As I am writing this post I am sitting in a lovely air-conned cafe in the heart of Ubud, Bali. The Cafe is on Monkey Forest Road (the same road where Elizabeth Gilbert first stayed in Ubud) and in about half an hour I’m going to my first event at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2013 about what it’s like being a woman in the male-dominated Indonesia. I am surrounded by inspiring people left, right and centre. Last night I went to the opening ceremony of the 10th edition of the Festival at the King of Ubud’s Palace and all around me was absolutely magical. I felt like Indiana Jones taking part in some ancient ceremony with surreal Balinese dancing and processions.
Before I left London a week ago I quit my job and I can confidently say I’ve never been happier. I didn’t even feel relief, all I felt was ‘It was about damn time you did it, Iulia!’ Only a few weeks ago I was so distrustful that things would work out for me but now I am more convinced than ever that the darkest hour of the night really is the one just before the sunrise. A few weeks ago I was praying for a miracle and miracles have been pouring since.
As I write this, there is a guy back home waiting for me. A guy who thinks I’m great for quitting my job, for wanting to pursue what I love, for being a bit crazy and a bit idealistic, for making life-changing decisions and for generally being myself. Only a few weeks ago I thought a guy like that didn’t exist but I kept praying for him. And I guess my prayer was answered. With the speed of light. You see, I’ve finally learned that I must surrender and ask for what I want. That’s all. No self-abuse, no desperation, no self-blame. Just praying for what you want and being ready for it and it comes your way. And if things don’t work out, that’s ok. I’m making my way out of the loveless darkness.
The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Through Darkness to Light’. But in so many ways, it is also my theme. I feel that my coming to this Festival was pre-determined, I feel like all the choices I’ve ever made have now accumulated and culminated into this perfect present moment. And I can finally see the light.
I believe that the source of many human sorrows is the fact that consciously or unconsciously we live other people’s lives, hardly ever our own. To be in the wrong career and to live by other people’s standards is like being gay and not even admitting it to yourself. Imagine the heartache… I’m not saying it’s easy living your own life, fulfilling your own unique destiny. But what I’m saying is that it feels good when you finally do. And reach the lightness through dark.
I’ll be reporting from the Festival so if you’d like to know more, sign up for e-mail updates or follow me on Twitter.