Breathe In, Breathe Out

Buenos Dias mi amigos. I know I’ve been missing in action for the last few weeks. I left Barcelona for Brooklyn at the end of May. As much as it has been great reconnecting with family and friends I am floundering under the weight of sadness at having to leave a place that enveloped me and seemed so much like the city of my heart. I remind myself daily that the decision to leave wasn’t an easy one and it was part of my life’s journey. I lived in Europe for 9 months, a dream I have had for nearly 20 years. Many people do not get the opportunity to realize and live dreams held close to their heart and I did. I often do not realize how big of an accomplishment that is. To leave not only a city but a country, to cross an ocean to a new place is a huge deal. Part of it is that I left my little village, my country, my continent and crossed a sea into a whole new world at the age of 11 so doing it at 34 was not a big deal to me. Especially after living in 6 different cities, 4 states and 2 countries in the last 10 years. Change of location is just par for the course for me. The biggest challenge about moving to Barcelona was moving without a support system (say what you will about the US Military it has one of the best support systems for it workers/members).

With so much change and moving in the last decade, including packing up my car and traversing the continental US twice in 4 years, flying to Barcelona, while not without hiccups was just a natural progression in my peregrinations. Packing to return to US was not as joyous as event and 3 weeks back I am still mourning. In addition I’ve taken on the task of job hunting, preparing to return to school at the end of August as well as to take the Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT) in October so I really need to find a way to breathe through all of this as my mind is awhirl with too many decisions to make. As I’ve written before decision-making at turns paralyzes and petrifies me as a choice made FOR one thing is AGAINST another so that starts up the “what ifs?”

What if I change my mind? I’ve done it before (with culinary school).

What if I make a decision and later it turns out not to be the right path for me (military).

W+hat if I make a choice and it’s the wrong one?

So many what ifs … how do you know which way to go?

You don’t. You just make the best choice at the time and when your direction changes evaluate where you are, what you have learned and what the next challenge will be to undertake.

Culinary school wasn’t a complete bust, I honed my cooking skills and learned to take chances in my cooking but also sometimes that the thing you love so much isn’t meant to be a profession.

The Marines honed my bossiness into leadership and showed me I can do the scary things (rappel tower, jumping into deep water) and still survive and I am stronger that I look physically or mentally.

My time in Barcelona taught me about myself. About how comfortable I am being alone and how much I am uncomfortable putting myself out there (aka making new friends and asking for help) but it is necessary and I’ve to do it more.

Going back to school is scary but it shouldn’t be. I have been in and out of some type of schooling since I joined the Marines. Leadership training for Non Commissioned officers, job related trainings, classes on
mentorship, finance, recognizing and responding to suicide ideations, all types of safety briefs, classes before any military specific exercise, culinary school for a year as well as some online and distance courses. Learning has been occurring so I should not let the return to a formal education setting intimidate me. I’ve the tools at my disposal to prepare for the FSOT so I should not let stories of how challenging it is dissuade or scare me. As for the job hunt as one of my dear friends said “just apply!” and while I am doing that I will continue to listen to the still small voice in my gut that is continually telling me which way to go and advising me what decisions are the best for me at this time and place in Littlefoot’s Journey.

The W Hotel at Playa de Barcelonetta, Barcelona

The W Hotel at Playa de Barcelonetta, Barcelona

The title of this post was inspired by a song. Bush’s “Machinehead.” It’s one of my favorite songs. The lyrics don’t all make sense to me all the time but the song starts with an awesome guitar riff which I will learn one day and the words “Breath In, Breath Out” which the song starts with is great for centering when running or to calm a frantic and frenzied mind. When I am stressed and paralysed by the need to make a decision I just breath in and breath out and keep doing that until my gut is settled and I am calm. As I’ve been writing this post the song has been on repeat it’s a great running song and yet soothing to my spirit.


breathe in breathe out
tied to a wheel fingers got to feel,
bleeding through a tar-decay smile
I spin on a whim I slide to the right
I felt you like electric light
for our love
for our fear
for our rise against the years and years

got a machinehead better than the rest
green to red machinehead
and I walk from my machine
I walk from my machine

deaf dumb and thirty
starting to deserve this
leaning on my conscience wall
blood is like wine
unconscious all the time
if I had it all again
I’d change it all

What’s keeping you from blogging/journaling or otherwise writing? How do you get your writing mojo back? Exercise? Music? Incense? Tea? Sharing is caring let us know in the comments (not email you lurkers) so we all can benefit.

Lady Littlefoot

5 thoughts on “Breathe In, Breathe Out

  1. Hey Mickla,

    I hear you when you say you are mourning (although this post is now four weeks old, it’s probably still feeling fresh). I am very much in the same boat having left Barcelona just a few weeks before you. I have been doing the same things: job hunting, trying to get acclimated, controlling the bouts of random tears, etc. and I know it’s not easy. What I tell myself daily is that while Barcelona was sooooo amazing, it was like paradise and not sustainable. It would be so hard for me to live the kind of life that I truly wanted there – it was possible, but really hard. Just remember, there was some kind of pull calling you home and you followed it – and that’s good. If you are meant to return and it is part of your path, you will…but there’s a reason you’re not there right now (and same with me). I love Barcelona and it will always have a place in my heart. I adore that city and hopefully, I’ll get the chance to go back there one day. A day doesn’t pass where the city and its people are not in my thoughts. Hang in there, hun and don’t be afraid to reach out to others who may be experiencing the same thing :) miss you!

  2. Lady Littlefoot,

    How funny you should write this – I’m working on a post about rites of passage! Life is so funny with its twists and turns; phases and stages. I have to say my dissertation always has the potential to keep me back from some things because it consumes so much of my life and my time. One of the things I do to keep moving is challenge myself by setting goals and pushing myself to do more. I have my times of rest and reflection; I take a deep breath and then I’m up and at it again.

    Your time in Barcelona represented a wonderful time of growth and exploration in your life and for you as an individual, it’s no wonder you miss it and feel a sense of mourning. I concur with Eugenia; there are some things in life that we don’t “get over;” rather, we “get through” them as we move forward with our lives.

    Kudos to you for such a stellar accomplishment in realizing one of your dreams! What you have done will give you an added boost of confidence as you enter school, face new challenges and set other goals. Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us! It does my heart good to see BW succeeding and living life the way it is meant to be lived. Woot Woot!

    PS – I enjoy your blog even though I don’t always get to comment at the time you post them. Please know that I’m reading and reflecting on what you write – and then praying for you and cheering you on!
    ASwirlGirl recently posted..What To Do When You Run Out Of Steam. . . .My Profile

    • Hi ASwirlGirl,

      Welcome and thanks for your words of encouragement. I have to remind myself that it is a goal accomplished and now that that leg of my journey is over I need to approach the next one with the same excitement and motivation.

      I am glad that even though you don’t comment you are given food for thought. I too sometimes sit and ruminate on others postings before I reply so i definitely understand.


  3. Just mourn and enjoy all the journey. Life is full of pain, but suffering is optional. Feeling and acknowledging the pain and loss you feel at the leaving of Barcelona is healthy. Although, I know the world is telling you it’s not and just get over it. Get over it when you’re ready and then you’ll move on to the joy of life, new opportunities and your time in Barcelona and the thought that you’ll return one day. Blessings to you.
    Eugenia recently posted..The Introverted DaterMy Profile

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