for ego.  So I can someday look back on it and say “Hell yeah I fucking did that.”  There is no other purpose other than that.

That seems to be the reason why I do everything.  Or is it?  Do I really care about seeing the world and what’s out there?  Or is it all just an attempt at filling that empty space in me that yearns and yearns?  Am I yearning for a proud moment?  Is there meaning in pride?

This is how the camino humbles people.  They see themselves as the horse asses they are.  Possibly once they transcend their arrogance, transcend hiding their weaknesses or lying to themselves, that’s when they reach their ground zero – the true person they really are.  And no, there’s no meaning in pride – it’s only yet another illusion of ego.

You have to stand directly in the light in order to see your own dark shadows.  The camino physically puts you there in that light whether you want it to or not.  That’s the spiritual part of it.  When your physical body gets pushed, so does your soul.

It’s all about thinking, getting yourself good and humbled and asking yourself while looking down that endless road, “is this really all there is?”

Yeah buddy, that’s everything.

You are it!  The zen is already in you.  Which brings me back to the beginning, why oh why the hell am I doing this?

Most people choose to walk alone because they haven’t reached an understanding in themselves.  They need to think more on it.  Think about what?  The why, that’s what.

“Why, why why?”

Me – “Cause it just is man.  Let it go.”

I let everything go.  I let everything go and now I want to walk and leave it all behind.  I want to vanquish even more shit hidden in me.  I want to be both the water and the rock.  Unable to ever be hurt again, but soft enough to embrace change.  My soul is the rock, my physical self and mind are like water.

I want to get there – the foundation, the answer.

In moments such as this, when I find peace – I feel I have it, but then as soon as I’m around people, it gets ripped from me.

Ayahuasca told me I need to be strong for others – maybe this is what she meant.

I need to sleep.

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Filed under All about me, journal, random thoughts, Self help, Travel

Ultra Light Packing List for the Camino De Santiago

Here are some links to all the stuff I’m bringing on the Camino.

I didn’t mention these in my video, but gel toe caps are fantastic!


The place where I bought my sleeping bag:


I bought my backpack at REI.  It feels perfect on my back.


1,000 mile socks

Sock liners

Outdoor research Seattle sun / rain sombrero 

Guide book

Solar Charger

Portable Cup

Mesh Bags

Pack liner (you can also use a garbage bag)

Ear Plugs


Platypus Big Zip

Small day pack

Dry packs

Blister stuff

Backpackers panties 

Biodegradabile soap / shampoo

My official ultra light packing list for the Camino De Santiago:

First Aid kit

Moleskin, bandage tape, small scissors, etc..

Toe gel tips

Knee brace


Sleeping pills


2 pair undies

2 pair 1000 mile socks

2 liner socks

Flannel shirt

Long sleeve purple shirt

Long underwear

Tank top

T shirt


Head band

Bathing suit

Outer Shells

Rain jacket

Down jacket

Rain pants

The essentials

Sleeping bag


Guide book

Itinerary / passport / I.D / Credit card

Travel towel

Platypus bottle

Journal / pen

Everything else

Pack liner

Secret travel pouch

Travel backpack for groceries / airplane ride

3 mesh bags for loose items


Drain plug

Clothes pins

Ear plugs

Eye shades

Head lamp


Small knife


Folding cup

Eat N tool

Rock from home


Iphone / earphones / charger / solar charger



Shampoo / soap / detergent bars

Comb / mirror


Toilet paper in ziplock

Deodorant (no dispenser)

Toothbrush / paste

Period stuff



Spanish cheat sheet (lighter than a book)

Good cheer

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Filed under Travel

And so my adventure continues….

Ikebana 30 mar 10 (2)

Ikebana 30 mar 10 (2) (Photo credit: PaRaP)

I feel so sick to my stomach right now.  I drank a lot last night.

I can’t seem to extract myself from the social scene.  It keeps pulling me in.

My life is chock full of weirdness.

I feel like I’m going to throw up.  I’m emotionally upset too which doesn’t help.  I just found out that my bff from high school will be visiting CT for a week, but she’ll be going on vacation with the Melanie haters for the entire time she’s here.  It’s completely devastating to me.  I can’t pull myself out of it.  I was not asked to go.

I can’t wait until the Camino.  I really can’t.  I need to walk and cry and walk some more and fuck up my knee and get up and walk again.  It almost feels like I need the physical pain, like I deserve it.  It’s like purifying my soul or some shit.  Maybe I should’ve stayed with Amy and let her punch me in the face like she wanted.

I’m in work.  I’m supposed to massage 4 clients today back to back.  I don’t know how I’m going to manage that.

I try to keep my life simple.  I always tried keeping things simple.  I treat my life as Ikebana.  The more simplistic, the bigger the punch.  Cut out all unnecessary bullshit that don’t matter.

