Travel Plans

The sun is barreling forward in its attempts to climb higher in the sky and I feel pretty good about things. There’s a bit of resignation, to be fair, but what if instead of fighting to be the person I want to be, as Clara suggested, I fought to accept the person I am? Would that work? It certainly seems easier. It’s not like I won’t still be trying to improve myself, because that’s somewhat natural (at least in American culture) and there’s certainly a time and place for that, but when I try to improve myself or make drastic changes at the wrong time it usually seems to backfire.

These things in mind, I feel pretty good about my trip to Mexico tomorrow. I’m flying to Puerto Vallarta nonstop on Alaska Airlines, staying a night at the Comfort Inn near the airport, and then flying to Guadalajara the next day on Aeromar, everyone’s sixth favorite Mexican national airline. Then, I’ll meet up with my friend Darren, we’ll chill in GDL a few days, and then we’ll begin our inexorable march towards Mexico City via Morelia, the capital of Michoacan, and some other small towns on the way. And then five days in Mexico City. Or so. And from there, who knows? Maybe Belize. Maybe El Salvador. Maybe Bogota. Maybe Chile. Maybe all of those places or maybe some place different entirely like French Guyana or Suriname.

My succulents are stoked right now cuz they’re getting direct sun. I’m a bit anxious right now because I haven’t done much work today and also because of my trip tomorrow. Luckily, I don’t have to do much. I have to pack (easy). I have to maybe clean up the boat a little bit (fairly easy). And I have to not drink too much caffeine (potentially hard). It’s also OK if I don’t do much work today, since I can definitely get some done at the airport tomorrow, and tomorrow night at the Comfort Inn in Puerto Vallarta, everyone’s fourth favorite airport hotel, I have nothing to do and so could potentially work. Also, my work with Booking.com hasn’t fully picked up again since dropping off right before the holidays. I have about a day and a half of work this week, which is better than zero, but still not enough to be super stressful (or pay the bills). Basically what I’m trying to say is that my anxieties are somewhat unfounded, as they usually are. Everything will be fine, as it usually is, and if for some reason it’s not fine I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. I enjoy crossing bridges. I don’t enjoy looking down when I cross bridges, however, because I feel a strange impulse to jump.

ANYWAY.

Not sure what else to talk about. It’s March 1st. There’s a kingfisher on the boathouse across from me and a massive flock of crows just alighted on the tree on shore and are having a loud conversation. I climbed yesterday at SBP Fremont, and it was fairly great. Flashed some oranges. Didn’t send any blacks or blues but didn’t try a bunch either. I won’t climb for a month now, and I’m ready to let my body heal. That’s part of the reason for this trip — to take a break from climbing. I love climbing, but there’s nothing like a break to make you love it more. Last year when I couldn’t climb for two months because of my LCL I came back more motivated than ever and in many ways climbing better than ever. When you take a long break sometimes you unlearn bad habits, and if you watch videos of the pros, you learn new ones that you can implement when you start climbing again. And if anything hopefully my back is just happy.

Is it time to go to Whole Foods?

No, I’m going to keep writing until I get to 1000 words.

Is anyone still there?

What am I going to do in Guadalajara, you might be wondering? What do I do when I travel? Well, I don’t do a ton. I mostly go to cafes and walk around. Which is more or less exactly what I do in Seattle, though when you’re doing it in a place you don’t really know speaking a language that’s not your native language it feels a little more special. Also, I lived in Guadalajara five years ago, teaching English at a place called Vancouver Language Centre and Spanish at the American consulate. I’ve only kept in touch with one person from my time there, so I hope to see her. But mostly I just hope to walk around and visit some of my old haunts and enjoy the ridiculously sunny, warm, temperatures, and enjoy our ridiculously chic AirBnb, and hang out with Darren. I don’t know how much drinking will be involved. I hope not too much. I was talking with my therapist today about how not all epiphanies are created equal, and how the epiphanies from drinking don’t measure up to those of a three or even one day fast. And I believe this wholeheartedly. When you fast your hierarchy of needs gets completely revamped, and so things that might’ve competed for attention in consciousness when you had nothing else to worry about just sort of fade away, and some other things that are actually quite important drift to the forefront. Last time I fasted moving to Leavenworth came up again, for example. And how it’s a good idea. How basically not living in Seattle is a good idea.

