Spending time back in ‘reality’, albeit it being somewhere completely foreign, allowed for me to reacquaint myself with normal life, and ‘normal’ Ben.
When I say normal, I mean somewhere where I was not spending a month surrounded by crystals, meditations, and spirituality. A chapter where I was now based in an exclusive condo, surrounded by designer outlets, luxury apartments, and no longer staying with just myself, but a family that I would now think to call my own.
I was staying with Kerry and her children Leah (15) and Leo (4…going on 40).
For three weeks I stayed within their beautiful home; sharing dinners, outings, movies on the sofa, and spa trips with Kerry. I was introduced to new friends, new bars, new lifestyles, and new cultures.
It allowed for me to see whether I did in fact adopt these qualities which I lived by in Bali within my ‘normal’ surroundings, or whether it was just Bali-bound. I realised that it was a bit of both.
Whilst Bali allowed for me to feel a certain way about my life, it was apparent that I still needed to train my thinking; I needed to weave this well-being into my every day ‘being’, and it was, at times, testing.
Kuala lumpur is a city which thrives off businesses, workers, and entrepreneurs. Once again, I arrived only to be told that I looked out of place; this time from others. That I looked like a ‘tourist’.
This time round, I bounced out of the car with my high-lighted locks and unbuttoned shirt; channelling my inner ‘Saved By The Bell’ TV debut, only to witness the complete opposite…again! I was in the wrong TV show. I was in ‘Gossip Girl’ (never seen it); Chanel, Cosmos, Condos, Cars, and curated Culture.
With my stay being somewhat secluded to the big bright buildings and city life of Kuala Lumpur, I was somewhat pardoned to spend time on my CV, job hunting, and travelling research. I needed this as much as a sunset on a sandy beach.
I had never heard of Jaipur prior to seeing this specific job vacancy advertised online. A school were looking for a Musical Director to create and compose a performance for their end of year show.
For the last year, since giving up alcohol, I took on a second job as an entertainer on the weekends. I had my own show which I would travel with nationally. It was a homage to The Greatest Showman.
Most weekends, I would perform The Greatest Showman at children’s parties and events; running choreographed performances and sing-a-longs.
When I gave up alcohol, I knew I needed something to distract my anxiety, and entertain my passions. I was not ready to spend time on my own with my new, sober self, after being used to Saturdays and Sundays spent in bed hungover.
This was the perfect job to support my sobriety, and whilst doing so, earn some disposable income to pamper and prep for my adventure that I was yet to realise.
Fast forward to now, and in July, for one month, I will be the new Musical Director in Jaipur for a ‘The Greatest Showman’ extravaganza. I believe things happen for a reason. This is one of those ‘things’.
Whilst the children enriched themselves with skills, and Kerry continued being the bread winner, I found myself sitting indoors, with my thoughts; my biggest enemy.
As much as I need time to unwind, I struggle to disassociate sofa days with hungover days. The only time I would spend indoors ‘resting’, was when I wasnt able to get out of bed and walk in a straight line.
As soon as I was sober, I expected a sense of invincibility; endless energy and positivity. I never thought that people would sit indoors to relax unless they were in hiding from their antics the night before. Snoozing was linked to boozing.
We need sleep just as much as socialising. We need to cry as much as we need to laugh. It needs to rain in order for the clouds to part. I can’t just have a life of ‘Yang’. In order to experience ‘Yang’ in it’s full force, I must accept the ‘Yin’ that comes with it, and understand that it is not a negative.
Until then, I found myself panicking. I could hear a ticking clock in the forefront of my mind; counting down to the expiration of this experience I’m on. Money is running out. Time is running out. People preach that money doesn’t make the world go around, and that is somewhat true, but money allows for me to make my way around the world; something I’m not finished with. Why? Is it because I am awaiting to find my eureka moment amongst the shells whilst walking along a shore? Is it because now that I’m so used to walking in sandals, I’m petrified to lace up my shoes and rejoin the road that we are ‘supposed’ to travel? Or is it because, deep down, I know that something is headed my way, and I worry that time may run out prior to me bumping into fate? Fate answers to no one. If it is meant to be, it is meant to be.
Remember Ben, just ‘be’.
I spent the next two days where I took on this role of ‘tourist’ and set out for the sights of KL.
I slowly started to accept the Yin; the pause as well as the play. I paused. I rebuffed. I’ve recharged. After two weeks of ‘Yin’, I am ready to press play again. ‘Yang’ time.
Prior to Jaipur, I have planned a ten day trip visiting islands in Malaysia and Thailand. Penang to Langkawi, followed by Koh Lipe and Bangkok. Then onto Krabi and Ko Phi Phi, before finishing off in Phuket. The Islands.
First stop, Penang.