I feel like I’m trapped inside my own bubble of malcontent.  Everyone staring in at me out of curiosity.

I can’t escape people.  I need this time for solitude, and so I don’t even try to connect with others.  But somehow I manage to pull them in.  They call me their sun, and they are my stars and my moons.  How can people gravitate towards me, but at the same time, hurt me so much?

It’s like everybody wants a piece of my soul to take, but the only way for them to have me is to break me apart.

I’m jut a sad lonely girl surrounded by everyone and no one.

Fuck this shit I ain’t playin’ no victim.  But I don’t want to hurt anyone either.  It’s like the compassion in me holds me to people, and it’s my own heart that gets played against me.

If I rise above everything and let go of people, everyone in my life would turn into Icarus getting their wings melted.  But it’s their own fault for flying too close, right?

Client number 2 will be here in 12 minutes.  I’m starting to feel better.  I need to trust that all will be well.

Those two guys that friended me on Facebook, they are curious onlookers getting sucked into my gravity – my bubble.  They don’t know what to make of me, and so they’re interested.  Hey fella’s, I’m interested too – hence my need of solitude.

I brought these two onlookers over to L’s house last night.  Dave was there too. It’s a strange group dynamic when you see it for what it really  is.  You’d know what I’m talking about if you’ve been keeping up with my blog.

All I know is that I love my two new friends.  And us being all in the same graduating year makes it easy for me to group them together in a tight little bundle to form my new family.  I keep people together as in the simple way of Ikebana.  Minimalist effort equals concentrated love.

Second client done.  She was a sweetheart.  She got so freaking nervous around me and it just kept building and building in her.  Even though I massaged her once before, and this time she paid full price.  Why do people get nervous?  It’s silly and it’s all in their head.  She can learn a lot from me that one.

Okay now I’m rambling.  I need to end this post.  Ikebana baby!

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Filed under All about me, journal, random thoughts, Self help

The Camino, facing your fears and contributing to healing the world, and the benefits of pot – all in todays entry

I smoked pot last night and started looking up info on the Camino.  I was high and mellow, letting the herb do what it does until I saw this picture:

road 2

“Oh shit what if something happens?  What if I twist my ankle or get so tired that I can’t go on?  I’ll be all alone in a foreign country looking down a road like that!”

Then it got worse.  I looked at several more roads and imagined myself on them.

road 3 road

“Oh shit oh shit oh shit I can’t do this!”

Then I watched this trailer for a documentary about the Camino:

(They say they have a new and improved trailer, but I like this one more.)

After that, I became excited again.

When looking down that lonely road what I’ll really be looking at are my fears, mostly my fear of death.  Pilgrims have no choice but to rely on one another for support and strength.  Being around people can make you feel courageous and strong.  It’s your love and their love that cuts through fear.

My pot addled brain told me that by walking the Camino, I’m helping the world heal itself.  By helping others along the way, by conquering my own demons, I’m adding to the bravery of others and in truth, I’m instilling bravery into the world.  It’s humbling down to the point of facing the truth in that we all need each other.

I can say that I’m walking the Camino for myself all I want, but I can’t get away from the truth of it effecting the infinite energy body of our one human spirit.  It’s unavoidable.  Last night I came to this realization that no matter what I do, how solitary or secluded I keep to myself, or how much I give – the world will be effected either way.

Then I told myself not to question this new insight once my high wore off.  There’s no logic to it, or words to describe it, but it was an unmistakable feeling of true reality.  It was a feeling – taking place in the deepest part of me.  If I were to try and break it down for my rational brain to accept, it won’t happen.  It’s true.  Leave it.

You have to trust these feelings as real and not argue.

I thought about Amy and how her perceptions seemed so real to her, but not real to the rest of the world.  And it made me wonder if all this I’m feeling is only in my head.  But then I realized it was her own fears coming to life.  She was projecting them onto me.  That’s why it’s extremely important to let go all fear – fear is absent of light, it’s evil all in itself.  It’s seeing the world through fear-laden goggles.  And you will never know what you’re afraid of until you become self-aware.

Honestly if you want to be humbled and forgiven, try facing your truest intentions.  There you will find your fears (or desires).  If you don’t know whether or not your intensions are honest, ask yourself if it’s the compassionate way, or merely your ego talking.  Compassion is the road to sainthood, and saints change the world for the better!

So why do people not choose compassion?  Because of their ego’s.

Ego’s keeps us in the “fun” zone.

When I was under Aya, she told me that the ego can be fun.  But to keep in mind that it’s not real.  It’s only a delusion, or illusion.  Ego makes you feel like you’re in control and you can play the world like a game.  She also said there are many games in the world to choose from, and they are all there as learning experiences.

