Puerto Rico: Day 2, Part 2 “Remembering the Path”

Puerto Rico: Day 2, Part 2 “Remembering the Path”

The water in the apartment had been off all day – well, after I brushed my teeth, but before I left for my adventures. I notified my Airbnb host and she said it should probably be on in a couple of hours. So I changed, headed right back out and took a stroll over to Castillo de San Felipe del Morro. It is massive!

The fort and surrounding grounds span 74 acres and it is about 6 levels. The expansive lawns were filled with families and kite-flyers. It was $7 to enter El Morro, but the ticket also gets you into another nearby fort, Castillo de San Cristóbal… and the ticket is good for several days. I learned about Puerto Rico’s strategic location as the “door” to the Caribbean, Central America, Cuba, Mexico, southeastern U.S, and northern South America. OSJ is actually, pretty much completely walled off. Construction of this particular site began in 1539, and took more than 200 years to complete! I wandered into the garitas, staring out past the black rocks to the turquoise-blue waves swaying with the breeze; down triangular staircases and a tunnel to the Torre Antigua, where you can see a shell fragment from the 1898 US bombardment stuck in the wall; and became mesmerized by its three flags – The US, Puerto Rican and Cross of Burgundy flag (an old Spanish military flag) – rippling through the sky. I took my time walking around. It was something to be at peace on this quiet evening, listening to the wind and waves beat against these centuries-old stones, with war, death and chaos echoing through the space…

The fort closed at 6pm that day, so I was only there for about an hour but it was enough time to explore many of the points of interest.  Just outside the main walls of El Morro, a sea of intensely white headstones caught my eye. It was the Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery, a colonial-era resting place for prominent Puerto Rico natives and residents. You can tour it… but like, it’s a cemetery, soooo I just peered over the wall. 

As the sun set, I made my way past the crowd and back to the apartment. I lit some candles and sat out on the front balcony reading my book. I love when it’s warm at night…

I could hear a musical production coming from an event at a building two doors down. Conversations came in and out as people made their way through the plaza – kids skateboarding and their parents cautioning them, lovers out on a date.

The chef messaged me to go out dancing that night. “I don’t have any water– I can’t shower yet,” I explained to him. “I can bring you some.”

I considered going out to dance – I love dancing. (I had already tentatively made plans with the couple from the waterfall tour earlier that day, to go out dancing). He and I coordinated to meet in the plaza to chill for a bit; then, he was going back to work, and we’d go out around 10:30. He rolled up in a white tank, basketball shorts, with the socks and slides look. No water, haha. (Are you shaking your head as much as I am right now?) We sat on a bench, he put his arm around me. We shared a smoke over some small talk and laughter about our respective day; he told me he could never jump off those falls. (Shaking my head again). By this time, I was dodging the kisses he continuously leaned in for. I noticed him readjust himself as he got excited. 

I reminded him not to have expectations, as he clearly had motivations… Which is fine, but they just weren’t aligning with mine. “I still want to take you to the beach. I have the afternoon off tomorrow. But tonight… we drink, smoke, dance, have fun.”

My heart beat faster and my mind raced a little. I tried to breathe through my frantic emotions that started to arise.  This isn’t “it.” Get out, now!

I’ve been in situations where I let my (habitual) emotions lead, didn’t listen to my intuition, nor felt the power to intervene as I watched the patterns replay. That mindless behavior never served me anything worthwhile. I had to remind myself why I came on this trip. My imaginations of having fun and being free during these 5 days didn’t look like that scenario. I didn’t need that situation to have a good time, even though I could’ve easily had it; and, I wasn’t trying to gain comfort by temporarily sharing my space with random energy. I’m good, thank you.

Oh yeah, a night with him could have definitely made for a great story, but it’s not the story I want to write right now…

Even though I was very (physically) attracted to him, the content of these emerging chapters, as it pertains to sex, my self-love and worth, relationships, boundaries, creating the genuinely fulfilling experiences that I want for myself – this situation just didn’t spark my inspiration. All of the naively convincing “maybe if’s” had to go; I knew from the moment we met what he wanted. It irks my soul to be on auto-pilot, especially when it comes to connecting with someone intimately, and as I am healing and evolving, it’s imperative for me to always be present in the ongoings of my life. I wasn’t gonna play, or go against myself. He and I weren’t on the same frequency, so I had to let him go.

I struggled with guilt when I turned down his invitation at the last minute, but I worked through that a helluva lot quicker than I have in the past (I got a great night’s sleep!) Neither of us were in some sort of “wrong.” It was a co-creation of actions. The greatest thing about leading your life, though, is that you can change at any moment.

I turned on some music and danced around the living room. Around 11pm, my Airbnb host checked on me regarding the water, but it was still off. She told me she’d refund me for that day. I was grateful because the shutoff was completely out of her control and it wasn’t a bother for me to go buy a jug of water. I thanked the universe for my lesson, and the reward for getting back on my path. Asé.

Side story: I had thought about treating myself to a much-needed massage at some point during the trip, but I told myself it wasn’t a necessity and to save my money. The refund ended up being enough to cover the cost of a massage. Booking time!

Mood: “Closer” by Goapele

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