I did not plan this, at least not consciously. Weird, right?
But this serendipity will all seem normal to you soon. This is how my life works. The ebbs and the flows, while often jarring, start to make sense once my head is above water again and I can see how everything is connected. Someone up in the sky is very clever, showing off with synchronicities and serendipities, sneaking signs into my life that leave me shaking my head and smiling.
I was all set to fly stand-by to Europe (with an unknown arrival, how stressful/adventurous), making my way to Italy to see my friend John from Peru (who might be in love with me, but that's another story), and hang out on farms.
And then . . . I discovered I couldn't stay with John. There went my landing pad. Now I know the only constant in life is change, and I didn't sign up for this adventure in Europe to have a strict itinerary and have "everything figured out"-but come on, I needed something to arrive to, a soft place to land. And I'm not exactly picky. I was happy to land with John, a guy I met at a street fair (the same one who invited me to the chicken fight), a guy I have spent a total of about 15 hours with, a guy who might be in love with me. Does this seem stable or secure? Maybe not, but I'm not picky, and it would have been enough. When he told me I couldn't stay with him (but he was looking for a place for the two of us to rent. Again, another story), I was floored. Or at least tripped up.
There went my small piece of stability, the cord that tied my dreams and visions to a tangible reality.
I freaked out and ate lots of ice cream while watching the Food Network . When Giada De Laurentiss came on Food Network, I had to change the channel. When she made "bru-skett-a" it killed me. I couldn't watch her scooping ricotta and stirring the penne. I couldn't listen to how one bite of this dish would take me back to the rolling hills of Tuscany. So I watched Chopped re-runs, and I ate more ice cream, and the depression [in the couch] grew deeper.
I tried to think of the bigger picture. I tried not to lose hope. Eventually, I put the spoon down and turned the TV off and slowly shuffled over to the butter-yellow piece of posterboard pinned to my wall. I had pinned it there a week or so ago, and it just sat there in all its infantile possibility. Eyes glazed over and ass numb, I began a vision board, gluing photos of sunflowers in Tuscany, writing intentions, and delving deep into the dreamy wildness of my desires for this adventure.
I also e-mailed an Osho meditation farm in Italy. I said, can I come? They said, Yes!
Ok, I was set again. I was back to listening to Italian during my commute to work and watching Giada whip up Italian culinary wonders in minutes. The farm was a go. Processing olive oil and processing? I was in. Trance dance, open communication, and working in the garden sounded a dream. Hey, it was my dream. I've got a vision board to prove it. But then again, nowhere on my vision board was Hungary.
Oh Hungary. You sneak-attacked me.
In the pits of my despair I had an intuition that said "Hey, go look at the job listings on Dave's ESL Cafe." I found a teaching position in Hungary. I e-mailed. The American director lives in Portland, and in my e-mail I mentioned Yachats, asking if she had heard of it. She had, she loved Yachats, it is her favorite place on the coast, and the Hungarian director visited and loved Yachats, too!
Did I want to come teach in Hungary?
Why yes I did.
So the ball got rolling, but it picked up speed faster than I imagined, faster than my brain could keep up with. Oh my tired brain, which has been knotted up in intricate prioritized to-do lists and the frenzy of pre-departure missives and missions. Can I just take a minute to say, Thank you Brain! Also an honorable mention to my guts.
Anyway. I wanted to come. I just didn't want to come so soon. Mary Rose e-mailed and said a position had just opened in Szeged in a university town, I could share an apartment with another teacher, did I want to start right away? It was tempting; a roommate, a beautiful city, teaching positions in the city and in outlying villages . . . But I was going to this Osho farm! Wasn't I? Wasn't I?
Oh, Universe. You clever fox, you. You knew what was happening all along. You lured me with the safety (and let's face it, potential torrid affair) of staying with John, and then when you got worried I was eating so much ice cream I would develop diabetes, you teased me with an Osho farm. You know me too well, don't you? You had me at "trance dance." But it was all a lie! A grand deception! A facade that hid the truth until I was good and ready.
Because guess what?
I said yes. Yes to Hungary.
And then guess what?
I got an e-mail from the Osho farm, who, even though they said Yes before, said No.
Ok, Universe. You win. I'm going to Hungary.
Thanks for everything, I will send you a postcard.
And in conclusion: Holy crap, guys! I am going to Hungary!