Same Same Everywhere
An astrologer told me recently that my story was never going to change.
She explained that there was no escaping my hamster wheel.
No running from the cycle I know so well.
No way out of
the next infatuation into
She kindly explained that like the stories told of all goddesses, my story is the myth that I live by. It’s the play I was born to enact. Which apparently means my story will keep going and going for as long as I live.
And so will yours.
So will all of ours.
Though, she actually saw this as a good thing. She explained, my story isn’t something to escape. My story is something to embrace. Because my story is the very thing that gives me my power.
Since my first crush in Kindergarten, my story has followed that of the Hindu Goddess Radha. In fact, several months ago I even wrote a post about it called “How to Love a Man Like He’s God.” After writing it, I discovered that in Vedic astrology, I literally am a Radha. My sign is called “Anuradha” which translates to, “another Radha” or “another devotee of God.”
Radha’s story is one of heartbreak, yearning, and ultimate devotion. It’s passionate and sexy, tumultuous and messy, and it shows how devotion can be channeled into anything. Sounds a lot like my life. Like Radha, my greatest transformation, inspiration, and creation has always come from the devastation following my romantic infatuation. I’ve used my heartbreak to travel, to become a writer, to inspire my women’s retreats, and to heal myself. Most powerfully of all, I’ve channeled my unmet passion into falling in love with life.
And according to this astrologer, I am bound to that story for life.
Her message rang loudly in my ears last week when I landed in Thailand. After leaving behind Costa Rica in an attempt to end my old story once and for all, I didn’t feel like I went anywhere. It was like I had blindfolded myself while the stage crew changed the set. Had I actually left Costa Rica? Or was it just painted differently? Was the airplane ride real? Or some strange charade?
One thing was for sure, the backdrop may have changed, but I was still the same character.
The first time I touched Thai soil was three years ago. Back then I was also trying to escape my story in Costa Rica. I was uncertain where I belonged and hoped to release the heartache I carried as a consequence of unrequited love. (I also really wanted to experience Southeast Asia. Because, well, Southeast Asia is amazing.)
Ironically, the same day I landed in Bangkok, I started another unrequited love story with a fellow traveler. He may have been a different man, but he played the same role. The plot thickened over the months that followed, I got more attached yet pretended to be detached, and suffered a lot over our exchange. But I also grew tremendously. He inspired me to feel again and I allowed the pain to crack me open and deepen my compassion.
Since then, despite traveling all over the world, abstaining from sex, studying yoga, Reiki, meditation, Osho therapy, tantra, breathwork, sacred femininity, learning to love myself, and doing everything possible to transform into a new woman, I’ve kept living this story. Again and again.
Much to my dismay, changing locations never made it stop. Changing myself never made it stop. Pretending to be bigger than the story never made it stop. Like this astrologer reminded me, the story does not seem to stop.
But… I feel different. Every moment. Every day.
Even though they’ve been short lived, my romances have gotten healthier. I see the warning signs earlier than later. I’m getting better at expressing my feelings, my needs, and my boundaries. I’m learning to take greater ownership of my role in every exchange. I’m learning to be compassionate. I’m learning to be empowered. I’m learning to be a woman in the story instead of a girl. All of which has blossomed out of the ongoing journey of knowing myself, that took off the moment I stepped on a plane.
Leaving Seattle for Costa Rica, leaving Costa Rica for Southeast Asia, going back to Costa Rica from Southeast Asia, leaving Costa Rica for Europe, leaving Europe for Costa Rica, and now leaving Costa Rica again for Southeast Asia, these transitions never really changed my story. But they did change my life.
Travel allowed me to question the way that I was acting in my life, my relationships, and in the world. Travel helped me expand by forcing me to be uncomfortable as often as possible. Travel taught me compassion through confusing the hell out of me, and realizing that the only thing that makes any sense is love. Travel changed my perspective by exposing me to difference, and sameness in difference. Travel gave me the space to see everything from a consciousness greater than I had previously known. Travel offered me a new lens for looking at life.
That’s what travel has always done for me. And that’s what travel is doing for me, right now. In Thailand. With a new lens, I am living another experience. I am looking at life from another perspective. Not away from my story, but within my story.
