In order to survive this two year experience, I knew I'd have to become my own best friend, motivator, inspiration, nurturer, and support system 24/7. And I’d have to maintain some seriously grounding rituals; from filling my journal with words as they poured from my heart uncensored, to working out six days per week. I knew I'd have to stay rooted in my body and my emotions in order to maintain a positive mindset in this challenging new lifestyle.
While the idea of living in a big house with a group of thirteen strangers conjured up images The Real World, the reality was, no one ever stopped being polite. There were no episodes of binge drinking or drunken brawls, roommate roulette or random hook-ups, cat fights or salacious scandals. Well, at least not that I was aware of.
Okay, so I was lonely. I missed my city. I missed my tribe. I missed my creature comforts. But, hey, I'm adaptable. My new intention was to fall in love with my new life in this isolated paradise and embrace every ounce of this unique expat experience; including my new Spa career at five-star resort in the Caribbean.
Solitude feels like an uninvited guest. She's this big ol' annoying pest that's hard to shake as she stomps through my head with her loud-ass megaphone blasting my each and every thought with a deafening echo as a constant reminder of my mindset. "I'm bored". "I'm lonely". "I'd rather be in NYC".
This perfect paradise is now my home. Every day I try to let that soak in even though it seems to defy all sorts of logic. I'm a city girl, after all. A jaded New Yorker. Ok, I'm originally from a small college-town in Massachusetts but had an instant love affair with the Big Apple starting at age thirteen when I started spending summers training at the Dance Theater of Harlem and Alvin Ailey School of Dance.
My fresh blowout went wild with the wind as I gazed from behind my sunglasses at the technicolor turquoise water. I was mesmerized by the wake behind the boat which reminded me of elaborate Busby Berkeley choreography and the ever-changing kaleidoscope of memories that trailed behind me like bygone eras.
It felt like Mr. Weird Science was holding my hand every step of the way; right up until my one-way flight to Turks & Caicos where I'd become the Pilates/Fitness Instructor on a private resort island. For months, he patiently listened to all the stories I concocted about how moving to a remote Caribbean island with a population of three hundred would be an abysmal experience fraught with boredom and loneliness.
The ground was shifting beneath me again. I may be a "spiritual gangster" and shit, but my mind was still filled with uncertainty and my bones ached with the threat of loneliness which I knew would only intensify over the next two years while living on a private resort island in the Caribbean with a population of three hundred.
When I think about it, making the seemingly impulsive decision to drop everything, uproot my life, and start from scratch somewhere new is kinda my M.O. As much as I squawk about my need to feel grounded, moving to Turks & Caicos marks the third time in my adult life that I’ve done just that. So I had to ask myself “Am I just a spiritual wimp?”
I signed the dotted line and the next few months were a chaotic mess of fear, numbness and denial mixed with the excitement of possibility. The idea of uprooting my life in such a big way seemed like pure fiction. How could I possibly be the protagonist of such a crazy adventure where one rids themselves of all their worldly possessions, says goodbye to friends and family, their favorite creature comforts; and moves to a private island for the next two years of her life?