OK, that’s about it for now. I think it’s time to go to Whole Foods. I think I want some more caffeine and I would maim for an Urban Remedy matcha bar right now. Urban Remedy, will you sponsor me? Or employ me? Probably not.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful week. I look forward to blogging from Puerto Vallarta tomorrow, aka the Comfort Inn, everyone’s sixteenth favorite airport hotel.

– Wetz

10 Minutes

I just had some matcha sludge and I’m sitting on the boat with the heater on thinking about what I’m going to do today. I’m going to go to Poplar at some point and possibly bring my laptop so I can work on the novel or possibly a blog post or possibly apply for jobs. And possibly climb of course, possibly with Matt. We’ll see. The only thing I know for sure is I just meditated for 14 minutes, aka sat there, and I also did a decent amount of stretching. I’ve been starting out the mornings with cat cow, child’s pose, baby cobra, and the one where you’re on your knees with your elbows on the ground way out in front of you and your hands in a fin above your head. That one’s good for the tris and the shoulders. And probably the low back. It’s imperative I fix my low back. I mean, it’s not terrible right now, but I couldn’t run or jump right now. That would be suicide. So the fact that I couldn’t run a mile right now without probably screwing my low back? Not good.

I can hear the sound of the lock doors opening. Not sure whether it’s the large or the small locks. Do they make the same noise? The sunset is about at 5:10pm now. Getting later everyday. It’s February 2nd, 2022, aka 2/2/22. I’m sure people are talking about this. I’m sure I’m underemployed right now. I’m sure I’m still obsessed with bouldering and I want to climb V6 and V7 as soon as possible and I’m going to climb The Engineer this summer. I know that’s a bold claim. But I’m going to do it. That problem does not require an insane amount of strength. It requires balance and technique and a head for heights. I have all three of those things in various measures. I used to have an amazing head for heights before I hurt my back.

I’m going to heal my back.

The mergansers are in full force near the boat.

So. Here’s the plan.

I’m going to tell you the plan.

Just give me a second.

The last week in July, or the first week in August, my friend Dan and I are going to sail my boat south to either San Diego or Ensenada, Mexico. And then we’ll either continue on together or I’ll continue on by myself, with the next goal being Scorpion Bay, Baja California Sur, and then probably San Jose del Cabo, and then the Sea of Cortez, and then either keep/sell the boat in La Paz or maybe even continue further south, to Puerto Vallarta and points beyond. That is the plan. If Dan can’t do it or otherwise backs out, I’m going to do it myself. The prospect terrifies me a bit, and excites me even more. I think the thing I find most daunting is the polyphasic sleep system.

HOWEVER.

However.

That is still a few moons off.

Until then what am I going to do?

That’s a great question.

Get in shape.

Boulder.

Eat well.

At some point I’d like to do a 72 hour fast.

I’d like to go down to Bend, to Bishop, to Tahoe, to Red Rocks — maybe even to Joshua Tree.

But more than anything I’d just like to focus on making my life in Seattle the best it can be. Because when you have your head in the clouds all day, when you’re CONSTANTLY dreaming of being somewhere else, when you’re constantly thinking your life would be BETTER somewhere else, it makes you neglect the here and now. And the here and now is all we have, and is all we’ll ever have.

Anyway.

Time to get dressed and go to Poplar? Shall I lift weights today? Do a bit of a core/chest workout? Hopefully not hurt my left shoulder.

We’ll see. Either way, spring is around the corner, and I’m excited, and I hope you’re excited too, because good things are coming, great things are coming.

I don’t see how it could be any other way. And I have excellent eyesight.

— Wetzler

P.S. This was just me writing for 10 minutes straight. That’s why it maybe sounds a bit rushed/not cohesive. But I think it’s also a good exercise and I might continue to do it. Just FYI.

