Today I visited Teotihuacan, otherwise known as the “city of the gods.” After I climbed the Pyramid of the Sun, the 3rd largest pyramid in the world, I began to walk toward the Pyramid of the Moon. En route I couldn’t help but marvel at the view as I was approaching what they called “the plaza of the moon” with the pyramid in the center and 12 small pyramid platforms surrounding the plaza. Teotihuacan as a whole is absolutely beautiful, an architectural dream magnificently constructed by an ancient civilization a century before Christ, with the Pyramid of the Moon representing “death” in the circle of life. It is also dedicated to the Great Goddess which reminds me of my beautiful friend and sister Mahealani, who no doubt would fall in love with both the history and the connection to her Hawaiian name “heavenly moon”.
I was completely in the moment, looking straight ahead, listening to the crunch of the gravel beneath my feet and of the various languages spoken along the way. Predominant was Spanish but so was a little English and to my surprise, some French by families with teenage children. I was receiving a lot of attention from the vendors close by and the stares from people those who aren’t used to seeing a woman alone, dressed vulgarly according to the typical tourist attire. To the former I alternately smiled at them as they pitched their sales. “Hola chica! I have a beautiful necklace just for you!” “No gracias.” To the latter I looked straight ahead unless it was a child or other women. In my travels I know I stand out like a sore thumb and am aware of the effect I have when I genuinely smile at curious men. It doesn’t bother me, I’ve always embraced who I am and what I look like. If I can pull it off I always let my hair flow long and wear beautiful but comfortable dresses (in this case a jumper and tennis shoes). I always know I’ll attract attention simply by those two facts and as a Tahitian dancer I learned that the sexual power of a woman is wonderful thing. Why not be who I am and I embrace it.
That was when I realized exactly what was happening — I was happy.
I am never more in my element when I’m traveling alone. My mind is far away from my every day problems and completely immersed in the moment. My 5 senses are taking in everything — the different noises of the environment and sounds of the language, the expansive views and nuances of living quarters, the smell of the air, the city, the odor, the taste of delicious food, strange water and the accidental rain drop on my tongue, the touch of a pyramid rock as I wrap my arms around it and close my eyes to imagine an ancient civilization as they honor their gods. I am never so happy to be me — to be seen but unseen for no one knows my life and judgement is on a superficial level. I am happy.
From time to time something reminds me of life at home, like the little boy who was scolded for trying to scale the pyramid walls or the multiple parents holding their toddlers as they walked down the steep steps. I was almost glad they weren’t with me because I’d have suffered multiple heart attacks climbing just one pyramid with my two boys. At the same time, I felt a pang of guilt that I was enjoying myself without them, traveling with my children was something I’d always wanted to do and here I was traveling abroad without them.
I’d also came across an accidental conversation of two men from the United States, one was drinking a beer and saying “I have no idea what I’m doing to do with my life or where I’m going to work next.” It could have been words to convey the future as I had no idea what he was actually going through in the present, but that also made me think of home and the problems that face me when I get back.
Thing is, I don’t travel to run away, I travel to reset. It’s the same concept with love, when the person is gone long enough you miss them or in some cases you forget them, either way your mind is reset on what really matters. It’s not that I love my problems, but they’re there and I can think about it from a fresh point of view. Everything else that matters little becomes obsolete and oftentimes I find myself a little embarrassed that I cared so much about something so meaningless. If I think about the negative self talk that dominated my world for a good month, they’re truly very silly.
It never mattered to me when my parents would make fun of my variety of jobs or obsession with dance, just as I could have cared less when they questioned why I wanted to travel alone to “dangerous” countries as they thought third world countries to be. I knew I was a smart woman with enough sense to avoid true danger just as I knew I’d always get a great job that I loved, I just had to apply myself. So what changed? Absolutely nothing. I’m still the same smart woman, if not smarter at least when it comes to traveling. I don’t seek danger in the way that I did when I was younger because I know eventually I will need to take care of my children. As for jobs, well, I’ve always gotten good jobs and know how to sell myself, I’m just tired of the instability that was prevalent for 10 years of my marriage, jobs being one of them.
I also never really cared about what other people truly thought, especially the men that I loved. Of course this subject is much more psychologically deep considering the many layers of emotional turmoil I faced by those I completely gave my heart to. Moving forward, it’s going to be a difficult and bumpy road when it comes to loving another person but as I had mentioned in an earlier post, the man who wants me will possess a type of understanding for a woman like me and he will do everything he can to make sure he never treats me that way. The man in my life of the future will be a whole man, able to navigate his problems by confronting his own issues and communicating with me. So why should I worry about what the fuck a man thinks about me? This woman is a product that can not be altered, only improved.
As I approached the Moon Pyramid I was almost hesitant to climb it. Although it wasn’t as large as the Pyramid of the Sun the steps were dangerously steep. I saw no parents lifting their children to climb up and down these steps. The very top part of the pyramid was unavailable for whatever reason. But shit, I came this far and had an hour to roam before my bus left so climb those steps I did.
The Pyramid of the Moon was by far my most favorite. I suppose it had to do with my circumstances more than it was asthetically. Mid point of the pyramid, which I climbed, was a fantastic view and a perfect symmetry of the “circle of life”, which was linear to that ancient civilization. Before me was the Pyramid of the Sun which represented life. Majority of the tourists and vendors gathered there enjoying the expanse before them. Even further was the Plaza of Justice, where life begins and where the people who constructed the pyramids held ceremonies to honor the beginning of life through dance, plays, and sacred rituals.
The pyramid I was on represented death and it was where human sacrifices were made to keep social order and a grip of power. Most of those sacrifices included enemies as opposed to the innocent as people of today seem to carry a strange notion of. Rather than kill their enemies in battle, they brought them back to their city population to witness.
My friend once told me something that finally clicked and completed the spiritual discovery that began on the pyramid of death. “One thing I’m OK with is hearing the words no”. He then went to explain that as a sales person, he at least asked the question and got his answer. But if he doesn’t ask, he’d never know and never knowing feeds into regret.
No. The Universe told me “no” when I got my new job and fate took it away from me. No. Years of being married and trying finally gave way to divorce and the freedom to truly be happy with me. Both scenarios, I tried, I applied, I asked the “question”, I gave it 100%, and no matter how much it hurt, I got my answer. And I’m now absolutely OK with the words “no”.
So on the pyramid of death I finally put to rest the shame that I felt for myself in all areas of my life — my divorce, my job, how I ignored my children, how much I hated myself that I couldn’t make a decision; the insecurities I felt when it came to what other people thought about me or even what I thought they may think about me. There’s nothing wrong with death, in some respects it’s actually beautiful.
And on that ancient, awesome Pyramid everything that was negative died in me and I truly felt a sincere moment of happiness. And because I’m feeling generous again, here are a few pictures for a visual. (*Note: I went to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun, I was just tired of taking selfies lol)