I’m in work waiting for my last client.  Einstein, the dog, just licked the inside of my mouth – how do dogs know the exact place where you don’t want to be licked?

Maybe the mouth is the most vulnerable place.  That’s what makes it so sensual.  Oh man, am I still high?

I’m using pot as a tool to acquire these insights (it stimulates the pineal gland which is the gateway into the spirit realm).  But with pot, you have to cut through the boundaries of your ego whereas with ayahuasca, she detaches it with ease (unless you don’t surrender and trust).  In my experience with smoking weed, you have no choice but to let go of everything – when you don’t let go, the babble in your brain goes into hyper drive.

I don’t see the point in smoking it with others who treat it as a recreational drug.  The point of the experience will be lost if all you do is giggle and get silly.  Not to mention it makes me unbelievably lazy.  Before I smoke, I make sure everything is done for the day.  That I’m fed, I have water next to me, sheets are washed, alarm clock set – everything must be done otherwise I’d forget, or fall asleep.

I’m getting acquainted and familiar with the feeling of being high and so I’m able to guide it into my higher state of being – of course my body and language center are tuned out during this time, giving pot its bad rep.  Plus people abuse it.  But it’s just another tool, another sacred herb to reach us in ways that our everyday brain can’t understand.  We are so hard-wired and pattern-seeking survivalists that in order for us to get out of our patterns, we have to think differently.

Pot was calling to me for a reason, I knew it!  But how deep will I go with this?  How many layers and insights are there?  Am I strong enough to hold it together?

There’s a reason why we are in the dark.  People just aren’t ready.  They’re not strong enough – hence the importance of evolving.  The first step to evolving?  Self actualization.  Then there’s facing your fears, suffering, compassion, etc… and another layer of strength unfurls.

I learned all this on my own, but if you go on YouTube and listen to spiritual teachers for yourself, you’d see that this stuff is EVERYWHERE!  It’s strange I never noticed it before.  I’m 33 years old and I finally found my true religion.  More like it found me.

I’m finding that spirituality is a religion.  The truths are all congruent to the point where I can call it organized.  But unlike with other religions, Spiritual believers don’t fight or cause wars.  We don’t worship anything but ourselves.  We bow our respects to Jesus, Moses and the like – because ALL religions have truth, they all teach the same insights.  But they were organized and made solid by the fears of the parishioners.  If they let go of those fears, trust and let in compassion, they will embody God.  They would have no choice but to accept responsibility for their choices and the roads they had taken.  And that alone can scare the SHIT out of everybody!

Complete control and complete responsibility for all actions and all that happens to you.  Who wants to admit to their faults?  No one!  So they blame.  They are free to live a life of denial so long as they can place blame.  In a crazy way if you think long and hard about it, a fear based religion can do this.  Anything that places judgement, anything that places another person as being “higher” or “right”, causes war and hatred.

Again, another day not knowing what to write about turned into be a beauty.  My client will be here any minute so…..

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Filed under random thoughts, Self help, Travel

“If -“

I really like this poem.  It hits home with me.  It’s so important to me, that I’m sticking it here in my blog so I never forget it.  I should work on memorizing it.  I wish I read this at the beginning of last year, it would have made everything a bit easier.  I should keep a copy of it with me for the Camino.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

-Rudyard Kipling

Honestly, I can’t stress enough how everything he says is exactly what I learned this past year.  It’s amazing, really.  Every sentence resonates with my own truth.  I need to start reading more poetry.  It gives me strength to keep me on the right path.  Seriously, awesome.

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Filed under Odes, Writing

Melanie the nerd talks about boobs in her face. This is from a nerds perspective. She also talks about idiots and a whole bunch of other stuff. Enjoy!

English: Nerd Deutsch: Nerd

English: Nerd Deutsch: Nerd (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m on page 100 of “To the Field of Stars” and it’s an awesome book to say the least.  It does its job of painting whats in store for me on the Camino road ahead.

I’m sitting here waiting for my next client.  They’ll be here any minute.  I don’t want to massage!  I want the entire day to myself to read and bullshit on my blog.

The man who wrote To the Field of Stars sounds an awful lot like me.  He’s a friendly chap, loves a good chat, loves humanity and compassionate people, but he, like myself, gets annoyed by others.

Here’s the dark truth to my nature;  Do you want to hear it?  Are you ready?  People annoy the fuck out of me to the point where I can’t stand their company unless I pour a shit ton of liquor down my pie hole.  The more differences we have, the more I want to distance myself. And I’m talking about good, wholesome people too.  Not just the assholes.

The thing is, in order for me to connect with a person, they have to be themselves.  They have to be authentic, genuine, self-aware and considerate.  It’s simple to connect with me as long as you’re being who you are.  The farther you stray from yourself, the farther I stray from you.  It’s that simple.  I can’t stand liars, stubborn people, complainers, buyers of $600 purses, people who talk endlessly about themselves who don’t let me get a word in edge wise. I can’t stand people who take and keep taking, whose needs are impossible to meet.

