Yes, I realize how long it’s been. I’ve been lost in depression than found in falling in love.

Both of those things make a girl disappear, you know. Thankfully, my depression lifted by my rigorous attention to what I ate and daily yoga for a couple of weeks before I left the states. Leaving the states for a while also was an enormous contributor to my depression going bye bye.

And then, there’s the falling in love thing.

Before you get worried about what inappropriate partner I’ve now set my eyes on, know this: I’ve fallen in love twice. Once, with a place and secondly, with myself.

Please swallow that little bit of throw up in your mouth (or spit it out, whatever, I don’t know how you roll.) and give me a chance to explain.

I’ve been in Kenya for the past couple of months. I leave tomorrow night. Way to be an awesome blogger while the good stuff is happening, right? Forgive me, I’ve been doing something that I haven’t done in a long time. I’ve been living. Wide out with open pores and full lungs, arms flung. You can check out my list to see some of the highlights. I will be expounding on them one by one and slapping up a picture or five as soon as I have my computer again.

Let’s talk place first and then I’ll get to the awkward, hippy, new-age sounding stuff next.

From the first morning that I woke up with jet-lag caked eyes, this place has been weaving a very subtle spell on me. It’s not like Haiti which just assaults me with seduction, but of course, Kenya was colonized by the British and they aren’t really known for their seductive overtures.

It is now two months into the spell and I do not want to leave. I’m trying to figure out how to get back before I’ve even left. I have to wait for the boy to finish high school, I’ve decided. There are good pilot jobs here, though, so maybe he can just support me then. Turn about is fair play and all. The pennies will be pinches, the jobs will be searched, but I will find a way to live here one day.

As the days roll on, I’ll try to bring you one or two things on the list so that you can fall in love alongside me.

Now, the stuff that makes my sophisticated skin crawl: the other thing I fell in love with. Me. I know, like with a rubber spoon!

However, this thing called love that I’m experiencing is something so new to me. I’ve done the whole “love myself” thing where it’s a studied uphill battle and I’ve done the whole narcissistic navel-gazing thing that was more about self-obsession. But, here, something new grew when I wasn’t looking. I think that I will call it maturity. I appreciate myself. I know myself. I’ve looked at myself, scary bits and all, and have come away with this rare sensation that is so sure that is ceases to be sensation and just becomes fact: I’m really glad to be me. I enjoy that I’m the one that I am spending all my time with.

It’s becoming more and more difficult as I write to really express what I’m even talking about. My vocabulary is inadequate. I’ve read so many self-improvement books that I’ve barely escaped the brainwashing that comes along with that.

There are a couple things that I need to make clear. I peeled back all the layers this past year and came face to face with my core belief. I am unloveable. Just there, plain and scary, and so very tragic was what was reclining there. I dissected it intellectually and realized that that was complete and utter bullshit.

I also knew the reasons why I believed those things. I have had some harsh moments where it seemed that the whole world was telling me that.

Again, I looked at it for what it was and knew that it wasn’t the whole world (and so what if it was?) but some core people in my life who were so damaged they infected me with their own screwed up beliefs.

So, I let it go. I chose to believe something else. It was both that simple and also a rather complicated ordeal.

There were three key things that made this possible for me:

1. I left the United States for a while. Yep, really. It isn’t until I get out of there for a while to a place where the U.S. loses its grip that I can really see how destructive the pervasive culture is. It is a culture based on consumerism. In order to get people to buy things, they have to be brainwashed to believe that they are not enough. That I was not enough in every aspect of my life! The constant bombardment of advertisements, Keeping up with….whoever, and buy, buy, buy if you want to be considered a good person. I had forgotten how corrosive it is. When I’m there, I do my best to shut it out, but it is everywhere. It isn’t until I leave that I realize how constant is the noise and how destructive is the message. And, forget about the youth obsession! Wow, is it nice to be considered sexy with my grey hairs and curvy belly.

2. I spent time with people who have known me forever and others who just met me five minutes ago. The people that have known me forever have seen me change over the past (nearly twenty!) years but also known the me that will always be the same. And they love me. Like, really, love me. They want nothing from me. They just enjoy my presence. And then, the people that have just met me. They like me. I ususally meet people through mutual friends or family. It isn’t often that I meet people on my own merit. It has been so good for me. One of my problems was that there was an enormous gap between the way I saw myself and the way others did. It has been healing beyond belief to see myself through others’ eyes.

3. I worked really hard to get here. I have spent years (YEARS!) trying to figure it all out. I’ve looked at things in all sorts of therapy. It took forever, it seems, yet it also took just an instant.

I am scared, to be honest, to go back to the states. I feel a little fragile still. But, screw all that for now. Just keep reading and I’ll get you all caught up on my adventures!