When God destroys your plans
If you are just now joining me, welcome!
In January 2019 I left California to live on Koh Phangan, a small island in Thailand. My plan was to stay there until August, return to the US, take care of a few things and then make my way back to Thailand where I would remain for the next several years. That was MY plan. But apparently the universe had something else in store for me… Below is my story…
My seven-month stint on a small tropical island passed by in a blink of an eye. I was not ready to leave the jungle and I had a nagging feeling that once I leave the island, getting back would not be so easy. To test fate, prevent the inevitable and otherwise prove to the universe that I and only I am in charge of my destiny and everything will be exactly as I want it to be, I left a trail of breadcrumbs to make sure that I indeed return to the island in the speediest manner possible.
I rented a bungalow, prepaying it for an entire month. The owner did not want to rent it out so far in advance; it took us several days of negotiating with him and finally he took my money. I left my favorite drum, my speaker and a bunch of crystals in the care of a trusted friend. I said goodbye to just a few friends because I was not leaving, I was just temporarily stepping away.
Once I got to the mainland at six in the morning I desperately wanted to turn around and return to the island. I was even willing to forgo Burning Man. The only reason I stayed the course was because I wanted to spend some time with my 91-year-old grandfather who lives in Boston.
As soon as I got to the US, I applied to replace my current passport full of visas and stamps with a new, extra thick one so that I would have lots of room for the big Thai visas.
Two and a half months tops, was how long I was planning to be away from my favorite island in the jungle. Two and a half mosquito free months. Two and a half months before I would finally not be cold.
Yes, I do live in California but the nights here are cold. And indoors, in stores and office buildings, they tend to turn the AC “up to eleven”. Every time I enter a building, I have to put on a coat here. It’s a waste of electricity in my view. When I run the world, any thermostat below 76 will have to be by special permit only.
Well, my plans to continue living in South East Asia started to unravel two days after my arrival. The jet lag did not even have time to unravel, yet those darn plans did…
Paramahansa Yogananada in his book Autobiography of Yogi once wrote something along the lines of him wanting to be a recluse, living high in the mountains and meditating all day. To this, his teacher replied that his purpose on earth is quite the opposite, it is to live among the people and be of service in the West. Eventually Yogananda left India and went to the US where he founded the Self Realization Fellowship.
In the more modern times, Woody Allen once said” “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”
Me? I just called God an idiot and told him/her/it/them that I am in charge.
In return, God – the Universe or who or whatever that thing is, stuck his/her/their tongue out and said: “I/we are going to make sure that you are happier staying in California than moving the Thailand. We will give you everything you want, need, hope and then we will see what you will do. There’s only one thing that will not change. The AC in those darn office buildings will remain at slightly above freezing. But do not be alarmed, we will make sure that get invited to teach yoga and meditation in such places.”
Yes, the universe clearly has a sense of humor.
So here I am, back in California. It’s like I never left and the whole island experience never happened. Technically I can return to Koh Phangan at any time. However, I feel that at this time, my presence is needed here, in California. There are a number of projects I am involved in and being stateside is definitely helpful. Hopefully I will return to Thailand within the next several years. For now, the next scheduled trip is to a jungle town in Peru. Apparently, the mosquitoes miss me.