I move away.

As crazy as it sounds, my buddy Dave and I connect.  Despite everything he does.  I mean it when I say I can connect with anyone as long as they’re being themselves.  And Dave is always himself.

It’s so easy, but people make it complicated.  Everyone needs to let go of their fear of embarrassment.  By judging themselves less, they are more open to others.

I meet a lot of people in my profession.  I mean, up close and personal kind of “meet.”

“Hi I’m Melanie it’s nice to meet you.  Now take off all your clothes and lay on my bed while I give you a thorough touching.”

Okay, I don’t actually say that.  I don’t actually call my massage table a bed.

It’s just that I meet so many people, that it’s starting to feel as if I’m becoming more of a fixture than an ever-evolving person of substance.  I’m a barometer when it comes to people’s authenticity – a GPS in telling just how far away they have moved from reality.  I am the immovable line, like a horizon.  I become the base point, the listener, the teacher.  I don’t flinch while other people’s shit pass over me.

I sit quietly listening to them with the stillness of my lucid, forgiving eyes and assess their anxieties, their stress, their emotions – I see it all.  I see everything.  And I know exactly what everyone needs.

I just want to shake them until they come to their senses.

“Okay stop.  Please just stop.  I know, I know, I hear ya, life sucks.  But please shut up.  Come here.  Right here and look me in the eyes and stop looking inward.  Just shut the fuck up and look at me!  This is all there is.  Right now.”

I don’t like to be needed by anyone, and I don’t like people disrespecting my need for solitude.  The people most damaged are usually the ones who sap up all my gravy.  I can only handle them in small doses.  Like, one hour increments.

Not everyone is crazy, and I don’t always need to liquor myself up.  But people have untouched places inside of them.  A place that forms their intentions, a place where need and fear stem.  If they ignore that place in them, they will never know true freedom or true honesty.

I can see these blind spots.  I can see people’s true intentions, know their stresses, their needs,  and secret manipulations.  When a person is unable to see this part of themselves, and continue in their grand illusion of “controlling” what’s around them, I can’t be around them.  I shrug my shoulders and say “whats the point?”  There will never be a point.  There will never be a connection.  The relationship has no meaning, no substance and instead, becomes a game of who’s on top – who has power – who’s needed more, loved more.  This game people play ultimately leads to resentment. When resentment happens, all is lost and everything’s taken away.  Both parties lose because both are at fault.

I can’t hang out with idiots.  They drain me.  I physically feel my energy being pulled away.

Amy was authentic, she was herself and didn’t care what people thought of her.  But she didn’t have control over that blind spot in her.  It consumed her until it became too painful hanging out with me.  She was so blind to that spot, that she didn’t see the true reasons as to why I upset her.  She unconsciously filled in the blanks.  Her brain was trying to make sense of her uneasiness towards me and filled in the missing pieces as to why I was no good, or why I made her feel unsettled.

She was so blind to her own fears, her pain, her needs, that it became impossible for her to ever know the real reasons as to why I hurt her.  But these made up reasons, to her, those reasons were fact – they were very real.  She wasn’t lying and meant every word regarding my inadequacies of being a true, loyal friend and an irresponsible business owner.  And because she believed this so vehemently, made me feel like I should listen and take heart.  I listened until it escalated to the point where all sense was lost.  I snapped back to myself and confronted my own emotional neediness to cling to others out of my own fear of being alone, having no meaning or purpose to living.  I learned once and for all, I learned how to let go.

It’s because of Amy that I gleamed these insights.  I still love her.  She still teaches me.

Dave is authentic and completely aware of everything he does, but does it anyway whether it hurts someone or not.  He ends up hurting himself.  He hurts himself with his own guilt.  But I believe he can change and he know’s that he should.  There is room for improvement in everyone.  The ultimate goal is to achieve happiness and peace of mind.

I’m surprisingly tranquil for someone who is in constant repair.  That’s how I know I’m on the right path.  I am tranquil godammit!

People can learn so much from each other.  Mindful communication, intentional listening, an authentic connection that can only be achieved by allowing yourself to be free.  This is where creation comes from.  It’s love, it’s inspiration.

I just want to be a good person.  No, not just good, but the very best version of myself.  In order to do that, I have to confront my own blind spot.  I have to learn my pain, why I hurt, how maybe it’s possible that I, myself, manipulate out of fear, hurt, need – it pains me to go through this with myself.  It would be so much easier to not see and to just live and float each day hoping to stumble upon meaning (since the meaning has no substance, it’s replaced with control and power).  The way into this undefined meaning, is to steal it from others so you get ahead of the game.  You have a place and a purpose.

