February 1st – February 15th, 2017
On a call with my mastermind buddy, and he’s telling me how he’s been off caffeine for a month and feels great. Hmm. Worth a try methinks. I tell him I’ll go without for the rest of February, no coffee, tea or anything else containing caffeine until then. If I crack, it’s a $1k penalty. Which essentially guarantees I won’t crack.
When I was home in Ireland for Christmas my teenage cousin asked me what it is I actually do for a living. Well, today I spent 90 minutes writing an email about olives to promote a guide about finding cheap flights online. And I used the word “sensical” in that email. Which isn’t actually a word. So yeah. I do that kind of thing for a living.
Finally a solid night’s sleep. The two previous were awful. And I know why. I’d been checking my phone too much, effectively training my brain to seek distraction and never stop spinning. Then, when I lay in bed at night, I couldn’t switch off. Yesterday I didn’t check it so much, and my key habit for today is to not check Facebook at all. Taking back control.
Ten years ago I had a crush on a girl in my hometown. And I learned she kinda liked me too. Nothing much ever happened between us. Looking back, that short space of time when we were a possibility, when my head was full of daydreams of me and her and the fun we might have together… that was the best of it, those moments we shared in my mind, memories of what could have been.
– Oh my god, and who were these fucking friends of yours, they let you get away with that?
– Oh they had to.
– What do you mean they had to? What did you say to them?
– I just slid my ticket across the table and I said sorry guys, I gotta go see about a girl.
Alright, flights booked. On Thursday I’ll fly two thousand miles to meet a girl I’ve never met before, a girl I never knew existed two weeks ago. I’ve done some crazy things in the past, but this might take the cake. Yet somehow it doesn’t feel crazy at all. Let’s just hope she doesn’t turn out to be some 50-year-old Russian dude with a big beard and a split personality. That would be unfortunate.
No tocar con las manos mojadas. I see this on the box of laundry detergent and get the meaning without having to translate in my head. I guess that’s progress. As is telling my teacher a story, all in Spanish, about a friend who once paid to watch two ladyboys have sex, then went and threw up in the bathroom. (And somehow, twenty minutes later, that same teacher was telling me his favorite story from the Bible.)
It’s 5am. Couldn’t sleep, so I’m taking a walk. Through quiet streets. Four taxis waiting at the rank, first driver asleep. A little cafe on the corner, half-shuttered, starting to stir. Along by the beach, past palm trees and playgrounds, sands like the cosmos. I hear Satchmo thinking to himself and feel tears in my eyes. Dark sacred night, bright blessed day.
Prague. I know nothing about this city. Usually I’d read up on a place before arriving, learn something of its significance in history, names of immortal men who called it home, at least the general lay of the land. But no, not this time. I’m not here for the city. I’m here for her. She’s all I want to know.
It’s different with this girl. Everything feels easy. Even the difficult conversations… they aren’t that difficult. Like last night, after dinner, together on the couch, and I asked if she had any concerns, about this, about us. She shared hers, I shared mine. There will be challenges for us, sure, but they seem insignificant. The scariest thing about being with her is that it doesn’t feel scary at all.
If you ever catch me bitching or complaining, or otherwise behaving like I’m not the luckiest guy in the world, please, slap me. Seriously, I’m living a charmed life. Pretty much every dream I’ve had has come true. I’m in good health. I’m my own boss. I haven’t lost a loved one for two decades. I live wherever I please. I earn more money and experience more luxury than 90% of the planet. And I can travel across a continent whenever a romantic whim takes hold.
She never felt she could express herself freely. Not completely. Worried she’d be considered too silly, too crazy. I’ve experienced the same, that reluctance to let go. But today we stomped the wrong way down an escalator, laughed our way around a museum mimicking the poses of a dozen statues, and danced ridiculous in front of a big old church and whomever happened by. Maybe when you find the right person, you’re more free together than alone.
Heading back to Las Palmas, had to connect via Stockholm. She’s on a flight to Paris. Not sure when we’ll see each other again, but I’m not sad. This is only the beginning, not adiós but hasta luego, the start of something special. Row to myself and I’m looking out the window with sleepy eyes. Floating into a sunset at twenty thousand feet, above a thousand frozen lakes.
Back to the grind after five days of almost no work at all. Lots to catch up on. I’m actually procrastinating by writing this. Got some things organized and checked off earlier today but still at the office, gonna stay til seven. Sometimes productivity is laying siege to yourself, waiting for your lazy side to crack and say, “Okay, fine. Since we’re here we might as well get some shit done.”
Memento mori. I just used an online calculator thingy to figure out that I have 49.1 years left to live, meaning forty percent of my life has already passed me by. I have approximately 17,907 days remaining. Tick-tock, tick-tock. What about you? How many days do you have left? More importantly, will you spend them doing things that matter?
In the comments below, let me know which of the above Momentos is your favorite. Which can you relate to?