April 24th, 2013
Before I came to Cuba, someone told me that it would take 3 ays to fully relax. I remember telling them that I’m pretty sure I’ll have no problem relaxing. I was wrong… or maybe I wasn’t… maybe it just took me 3 days to have a bit of a revelation. I have spent the past 2.5 days eating, sleeping, and soaking up the sun. But today, a Cuban masseuse brout out something in me that I didn’t know was there.
For me, Cuba was about putting myself out of my comfort zone. Going alone to a country I have never been to was scary Going to a place where I knew nobody was daunting. Having my body and brain to myself for 7 days was an experiment in me.
Yesterday I booked a massage at a nearby spa. I don’t really like massages, so for me, this was an active step outside of my comfort zone. I figured, since I was here to relax, it was a natural step. That, and the excursion that I wanted to go on required that I be able to drive standard. Boo. Walking into my spa experience was one that seemed fairly normal. The place was serene, beautiful, and calming. Plus, it had air conditioning. I met up with my masseuse whose name I can’t remember. He took me to a room. His English was horrible, so we didn’t talk except for him to instruct me what clothes to take off. Once we were all ready, he went to work. The massage was all right… he was able to work out some stuff in my shoulders and things felt fine.
At the end of the session, he pulled a big blue towel over my back, tucked it around me really tightly (I was being back-swaddled) and said “Everything is OK. You can be here as long as you need”… He meant to ask if everything was ok… if the massage was good… but I had started to cry – he didn’t see it going on since my face was down in the table hole – so I said yes… and he left the room.
The simple act of being wrapped in a towel and hearing the words “everything is ok” (even if they didn’t mean what they were supposed to mean) brought me to a place of absolute correctness. It sprung out of me some incredibly happy, balanced feelings and this made me cry. Everything is ok and I can be here as long as I need. Even though the English was poor, those exact words gave me exactly what I needed. See, I’m used to being a planner – I like to know what is going to happen and where I’m going next.. but right now, in my life, I think that it’s perfectly all right to not have a life plan. Right now, Everything Is Ok and I Can Stay in This Place However Long I Need To. Just take life as it comes and be happy with where I am. It’s that simple.
So it did take me 3 days to figure out a happy place in Cuba.
I spent a good 5-10 minutes happy crying into the massage table and then hightailed it outta there, leaving my masseuse a 50% tip. On my way out of the town where the spa was hidden away, I marked the moment by buying myself a reminder piece of jewelry – something to make me remember the confused words of a Cuban masseuse.