But what the hell do I know…..

I’m just a hungover chic who went out to a nudy bar last night and got slapped in the face with fake tits.

It’s so bizarre.  I’ve been asked to go to the Gold Club by two separate people on the same night.  This never happens!  I found it extremely odd, so I had to go.  I just had to.  I never been there before.

I sat up front near the stage in a comfy red swivel chair.  When I leaned back in it, it made me feel like I was a king presiding over important matters in my kingdom.  Sitting back in that chair also made me feel like I was a sleazy scumbag throwing the lowest denominations at a poor dancer who desperately needs the money.  It was empowering me with illusions of having wealth and power.  It’s like wiggling a dollar bill in front of me like a worm on a hook – having no compassion for the girls themselves, only seeing what they can do for me.  It was such a weird feeling.  I felt like an anthropologist learning the ways of human behavior.  It was completely new to me.

And for the record, I WAS compassionate.  I didn’t want anything from them.  I wanted to give them money because I was sitting in the red comfy chair near the stage, it would be rude not to contribute.  I felt like I was at a slot machine and needed to feed it money.  I wanted to give the girls money, but didn’t want them to dance for me.

But they danced for me anyway.  The more they danced, the guiltier I felt for not giving them more.  I was so conflicted.  I knew if I gave them more, they would continue to dance for me.  I was so confused, and during this confusion, a latino woman on stage said to me, “come here baby doll” and she guided my head into her breasts and shook them around.  I felt so guilty and awkward.  I hate that about me.  I unconsciously turned my face away, and as I turned, I felt guilty.  I felt guilty and wanted to give her yet more money.  I shouldn’t have been sitting up there in that big red swivel chair.

I absolutely hate this side of me.  This side of inhibitions.  It’s nearly impossible for me to let go of my inhibitions.  But the question is, if I let them go, would I actually enjoy having boobs in my face?  This question, along with all those other thoughts were occupying every facet of my brain.

“Would I enjoy this if I let go?  How would I know?  What’s keeping me from letting go?”

Shit, that is a whole other topic – a HUGE topic and quite honestly, I’m not up for the task.  But my inhibitions ARE embarrassing me.  They are childish, really.  They are a divider.

By setting your inhibitions scale, are you actually setting your common decency beliefs?  Not letting go out of respect for others?  Or is it about boundaries?  Aren’t setting boundaries a good thing?  I’m just so confused.  Not confused sexually, I know I’m pretty much straight (especially after feeling absolutely no sexual arousal), but I don’t want to be uptight.  Uptight is not fun, it’s not real and it’s limiting.

I want to take a bite out of all this world has to offer.  There is so much of it!

My head hurts.  I’m done thinking out loud for today.

Oh no wait, I just want to point out that strippers actually really like stripping!  They feel powerful, in control, wanted.  While the men, depending on their emotional maturity, also feel powerful, in control and wanted.  The strippers and the watchers feed off each other.  I never knew this about strippers before I seen it for myself.  It makes me feel better about the whole thing.  It makes it okay to let go of my inhibitions because it’s a win win situation and nobody’s getting hurt or degraded (depending on maturity level).

But I can’t let go…

Writing is like sex.

“Yes that’s it oh yeah baby thats the mark right there you nailed it!  Yes yes YES!”

And now just for you my friendly readers, I shall climax (hit the publish).

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Filed under All about me, humor, journal, random thoughts, Self help

A rough sketch of my Camino adventure

Bulls running on 7th July 2005, Consistorial S...

Bulls running on 7th July 2005, Consistorial Square, Pamplona. Image taken by Johnbojaen and uploaded on 1st september 2005. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve spent the whole day planning my trip to Spain and let me just tell you, hole – lee – shit.  Holy shit.

The majority of the time was spent figuring out what airport to fly into.  It needed to be an international airport close to the start of the Camino, St Jean Pied de Port, France.  I googled and googled and everyone had so many different routes to take, all confusing, all Spanish sounding.  Jumping from bus to taxi to train.  I felt like an alien on this planet we call earth, no understanding of its foreign ways of traveling.

Let me point out that this is my first time planning a trip.  I went to Colombia, sure, but it was booked through an agency that told me what to do.  Colombia was peanuts – PEANUTS I tell you!

Finally I narrowed it down to Pamplona.  It was the cheapest flight I could find, close to the boarder of France, and there’s a rumor floating around the Camino forums that there’s a woman who organizes shuttles from that airport straight to the start of the Camino (no other airport offers this luxury).  However, I still need to contact the lady in charge and set my pick-up time.  I’m putting all my egg’s in her, so let’s hope it works.  Otherwise, there is always hitchhiking.  People actually said that!  To hitchhike to St Jean Pied de Port.  A single white girl from the states, not knowing any Spanish….shit Mel.  I’m a Goddamned idiot for doing this, aren’t I?

