Jackie's Adventures in Greece
jULY 15...and before that, too
The universe told me right off the bat to buckle up - because it may be a bumpy ride.
Most people are familiar with the concept of the "mati". The word means "eye" in Greek, but to say that one "has the mati" is a way of explaining bad luck. It always stems from someone wishing you harm - mostly due to jealousy. Funny enough, my tarot card reader at the beginning of 2021 warned me about jealousy this year.
This trip began with a lot of the mati.
I started out with an accident in my NYC apartment three days before I left for Greece - I was brewing tea (because you know, I'm a witch), and I put the hot water in the glass, and the bottom of the glass completely separated from the top. I heard a crackling so I ducked down to see what was going on - and right as I did that, the water completely projectile vomited all over my right leg. I didn't even register at first how painful it was, because I was more concerned that there was water all over the floor. Two minutes later, the pain started - and it was AWFUL. I didn't even take my pants off until then because I didn't really realize what was going on. My pants were literally sticking to my skin because it was so freaking hot. Then, it was a dramatic evening of me trying to cool my skin down, and then my body beginning to go into shock because of the heat difference - I literally couldn't stop shaking. Luckily, I had some amazing friends who passed the word along and found ways to help. I also had an amazing neighbor who came to my rescue, despite the fact that he had a friend over. I owe him big time.
Anyway, it was just a second degree burn, but because it takes up almost my entire thigh (the official diagnosis was 4-8% of my body), it's just been a challenge to deal with - more so when I was preparing to get to Greece, because right after the accident, I needed to prepare my apartment for my sexy submitter, move a bunch of stuff into a storage unit, get a few work shifts in, accomplish a massive to-do list of tasks, see an otolaryngologist, try not to lose my mind, and somewhere in there maybe get an hour of sleep in.
Oh - about the ENT. I have a slight concern on my right vocal cord. It looks like it's a cyst due to overuse - which wasn't totally surprising, given I had a really crazy June. My doctor (who is one of the best ENTs in the city) told me not to be too worried about it while I'm in Greece, just to be cautious when using my voice - but I'll be starting vocal therapy when I'm back just in case.
Breathe. Try not to freak out. Don't worry. He said don't worry. Breathe.
But it's my freaking voice. I knew that something was up the day in between the two shows of my cabaret - I remember going to a piano bar and singing (I hadn't had anything to drink all night), but for some reason I was totally in my head about my voice. Maybe it's because I had gotten the feedback many times that week that the vocals in my cabaret had never sounded better. Maybe it's because that night I was with a bunch of singers - and we were joking about warming up and making sure we're vocally perfect while most of them are drunk and singing show tunes karaoke (...have I mentioned that us musical theater people are the literal worst?) - but maybe that got me in my head and caused unnecessary vocal strain. Maybe it's because I've been reflecting a lot lately on how bad I am with using my voice to communicate exactly what I need to people - which is causing some gaps and tension in a lot of my relationships. Maybe it's because I tend to think SO hard about language - about really being impeccable to my word and making sure that every word is a word and means a word, unable to let go of the need to utter pure perfection whenever I speak, which is probably a big reason why my Greek continues to suffer.
Maybe - just maybe - I was BURNT. THE HELL. OUT.
It's a challenge to listen to your body when you have a lot of energy and when you want so many things and when you're really stubborn. My body is literally telling me to take it "siga-siga", and I haven't really been doing a great job at listening to it.
Okay wow. We haven't even gotten to the airport yet.
Long story short (too late), I checked off all the items on my to-do list (except getting a mani-pedi, which as of July 25th, I still have yet to do).
The morning of July 15th, with very little help from Manhattan Mini Storage, I single handedly moved everyhing into the storage unit, passed my keys along to my sexy submitter, and off I went to the airport, carrying a backpack, my overweight checked bag, and my carryon that I purchased only two weeks earlier.
I go to the airport, and getting past security was a total breeze. Way different from last summer, when they were searching every single bag. I went to the bar, because Delta won't let me into the lounge anymore (also, side note, dear Delta, all your recent card changes are total bullshit). Then I went in line to board the plane, and I had a million things in my hand, so I parked my carryon, turned to put the rest of the stuff in my other carryon.
