Day 2/41: Bali, Indonesia. Yoga 108, Potato Head Beach Club, Happy Anniversary to me!
Updated: Nov 23, 2019
I am freezing cold when I wake up because I cranked the AC. Haylee still isn’t there. I rush a bit to get going because I know I want to take my time walking the 30 minutes or so on the beach on my way to get to 9:30am yoga at Yoga 108 Bali.
I have a few cups of coffee at the hotel and FaceTime with the Daddo. We shoot the breeze for a bit. I walk down the street and buy a SIM card and then continue along the narrow sidewalk past boutiques, cafes, and tattoo parlors until I see the ocean. At that moment, it hits me and I say to myself, “This is UNREAL. This is INSANE. I AM IN BALI.”
The buildings are bright purples and greens and there is beautiful graffiti along the concrete walls. There are weeping trees and bright flowers, palm trees and chirping birds. The beach is full of lounge chairs and umbrellas and I can see people already choosing their spot and setting up for the day. I pass many dogs wearing collars, but don’t seem to be with a human, and I wonder if dogs just wear necklaces here.
I read menus that advertise fruit smoothies, açaí bowls, and avocado toast, and I feel like I have died and gone to heaven, or right back to San Diego hahaha.
I am staring at the ocean as I am walking and almost get hit by a motorbike and trip over a garden hose at the same time. I tell myself to focus on getting to yoga on time and I can explore the beach afterwards.
The studio is up a spiral staircase on the second floor. The teachers name is Katia and she was born and raised in Encinitas, California. Her flow is exactly what my mind, body and soul needed. Her energy and the energy of the rest of the class completely nourished my soul. I couldn’t help but repeatedly sigh in a way that I was saying, “This feels so good,” just pushing out my breath, releasing tension from my body and mind.
During the past month, my yoga practice suffered a bit because I was moving around so much, but I am so excited to refocus and recenter now that I am in Bali.
Katia incorporated a moon salvation, side crow, hand stand hops, and chin stand into her class and I was impressed with her confidence challenging the class with such advanced postures. We all had so much fun and I even stayed for a while after class and chatted with a few of the other students. I met a woman named Kat who was from Australia. She leads 3 month long transformation retreats in India. I gave her my card, so that we can stay in touch. She recommended the cafe next door for avocado toast, so I took her suggestion and met some incredibly sweet Balinese new friends. The avocado toast and French press was delicious.
I didnt really leave in the morning with a plan that day, so didnt have my bathing suit, so walked the 30 minutes back to my hotel to change. Haylee still wasn’t there. I set up my Grab account with my new number and in doing so brought up the map. Potato Head Beach Club popped up ten or so miles away and I remembered so many people taking about how that was definitely the place to be. Without hesitation, I ordered the GRAB bike and said, “Well, I guess I am going to Potato Head.”
I love being on the back of a motorbike. I think it is so fun! My GRAB driver and I talked the entire 30 minute drive while I held on and enjoyed the scenery. I still couldn’t believe I was in FUCKING BALI.
He takes me down this road and we are stopped by security. They ask to check his bike. Apparently this is protocol for the Potato Head beach club. He drops me just past the security check and I continue walking towards the beach past art work made out of flip flops and recycled material. I enter and the place is just gorgeous.
There are a ton of different bars at each corner of the space, couches, beds, bungalows, and tables. My jaw just drops as I see the pool and how the water falls over the edge. The staff is amazing and explain everything to you, the deal with the bed/lounge area, where I can put my things if I want to swim, where the restrooms are, shower before the pool, open a tab with whomever you want, wherever you want. I roam around a bit and gawk at all the beautiful people that are around me. Everyone is in bathing suits so you can see so much of their art work tattooed on their body. Everyone is smiling and drinking and I am pretty sure they can’t believe they are in fucking Bali either.