Then I realized, “Good God doesn’t the running of the bulls happen in Pamplona?”  I googled it and sure enough, there it was.  It start’s July 6, so I planned my entire trip around it.  I even bought my hotel room in Pamplona!  I had to buy it now or else I would’ve been screwed.  There’s only a meager 10 or 15 hotels left to choose from.  The cheapest was $415 for four nights which is a great deal for it not being a dorm (all hostels were already booked) and so close to the city center.  There was only one room left available and the next price up jumped to $800, so yeah, I had to snatch it up.

I’m so excited right now.  REALLY excited.  I even told my parents about it and my Dad is stoked.

Me – “I’m sweating I’m so excited!”

Dad – “You better not run with the bulls.  You know better than that I hope.”

Me – “Of course not silly, that’s crazy talk.”

Dad – “You’re going to have a great time, that I know.”

I made $400 during these last two days of work.  So what do I do?  I went to REI and got fitted for a new pack and some gear.  And I actually did my research this time!  I looked online for the best size and best pack for the camino, searched for the nearest dealer and next thing I know, I’m standing in front of Joe, the most educated pack man alive.  He was literally talking to me for a good half hour whilst I stood in front of the mirror with a pack on my back.  It had 20 pounds of weight in it and still felt light.  Joe adjusted straps up and down, blushed when he cinched a strap near my boob and talked about his own plans with attempting the 500 mile trek.

I got the woman’s Aura 50 Liter pack made by Osprey.  It’s super lightweight and perfect for the Camino (said by Joe and people on the Camino forums).  And it’s made for a woman!  The pack I used in Nepal was honestly a pack most suited for a cave man.  I was a one-man Three Stooges act every time I swung that thing on and off.  It was uncomfortable, and oh man it hurt.  But I didn’t know any better.  I thought a pack was a pack – all unisex and fits the same.  I was so wrong…

That same day I came home and searched the web for the best sleeping bag.  It has to be the lightest weight and most compact as they get.  Several people on the Camino forums suggested the GoLite Adrenaline 1-Season Sleeping Bag.  I researched and researched and finally settled on it.  Then bought a high quality poncho and some rain pants – it can rain for 15 days straight during May.

Here’s a rough draft of my trip thus far:

Leave May 15 from JFK.

Arrive in Pamplona to meet my shuttle bus to SJPP.

Arrive in St Jean Pied de Port and stay overnight.

Start the Camino May 17.

Walk for 41 days (this is a very roomy, ample time-frame I’m allotting myself.  I love old architecture and don’t want to miss a thing while I’m there).

Arrive in Santiago June 26 and stay 2 nights.

Hitch a flight to Madrid and stay for 3 nights.

Leave Madrid July 1st for Barcelona (taking plane).

Stay 3 nights.

Leave Barcelona July 4th by train to end my trip at Pamplona to watch or participate in the running of the bulls.  And stay for the bull fight and festivities.

My plane leaves from there, the day after encierro, July 8th.

The entire cost of the trip including hotels (thanks to Booking.com), planes, trains, $30 a day on Camino – everything will cost $3,152.

This total doesn’t include food and activities while staying in Santiago, Madrid, Barcelona and Pamplona.  So that leaves me with 12 days of food and fun not tallied into the grand total.

And guess how much I have saved specifically for the trip?  $3,000!  It’s all in cash tucked away safe in a secure hiding spot.  Tomorrow I have to deposit it so I can book my other hotels and flights.

It’s like….perfect.  You know what I mean?  It all seems so easy.  I’ve spent the whole day planning, but now it’s like, so plainly laid out in front of me.  I don’t understand how the Angry Orchestra of Melanie Haters can complain about planning trips while I sit back and relax – planning is freaking fun!  And it’s not even that difficult.  I’m planning a 7 week adventure like slicing through pie, while the Haters complained about all the work it entails.  I don’t get it.

HOLE – LEE – CRAP I’m actually doing this.

I’m going through bursts of hysteria – utterly unable to contain myself, sprouting fits of joy and loud boisterous rabble to anyone who’ll listen.  But then put me in my bedroom, all quiet and alone, and my heart sinks in my chest and I wonder why I’m doing this.  Why am I doing this?  It’s a dumb idea.  Amy would say it’s dumb and all a waste, my mother would agree with her.  The Melanie Hater’s would all assume I’d be coming home in a casket (that got lost and ended up in iceland somehow).  But my Dad and Brother applaud my venturous escape into the unknown.  All the backpacking blogs I read, all the travelers journals get me excited – unbelievably excited.

There’s so much I want to write.  I haven’t even grazed the surface.  But it’s late and I need to put the blog down or surrender myself to insomnia.

Buen Camino!

