I'm writing this earlier than normal, because I left the house earlier than normal, because there's a rule that I have to get up earlier than normal after last week I signed a contract with myself promising that I would be more productive. In the moment this seemed perfectly reasonable, but on typing that out loud I recognise that perhaps I could've kept it in my Obsessive Behaviour That Isolates Normal People box.
Related note to self: crying at work because your fancy pen ran out and you just don't feel like your notes are pretty enough without it could also, on further reflection, have gone in the box.
I'm surprised I didn't die on the way to the cafe because the traffic this morning was immense bumper-bumper smogdom, which I normally get to avoid because I leave the house when most people have been at work for two hours. More cars = increased likelihood of death-by-vespa. And to think that they say math isn't my strong suit.
Italians have this rule whereby even though the traffic light is on red it's possible to make a left turn anyway. So one can be meandering along the crossing quite calmly, pondering self-made contracts and the likelihood of ever dating again and BAM! Maurizio cruises along at full speed, missing you by mere millimeters, and the only solution to near-death you can fathom is to gesticulate wildly at the pedestrian green man WHICH APPARANTLY NOBODY GIVES A SHIT ABOUT.
Even the flashing sign shrugs and make that ubiquitous Roman noise that means whatever: B'OH!
I fucking hate that noise.
Basically my point is that it is a good job I have my spiritual shit together otherwise I'd be sat here with my cafe grandad watching over me like we're in a Werther's Original advert, shaking with anger as my two fingers hit the keyboard BECAUSE YES I TYPE WITH ONLY TWO FINGERS and counting in my diary again how many days til I blow this popsicle joint.
Fortuitously, I have just finished reading The Celestine Prophecy and so I am at one with my inner self, aware of how my attitude affects others.
Last weekend the book was gifted to me by my friend Alma, who I went to visit in Milan.
“You just teach me so much,” I told her after the first day making smoothies and checking my running technique together.
“Laura, that's what good friends do,” she replied. “Teach other.”
And then I panicked that maybe I wasn't teaching her anything when I'd come away with a great recipe for blueberry and banana pancakes and knowledge of the higher self, and so I showed her how to apply red lipstick and taught her what a Louboutin is because I am nothing if not a selfless giver.
Anyway, The Celestine Prophecy. YOU NEED THIS BOOK IN YOUR LIFE. It's self-improvement disguised as poorly written fiction but look past the cliches and there is the question to life itself. Because that's the thing: we all search for the answers without really knowing what the questions are. Read this book and you will.
Things The Celestine Prophecy Taught Me:
- The basic stuff of the universe is pure energy which is malleable to human intention.
- Nothing happens by coincidence. Chance encounters have a deeper meaning. When we have a question the right people show up to give us the answer.
- Love in not an intellectual concept or a moral imperative. It is a background emotion that exists when one is connected the energy available in the universe.
- FOOD is the first way to gain the universe's energy, and to absorb the positive energy we have to learn how to appreciate it.
I was totally down with that last one.
I gobbled up every page within 24 hours, making notes and highlighting my favourite passages to copy down later. Landing back in Rome and flicking through those notes, it is entirely evident to me where I began the day making useful insights about what the text was communicating and where I had found a little osteria and accidentally got drunk on 2 Euro spritz whilst waiting for Alma to finish class at her nearby grad school.
The distinction is made between post-its that say, Perhaps this links to my own drama conflict of aloofness and why, then, if this is true, do I use my wit as a defense for life? to huge loopy scrawls that say, YESSSSSSSSSSSS and Fuck! This is totes trusies!
My annotations reveal more about me than the choice of book, I think. Those annotations must be burned.
Otherwise, you will all know that my version of enlightenment involved 3 spritz at three o'clock in the afternoon, a trip to the bookstore to positively visualise my own book in between authors Wilkinson and Wisen, and then eating more than one McDonald's in an attempt to sober up before I met Alma again to say goodbye.
Which, now I've started to really think about it, was way more fun than eating a plate of vegetables as suggested by The Celestine Prophecy, and so now I'm thinking maybe I could just scribe my own self-improvement book.
Maybe I could call it, 'Follow your Heart, Heed the Omens, and Drink More Spritz.' Or possibly, 'Cool Shit That Happens When You Drink Alone.' If we anthologise our collective knowledge we'd probably have a bestseller.