 

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Today I’m writing at the dreaded 3pm time. Usually no good comes of this. Writing blog posts at 3pm is not a good idea. Which is why I’m implementing two things to make it go better: 1) I won’t post this until after proofreading it tomorrow, and 2) I’m just going to do a little stream of consciousness. No editing. No going back and reading what I’ve already written.

I’m on the boat, as you might’ve guessed, since usually when I’m writing I’m on the boat. I don’t usually write in cafes, because if I’m in a cafe with my computer it means I’m working. And lately there hasn’t been any work. So I haven’t been going to cafes. One of my supervisors said work was supposed to be picking up soon but then it just….doesn’t. I don’t know when “soon” is. Maybe “soon” for her is 2024. Today I accepted one task, for a tour somewhere in India. Tomorrow I’ll complete the task, and then Wednesday I’ll submit it. Good start to the work week.

Slash.

I’m not doing keto today. I did keto for about a week, and I felt great albeit hungry af, but today I’m not doing keto, partly because I wanted to be able to get a more fun cafe beverage with the person I just met up with, and partly because when you do keto you just slowly starve, and partly because I have some tortilla chips on the boat I need to eat. I mean, today won’t be a CRAZY carb day. I’m going to try to have my “crazy” carb  days still be quite healthy. But eat two servings of chips and you’re at like 70g of carbs, so, like, you’re not doing keto.

I did just have some MCT oil. Which will probably rip a hole in my stomach.

I don’t know what to do this evening. I could work on the novel or the novella. I worked on the novella a bit this morning. I CAN’T climb, absolutely can’t climb, cuz my elbow feels effed from going really hard a couple sessions last week. Tendonitis. So frustrating. Medial epycondilitis. Why doesn’t the spellcheck work on WordPress. Why do I have to pay $4.88 a month for wordpress. It’s so dumb. Stream of consciousness. Typing. Elbow. Coffee. Whole Foods. Tortilla chips. Kraken. Blackhawks. YouTube. Bouldering. Cell phone. Green sludge. Keto.

I should do a cold plunge, but there’s not way I’m doing a cold plunge.

It’s so silent at the boat right now. I can hear the ducks and the geese outside and that’s it. Can’t hear my neighbors. Don’t hear any boats going by. Don’t hear any planes. I hear a car in the distance, some kind of souped up Honda or something, probably crossing the ballard bridge. I hear a crow cawing. Again, a duck or a goose flapping its wings against the water. A crow cawing again. The sound of my fingers typing. The boat sways gently side to side. I could clean the boat, clean my car, maybe that’s what I’ll do. I need to drop off a bunch of books at the little lending libraries. I have too many books. And I’m not reading them, so they’re not getting used, just taking up space in a place where space is limited.

I could clean out the bilge compartment.

I could do yoga.

I could take a long walk.

I could take a nap.

 

Fight for Living (Loneliness #2, sort of)

My Chilean mentor/friend told me the other day she thinks I’m wasting my life. She also said if I continue wasting my life I’m going to hell, which is funny because I don’t think she believes in hell.

She then told me to write down the kind of person I want to be, and I tried to do it, but it was hard. I realized by the end writing I wasn’t sure if I was writing the kind of person I actually want to be or the kind of person I think she wants me to be. Basically when I imagine the kind of person I want to be Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations come to mind, but I don’t even really remember what he says in Meditations, other than things like, “Remember, always, that in 10 years time, or 50 years time, all of this will be smoke.” And things like, “You can’t demand of others what you don’t demand of yourself,” though it might’ve been my Peruvian teacher who told me that.

But the main thing I took from her latest letter in which she told me I was wasting my life was, A) it might be true, and B) I can fight to stop this from happening. For awhile now my philosophy has been, “Just let things flow, don’t try to force anything, whatever will be will be.” This stems from the belief that there are two camps when it comes to self-improvement. 1) You’re a piece of shit who needs improving, and 2) You’re fine just the way you are, and personal development is just a dumb American phenomenon that makes you feel like a piece of shit and prevents you from accepting yourself.