Yes, once again I came here to expand beyond who I settled into in Costa Rica. Yes, once again I came here because I needed to put an ocean between me and the man I love but can’t have. Yes, once again I moved my location to find what I thought I needed.
However this time, it feels easier. I’m secure in what I’m creating, how I’m growing, and that I’m supported through my work, instead of hustling to write freelance articles to get by. This time, I’m staying in an oceanview bungalow instead of a mattress on the floor with ten other backpackers. This time, instead of getting scammed every day, the locals help me every day. This time, instead of feeling disconnected by poverty, I feel intimacy from people sharing their prosperity. This time, instead of being constantly surrounded by travelers, I’m enjoying some of the most beautiful nature in the world, without another soul in sight. This time, I’m going to bed before ten instead of staying up all night. This time I’m celebrating the full moon not with buckets and day glow paint, but by singing medicine songs around a bonfire with new sisters just after sunset. This time, life feels peaceful instead of hectic. This time, there’s a lot more magic.
Partly because, I have changed. I know myself better. I know my needs better. And partly because this time I found the place I longed for in Southeast Asia last time.
I’m surrounded by the stunning lime karst mountains that sparked my Asia wanderlust years ago. I can discover deserted waterfalls and caves and islands and enormous trees whenever I’m up for an adventure. The locals are possibly the kindest, purest people I’ve met anywhere. Everyone acts like a family and helps one another. There’s a genuine, unpretentious yoga and healing community. The expats I meet are dedicated to supporting the locals through their businesses. Even the fanciest resort on the island is built out of all natural materials, has preserved a lot of the jungle on their land, and grows its own food. At times, this place feels too good to be true.
Yet… just like in my jungle love Puerto Viejo, change is coming here. Trees are going. A bigger dock is being built for bigger boats. Areas once deserted are now tourist day trip destinations. Rock climbing has basically been banned at the north end of the island to make way for resorts. Development is happening here. Which often means, magic is leaving.
As I’ve been heartbroken to discover in five years of travel, just like I can’t escape my own problems, I can’t escape the world’s problems when I run away. They will always come to greet me. The same way I can’t exit out of my story, I can’t exit out of the world’s story as it plays out in my reality.
No matter where I run, I still see paradise getting paved. No matter where I run, I still see culture being diluted. No matter where I run, I still see how I’m playing a part in it. No matter where I run, I still feel separate from nature. Same same everywhere. This story hurts me more than any unrequited lover ever has.
I know this story well. The collective human story, where we all play the destroyers of the Earth. I, like so many humans, feel guilt and shame over my role. And it seems that just like my Radha story will go on for as long as I live, this story will go on for as long as humans live.
But… what if.. entertain me for just a moment.. that wasn’t a bad thing?
Could it be that there’s no one to blame? Could it be part of our evolution? Could it be us living our story? Could it be divinely orchestrated? Could it be perfectly crafted? Could it be the very setup that we collectively need, to expand our consciousness enough to create the space for evolution?
Could it be, that the same way heartbreak has been the powerful force that shattered me open as a greater expression of love, our human shame, our belief in separateness, our violent outbreaks, and our constant destruction, is also becoming the powerful force that shatters us all open to a greater expression of love? Could it be that none of us are the victims or the villains in this story, but the angels?
I’m not suggesting we do nothing. I’m not suggesting that at all. But, I’m wondering if we might shift our perspective, so that we can use our stories to help us, instead of imprison us. I’m wondering if our stories can make us powerful, instead of powerless.
From my own personal experience, I know that kind of reframing begins with awareness and understanding. It begins with seeing yourself not as separate from your story, but as bigger than your story. It begins with expanding enough so that you give your character the space to evolve. Which for me, begins with travel.
As I watch my own evolution, from a heart broken Radha more and more into a heart open Camille, I hope for our collective evolution. I hope that we all gain the perspective to consciously act as the humans we came here to be. I hope that we all learn to love more deeply, one broken heart at a time. And I know that if I hope for it, I have to become it.
So as I live my same same story, I keep expanding my consciousness so that I can evolve into a very different woman.
As I live the same same story, in Costa Rica, Thailand, or anywhere else for that matter, I keep playing for a very different world.
Thank you Dr Katy Poole for the inspiration.