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Filed under humor, Travel

Another day at work

My landlord is a cute little old bowlegged man who has a little old dog that is also bowlegged and follows him around wherever he goes.  Micky and Einstein side by side.  Micky’s office is across from mine, so all day long I  can hear him talk loudly into the receiver like he’s shouting over missiles or gunfire to save his life.  It’s hilarious listening to him talk.  Typical old-man speak.  “Gee golly, gosh darn willikers.”

Every now and then Einstein will get into the garbage or find something to rip apart and scatter all over the hallway outside my office.

Micky – “Einstein!  What did you do Einstein?  Bad dog.  Bad dog Einstein.  You little whipper-snapper you.  Now I have to clean it all up now don’t I?  Was it worth it to ya?”

Einstein stands there looking guilty, but couldn’t stop his tail from wagging.

Then the cute adorable receptionist who is as old as Micky comes to help out with her broom and dustpan.  She still wears secretarial outfits from the 1950’s and always keeps her hairdo perfect.  I adore her.

Linda – “Einstein must have had fun.  Didn’t you Einstein?”

His tail still wagging.  The old dog understands everything.

This happens maybe once or twice a week.

And this is where I work.  It’s an office building designed by Mr. Brady from the Brady bunch.  It’s a retro style with split levels and a confusing elevator that has 2 buttons to the same floor.  I’m on the basement level (cheap rent) where a mildew smell lingers after it rains.  A woman complained of my burning sage to rid the smell.

“It’s making me sick all her smells.”

Micky – “I’ll talk to her.”

I have to now keep my door closed when burning sage.  Who doesn’t love the smell of sage?

I’m known as the hippie girl who walks around barefoot and eats seaweed salad and sushi for lunch.  I’m here 7 days a week and I’m usually the last one to leave the building.

It’s scary here at night.  Most of the lights get turned off and no one is here but me.  I sit waiting for my next client, a complete stranger to take off their clothes in order for me to rub their naked body down.  It sounds scary, and I’m sure it’s not the smartest thing for me to do, staying here that late, but I don’t feel scared.  I’m more afraid being here alone than when a stranger is here with me.  My fear consists of demons, ghosts and monsters, not people.  Something from my childhood that I never grew out of.

No, actually I am scared of one person… the cleaning lady.  She comes twice a week at around 8pm to vacuum and take out the trash.  She’s always grumpy and not too nice to me.  I tried helping her lug the vacuum cleaner down the stairs but she grumbled and told me she got it even after telling me it was heavy and making loud distressing sounds.

When I’m cleaning up my office and packing stuff up for the night, I constantly hear her grumbling in the hallway.

Cleaning lady – “Come on come on!”  Talking to the elevator.  She hates the elevator more than anything.  The elevator and the vacuum cleaner are her two forsaken enemies.  I wish I can video tape it for you to understand.

She saw me naked once and it was very awkward.

A few months back I was putting together a shelf I bought from Target.  I had my music blaring, singing to myself.  Nobody was there.  Nobody except her, the cleaning lady.  It was summertime and I started getting hot so I took my top off.  I didn’t want to get it all sweaty and go out after smelling of sweat, so I took it off.  The cleaning lady came into my office and got an eyeful.

I had the door locked, my music on, but she still barged right in.  Our relationships been a little rocky since then.

It’s raining out.  It’s a grey day.  I love days like this.  I’m supposed to go hiking tomorrow after work.  Hopefully it will stop raining by then.  It’s not just a leisurely jaunt through the woods, no.  I’ll be backpacking it up a mountain to camp out in the wilderness and since I’m going after work at 5pm, it’s going to be pitch black by the time we get to the mountain.

Why am I doing this?   Because I never did anything like it before and I love myself a good adventure.  I don’t care if I’m cold, wet and hungry, if it’s something new and a tad scary, count me in!

My new and awesome friend, Amy, does these types of adventures all the time.  The girls got everything we can possibly need, so I’m in good hands.

What else is new with me?  Work is great, my finances are great, family in good health besides my mothers bum knee and pneumonia she’s okay.  I’m okay, I’m still friends with Dave cause I love the guy and he loves me.  I don’t care what he does in his personal affairs, it has nothing to do with me.

Really the only major concern I have at the moment has to do with my future.  7 months from now I can either take the biggest most profound journey of my life, or buy a house.  I wouldn’t actually be able to afford to live in the house, but can rent it out to people and make a small profit every month if I play my cards right.  It would be an investment property to put towards retirement.

Or go on a once in a lifetime trip of my dreams.

My friends parents are planning to go on an awesome vacation called The Magnificent Cities of Central and Eastern Europe and invited me to go along with them.  Well, it was a mass facebook invite to everyone, not to me personally.

