Sunday, February 26, 2017


The Thailand entry stamp in my passport says February 25. The Thailand departure stamp in my passport says February 26. The 24 hours I’ve been in Thailand are about 22 too many.

February 25th:

4:00PM—Land Koh Samui Airport in southern Thailand
5:00PM—Check in Samahita Retreat for Yoga Medicine week-long spine training
6:00PM—Mandatory dinner. Meet other trainees. Silently begin to lose shit.
7:30PM—Training orientation. Shit-losing increases.
7:45PM—Admit defeat. Book it back to private room to frantically schedule flight to get the hell out of Thailand.

Koh Samui airport. About as much Thailand as I actually saw.
This trip was me being the brave widow. And it was a big fat fail. I’ve traveled a fair amount since Jim died. Disneyland, three or four trips to Utah, Los Angeles for a baby blessing, Denmark to spend Thanksgiving with the Johnsons. All the trips are sad because I’m without my love, but I’ve plodded along, going through the motions. Thailand was supposed to be part of that.

I erred. It didn’t occur to me that all the other post-Jim travel I’ve done was with or to visit friends and family. This wasn’t that. Instead it was Megan jetting to the other side of the planet entirely alone. Genius.

Yoga teaching certification-wise, I have my RYT-200. A next step is getting the 500. Maybe six months before that stupid plane crash I picked a school—Yoga Medicine—and kept an eye out for a training module that would work. Jim and I talked about going to the spine training in Thailand at the end of February. Maybe I could do that and he could come and we could explore after? Yes.

Then he died.

And I got extra stubborn. I’m going on the damn trip. I’m gonna do the damn training. Did I want to? Not even a little bit. But it’s the right thing—go learn, get better at teaching, do something. Be tough.

I’m not a quitter. I don’t fail. Except I just quit and failed.

I’m glad that I didn’t chicken out before I got here. If you heard from me that I was going to Thailand you were probably kinda confused; I seemed way bummed out. “But Thailand, Megan! It’s beautiful!” “Don’t care. Don’t want to go but have to do this.” Even though it’s lame that I traveled for 30 hours to get here just to turn around and travel 30 hours to get home, it’s better than not having tried at all. Which I myself don’t even understand. Why is good to try and fail? To learn your breaking point? I don’t know. I only know that I’m glad I didn’t back out in Reno.

Rather I got to travel really far to learn for certain that I’m newly emotionally ill-equipped for life outside my home bubble.

On my flights to Asia everyone was coupled. On the ride to the yoga center I was desperate to to hear what Jim would think about all the old power lines strung through the streets. At dinner other trainees did what people do—talked about their kids and their significant others and their teaching jobs and other trainings they’ve done. I sat quiet, attributing my reticence to fatigue when really I was just mired in spite, resenting anything that might smell of happiness. That's not like me. I overheard girls talking about how some Instagram yoga people get big followings they don’t merit, and I wanted to smack ‘em for their intense interest in the inconsequential. It. Doesn’t. Matter.

Whimpering stray dogs made me sadder than they should have. Strays are a problem in Thailand. Hotels ask guests not to feed or touch them. It was too much. At home I keep an extra leash in my car and will miss appointments and classes to catch a pet and help it home.

Even though admitting defeat isn’t my proudest moment, I’m supposed to be pleased that I had the self-awareness to concede that the little things were adding up to a too-big thing, and I couldn’t hack it. I’ve got limits; I misjudged them to start, but I am fixing it. I can’t be alone for hours and hours and see couples happily traveling together while I’m so close to Jim’s death. I can't pull off common social graces and to pretend Instagram is important or fein interest in strangers’ kids. I don’t have to cope with the sadness of walking past whimpering homeless puppies.

So I’m withdrawing back to Sparks where my mom is waiting to feed me healthy food and hover to wait for a bit more rebuild. In weaker moments ditching out on the training feels like regression. I’ve been holding it together like a champ for months by way of making the right choices. I cry when I need to. I push forward when I can stand it. I bail when things are too much and usually don’t beat myself up about it. In this case the size of the bail makes the success of yielding to my limits feel like a fail, though I suppose I know better. I need to be where I can stay held together—with people who know what I’m dealing with and dogs that have homes. While I don’t hesitate to acknowledge that I’m mending from being broken, I guess it took coming to Thailand to realize that I have to be more cautious when the glue’s not dry.

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