@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
A year ago, I was in Iceland marveling at some of the best this naturally stunning world has to offer. The dreamscape imagery, taste of glacial water, and memories of that trip do not seem long ago, and yet the feels of serenity, present mindfulness, and receptiveness to gratitude seem very far. The greatest drug you’ll ever know is when you’re stripped of all your preconceived notions of not only the world or society, but yourself, and you can let go and in be in life without your mind reeling. You don’t have to go to Iceland to experience that, but it does help.
I went to Iceland with my cousin/best friend/favorite kind of person Brittany, her husband, and Brittany’s friend Katie. I had known Katie, but not all that well. Most of the times we hung out were at parties and we were both very, very drunk. At Brittany’s bachelorette party in Atlantic City, I had to help a staggering Katie back to the room, where I scolded at her to drink water (she did listen, and probably does not remember). I was on the couch drunk texting someone, and when she finished drinking water she gave me a hug and fell asleep on top of me in about 90 seconds. Me being an asshole, and drunk myself, I pushed Katie’s passed out body off me, and headed back to the club. Relax, I’m not a complete monster. I tucked her in with someone’s sweatshirt and made sure she was on her side in case she vomited. She was fine.
I was concerned about Katie joining us on this trip. Not because Katie isn’t a good person, because she is too good a person: she’s the optimistic, bubbly type, who genuinely cares about all people and loves to talk to strangers. Ugh. So happy all the fucking time. I am naturally withdrawn, and I seldom liked to be around most people for more than hour, so I’m hesitant about traveling with anyone at all (I’ve done a fair amount of traveling alone).
But Brittany reassured me, knowing and understanding my anti-social disposition better than anyone. There are few people whom have respectable and trustworthy opinions in my life, but Brittany is certainly one of them. And she was right. The four of us were a perfect travel pack. One of the benefits of having someone who loves to socialize, is she was happy to talk to someone and ask for directions (which we had to do a lot. Those maps/street names/towns can be confusing as fuck). Katie’s “let’s go for it” attitude matched my adrenaline seeking, plus, she’s also a book worm, so we bonded over literature. And if I ever needed my “zone out” time, I just popped in headphones and everyone left me alone. I love being around people who don’t question or find my zoning out off putting.
Katie was actually traveling to Ireland following Iceland, and I recall, for a few days in a row, she was not sure on the whereabouts of her passport. And it didn’t seem to bother her at all. It was giving me anxiety. I kept reminding her look for it. I’m so neurotic, I checked the spot I put my passport multiple times a day. I can’t fight some OCD habits that I know are unnecessary.
One night (though it was still bright out because the sun never really went down) I finally broke. “How are you not freaking out about your passport?! Why does this bother and worry me more than you?!”
Katie shrugged over her messy and disorganized luggage, “I dunno. It’s here somewhere. Everything always turns out okay.”
I think I laughed at this, but I was half furious. I wasn’t mad at her, god no, that wouldn’t make any sense. I was mad that I completely lacked the ease that Katie had with life. That comfort and fun I had been enjoying all day exploring this island would eventually escape me, but Katie would still have it, because she always had it. I was only allowed glimpses of it, and there was no one to blame but myself.
See, the irony is, throughout my life, I have only known everything to be okay. She was right! My life has been mostly good, if not great, and the things that didn’t work out as expected or hoped, or even the things that turned out bad, still ultimately were okay. That has not been lost on me. Katie’s life was going to be so much better than mine only because she is able to enjoy it more. In order to learn to be that way, I would have to unlearn everything else, and I don’t know that’s possible for me. But that is okay too.
Brittany and Bobby just brought a little baby girl into this world. I haven’t even met her yet, and I already know she is going to be one of my favorite humans on the planet. I can’t wait to hold her when she cries, and whisper in her little ears that it’s all going to be okay, because she has the best parents, and I can’t wait to hear her little laugh, and then I will know that everything will be okay.