I’ve known this family for over half my life, know they are good and fun people and so I decided to join them.  I’m bunking with their friend, Louise, who they say is a real Hoot.

I’m a traveler, or at least I want to become one.  The problem is, not everyone can afford it.  And even if they can afford it, they wouldn’t be able to get the time off from work.  So, when I know of someone traveling to an awesome destination – I have to jump on that chance.  Retirement plans can wait.  They  can always wait.

My plan is to go with them on this trip and afterwards, while I’m still in Europe, go on my pilgrimage.  It’s okay if I do that one alone.  Pilgrimages are supposed to be done alone anyway, so I’m hoping I have no tag-a-longs, but if I do, that’s okay too.  I have two friends interested in going and if they do, that would be fine and fun, but if they don’t, I’ll be okay with it.

I’m doing the Camino de Santiago in Spain.  I’m walking the width of Spain from the Southern border of France all the way to the beach on the other side of Spain.  500 miles in all.  I’ll be walking the way of St. James.

Miracles are said to happen on the journey along with spiritual growth.  The scenery is poetic, the old churches and ruins are majestic.  It sounds simply outstanding.  Most people take the pilgrimage in hopes of finding God.  I already found God in Columbia, but there’s always more of God to see.

My first trekking experience was a bust, but it was because of the people I went with.  I’m being more careful this time and making the trip about me, not anyone else.  No one will be there to yell at me or call me names – if they do, I won’t get upset.  I know me and I love me.  If anyone has a problem with that, that’s just it – It’s their problem, not mine.  Aside from Columbia, this will be the next best experience of my life.

Every client I take, every night I stay home, I think about my trip – everything I’m doing is for this trip.  I really have to start planning for it.  Finding out how to get from Warsaw to southern France will be my biggest hurdle.  Once I’m on the Camino, it’s all down hill.

I just massaged the shit out of a big tough woman with the body of Tyson and the face and hair of Whoopie Goldberg (whom I love).  She’s a tough cookie.  Plays football.  I dug my elbow into a knot in her hamstring and she did not flinch.  She’s coming back after her big game in a few weeks.  I hate sports massage, but I made a vow to myself to do my best for every client – including the ones who are difficult.

The more people I massage, the more I learn weird shit.  Like for instance, after giving a massage, I place my hands on the crown of the persons head and let my energy permeate into them.  Sometimes I feel a rumbling in their head – like an earthquake is happening inside their skull.  When I open my eyes and look down at them, they are completely still and serene and I wonder if the rumbling is happening in my hands – not the persons head.  I’m starting to feel things using all the dimensions of my given senses, to see and feel what’s really there and not assume anything.  It’s a new level of focus.  And I believe focus can take you to a higher level of ascension.  Towards the mass consciousness of energy available to us from the universe.  It inspires you and fills you with creativity.

I know people are getting sick of hearing about this, but when I was awakened, all that shit you hear about being One with the universe is not bullshit.  The universe is spirit, it’s alive and it’s you.  It’s pure conscious energy.  I asked if there were any aliens out there, but I felt that there were none.  That there’s no need for other physical worlds while all we need is this one to hold us.  But even if there were aliens, they would be us.  They would look like us, talk like us.  We would be One with them as we are One with the universe.  What the bible says about us being made from the image of God is true.

There may only be this one physical world for us, but there are infinite heaven and hell worlds in the spirit world.

Its pretty cool…

What else do I have to write about?  I dreamt about zombies again.   To dream about Zombies means that there are deceitful people in my life out to harm me.  It was a sad dream.  It started out with me in high school and everyone started walking around like they had Parkinson’s disease.  Their legs were so wobbly they could barely walk.  Everyone had it except for me.  But no one took any notice to it, they all denied that anything was wrong with them.

Then they started changing into zombies and my dream became a mix between a 1980’s spoof comedy horror flick and an old Nintendo game called Street Fighter.  Two brothers untouched by the plague, team up with me to defeat them.

A guy just came in my office to say Hi.

Guy – “Hey you know all of us mortgage guys go out to Blackbird around 4 every Thursday and Friday if you want to stop down.”

Me – “Okay, yeah I totally will if I don’t have any clients.”

Surprisingly I actually have a crush on one of the mortgage guys.  He has the sweetest face ever – not handsome, but adorable.  And I was thinking earlier today if there was a way to get to know him better.  Weird how shit like that happens to me.  I swear to God that things, EVERYTHING, works out for me.  Always.  Like going hiking tomorrow, I was planning to hike the Appalachian trail and camp before the end of summer and here I am doing it without sincerely planning to.

Not that I’ll actually date the mortgage guy.  I’m too wrapped up in my own little world of massage and mayhem to get involved with anyone.

My last client will be here any minute.  She’s here.  I can hear her in the elevator.  And great…

I just got my period.


Filed under journal, Massage therapy