I am a bit skeptical but I leave all my belongings in a cubby and head for the showers for a rinse. I accidentally pee and hope no one notices. The pool is warm and looks clean. Couples section off and are buoyant together on the waterfall ledge.
I twirl and I dive and I float, and just like at yoga, I can’t help but release constant and deep full body signs that say, “This feels so good.” Every breath, every movement, was magical. I stayed in the pool for a few hours at least, going from the ledge overlooking the ocean, to the center of the pool where I twirl and float. I meet a few cool girls from Switzerland who I invite to Sri Lanka with me.
I float into a cute dude from Turkey named Yiite and we chat for a little while. Him and his brother are in Bali for a holiday. The conversation fizzles when dude across the pool pours a mojito on his friends head and I decide to get out of the pool for a bit so that I can support the potato head by ordering some potato fries. I enjoy each bite of the salty crunchy goodness as I continue to look around wondering how all of this is really happening. How did I get here? Eating French fries in Bali?
I am at the beach house the entire day. I contemplate leaving at one point, but decide its best if I stay here for sunset. I post up at a table for a while, but then decide it would be really cool to do some yoga on the beach during sunset to celebrate my One Year Anniversary in style.
I’m calling it my one year anniversary because one year ago I chose to make some serious changes in my life. I was visiting my grandparents and was taking a break from my relationship and from San Diego. During the visit I realized I had to leave everything in CA and I had to chose sobriety. I flew back, packed up my things, and left. The first few cold lonely months in New Jersey were challenging. Its partially my sobriety date, but I feel I must disclose a time I did in fact fall off the wagon, but its important, because I got right back on.
In July of 2019, after waiting 6 months for a job to start, and then only a month into working, I broke my sobriety, by having wine with some coworkers in Red Bank, NJ. I thought I could handle reintroducing alcohol back into my life, but I was wrong. I wanted to bond with my friends and I thought I could just have a glass or two and call it, but I was wrong. I couldn’t handle the stressful work environment and it weakened my ability to stay focused on my goals or my priorities. I realize now that I am so grateful for that night we all went out. We had fun! Though, I felt horrible, physically and emotionally for the week following that night. I was overloaded with guilt and shame. I see now, that I needed to go through that. It proved to me that alcohol has absolutely no place in my life anymore. I will never be able to have just one or two. Its like that was the final test I needed to be absolutely certain.
I have had shorter bouts of sobriety in the past. I went a month after my DUI at 25. I went months here and there, usually after something catastrophic happened. I decided on sobriety seriously when Cooper died. His death hit me like a ton of bricks. I loved him so much, I actually wanted to FEEL it. I wanted to feel the pain of his loss.
My true commitment to sobriety started a year ago and though I fell off once, I got right back on. I know now that I do not need alcohol to have a good time or feel confident in social settings. I’d much rather feel my feelings then surpress them. I’d rather wake up without a hangover. I’d rather actually be and stay hydrated. I’d rather keep my moods and my mind more level. I’d rather spend my money else where. I’d rather yoga my way to peace.
Side note: We all have a different relationship with different things and I am not trying to pull some holier then now sober bullshit on you. Live your life, whatever works for you! And I’ll live mine. Smiley face.
My sunset yoga practice felt like a salute to my journey. Before my final namaste, I chanted, I om’d, and I prayed to the universe. I couldn’t help but repeat, “Thank you” over and over again. Thank you Bali, for letting me experience this moment with you. Thank you to all the people I know and love that have supported me, and thank you, even, to the ones that didn’t, the ones that sometimes made life hard and unbearable. You were put in my path for a reason, to teach me resilience. Thank you to the earth, the sky, the animals, the trees, the air, and everything else, Thank you. Thank you so much for giving me life again.
I had a small fluffy bun chickpea patty from Street Boi and took a Grab Motorbike back to the hotel where I finally had mango sticky rice for desert. I hurried up to the comfort of my hotel room and wanted to close the special day before I accidentally got shit faced.