Then I turned around, and my rolling carryon was totally gone.
I tried to ask everyone if anyone had seen anything - and they just looked at me with blank stares.
I retraced all of my steps and then finally said something to the flight attendants and people who worked for Delta. They couldn't have been more unhelpful - basically saying that I could fill out a form on the website (which basically told me to fuck off when I submitted a claim).
I needed to board the plane, otherwise I wouldn't be able to fly. And my checked bag was still on the plane, so there was little I could do.
All of my favorite dresses were in that carry-on. A tube of medication for my burn was in that carry-on. My jean jacket, all of my shoes, all of my belts, a lot of outfits that I LOVED and have a really hard time saying goodbye to.
But you know what? It could have been worse. At least it wasn't money. At least it wasn't my laptop.
I actually couldn't help but think that it's a little poetic that I lost my shoes.
Phase 1 of my Covid growth was all about learning how to be alone - to be completely happy with myself and understand that I am the only one I can count on if I need to get something done. But something that I've been searching for over the past year - I'll call it "Phase 2 of my Covid growth" - is to find support, because while I love being alone, there are a whole bunch of things that I can't really do by myself. And I think that's another big lesson I learned from doing "The Truth About Greece."
I've been on a recent journey to "find my tribe" - a number of people have actually recently pointed out to me that I really need to find better friends, because unfortunately a lot of the people who I call my best friends and care a lot about actually sort of suck. So, maybe the universe is telling me to say goodbye to the things I thought I loved, and the people who I thought supported me and open up my eyes to some new possibilities.
I digress again. We haven't even made it to Greece yet!
The plane landed in Athens, and as soon as it did, I started sobbing uncontrollably. I was so happy to be back. I was holding on to so much and my body was releasing some of it.
As we were getting off the plane, I overheard this guy a couple of seats near me (he was a Greek-American - and honestly I really hate Greek-Americans and the way that they talk about Greece and the way that they talk about everything, and I was very tired and cranky, so I was judging the hell out of him) - talking to a woman who was with her son, because it was their first time in Greece. One of the things he said was how healing Greece is. I'll never forget how he said "go into the sea, and you will be healed." The woman had a few plans, but not many. The guy gave her some recommendations for the mainland.
Here's what I wanted to say: "you should go to Sifnos. You and your son will totally love it."
I went to Sifnos last summer. The island of adventure. I went on all these hikes, met a bunch of super curious people who were driven by action, and completely fell in love with the natural beauty of Greece. It would have been a perfect place for her and her son.
But, I didn't say anything.
I have no idea why. I am a huge extrovert, and I have no problem talking to strangers. Even when I'm exhausted, I absolutely love striking up a conversation and connecting with someone.
I don't know what that was about. For some reason, my brain and my voice weren't communicating really well. Maybe it was the cyst. Maybe it's because I'm in the process of rethinking my connections with people. Maybe I was just exhausted.
Off I went to pick up my rental car and go to Palio Faliro, where I'd be staying with my friend Kristina for the night before we went to Porto Hello for a wedding the next day. She is another Greek American (but it's okay, we like her). She owns a really cool company called Yia Mas, which is all about the intersection between Hellenic culture and wellness. She is far more immersed in the Greek culture than I am, but she is sort of also the perfect person to keep in mind during my journey of healing. She, like me, puts a lot of emphasis on nature, presence, and connection.
Kristina kept reminding me to "take it siga-siga." I pretty much slept for the entire day and night I stayed with her. My body needed the rest. I needed to relax.
I've never really been good at relaxing - since I was a little kid, I've always been on the go, and that's translated really well into my adult life, because I do have a life full of adventures and stories and fun and, well, life. But how sustainable is that? I mean - we were all just faced with a year and a half of the world on pause, and yet, I STILL didn't pause. Is my body starting to really suffer? Am I getting the fuck old????
One of the posts Kristina made was something about just because you're taking a break doesn't mean you're slacking off or not doing any work. I needed that reminder.
Siga-siga. Pause. Breathe. Rest.
So begins this summer in Greece.