I’ve oscillated back and forth between the two camps, much like a messenger boy. Well, no, that’s not really true, because even when I’ve tried to be in the “just accept yourself” camp I’ve actually still been in the other camp, them make yourself better camp, but just loathing myself even more because I’m not ACTUALLY doing anything to make myself better. If you can truly accept yourself that’s great, but those of us who can seem to be few and far between.

The hardest thing for me to deal with has been an inexorable decline to where my life is today. The thing is, if something happens fast and it’s impactful then you notice it. But what if things detoriate, slowly, imperceptibly almost, over the course of 10 years? Then one day you wake up on a boat that smells like urine with no job, no girlfriend, and no plan. I’m not talking about no plan as to what you’re going to do with your life, but no plan for what you’re even going to do THAT DAY. Kind of like today. Though actually I do have a job. I just don’t have a girlfriend, or a plan. The point I’m trying to make is that when things get worse slowly it’s easy to not notice them, and sort of accept them, until five or ten years down the road you find yourself with a life you’re really not happy with. And people tell you from the outside your life looks great. You’re living the dream. But you’re not. And other people tell you that, too. Like your Chilean mentor who tells you you’re wasting your life.

Chilean mentor/friend.

So I’ve decided to fight. To fight for living. I’m not sure exactly what that entails yet. So far it’s entailed setting an alarm in the morning instead of just sleeping in till whenever. It’s also involved eating well over the past five days, though I made that decision before I decided to “fight.” Anyway, what I’m going to do now is get off my boat, walk into town, get tea or mate, and think about how I can fight today and over the next few days. And I’m also going to leave you with this video, because it’s sort of on topic, and definitely inspiring:

A Moment of Presence

I had a moment of presence this morning. Normally I wouldn’t comment on a single moment of presence, but this one was more significant because A) I haven’t had many moments of presence lately and b) it was easy to define what made the moment ‘presence.’

I’ll explain.

I was sitting on a bench by the ferry terminal on bainbridge island waiting to go to seattle. It was sunny. I wasn’t in a hurry and had time to kill because they’d just switched to a one boat schedule, meaning I had more than an hour to wait. I got a tea from Commuter comforts and then was just sitting on the bench, enjoying the sun, soaking it in since I hadn’t felt sun that intense since probably some time in october.
The moment of presence came when i was focusing on my breaths and then when I focused on the individual granules of the sidewalk in front of me, and also the tree in front of me (a maple), and also the blueness of the sky and how the air smelled. Suddenly i was jolted into the moment, all the qualities of the moment, and I noticed things like textures and smells. Most of all I knew I was present because I felt a certain joy at just being alive, and a connection to the presence of my youth. When I was young I was present almost all the time, so when I get that feeling again, which is rare, I know it’s presence.

I also realized some other ways to tell presence. For instance, I saw a car getting off the ferry, and I realized that when not in presence, the car is so much more than just a car.

Non-presence
– they’re unloading the ferry. How many cars are on it? How long will it take to unload? When will they make the announcement for foot passengers to load? How crowded will the line be to get on the boat? What will I do when I get to seattle? Will I take the bus to my car? Will I walk? Will I get food on the way?

Presence
– it’s just a car

In the latter, the car is just a car. In the former, it’s as if I almost don’t see the car. I only see what the car means, and I spend the next few minutes processing the barrage of thoughts that come with it.

In presence, you notice things like: What color is the car? What does the car sound like as it moves over the pavement? How big is it? Who’s in it? What does the air smell like right now? Can I smell the car? Can I feel the wind moving because of it?

This is why whenever you do meditation to connect with the presence or watch some eckhart tolle video they’re always telling you to notice the sounds around you, and how your body feels against the ground. And then they tell you to count your breaths, because any asshole can do that.

I’m not present anymore. Or at least not like I was sitting on that bench. It’s a bit harder to be present while writing. It’s also just not my default mode of experiencing the day. I go through most days in a haze of thoughts and anxiety. But this morning! A moment of presence! Triumph!