“Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.” – Salvador Dalí
I’ve always looked at going on vacation as an opportunity to discover things outside of where I live, explore new places, and learn about different cultures and histories. But my latest vacation, to Miami and Boston, was more of a chance to get away from my ramshackle personal life, pretend that the drama of Empire: Lebanon doesn’t exist, and attain some peace of mind.
To a certain extent, it worked. For an entire week, I was alone in South Beach, Miami, doing nothing but lying on the beach and by the pool to work on my tan, walking along Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue and Lincoln Road to do some shopping, visiting museums, and catching up on sleep. I barely talked to anyone, except for two girls who were staying in my hotel, acknowledged those who complimented my latest tattoo, and felt, for the first time in a very long while, completely free. The following week, in Boston, where Shirley flew out from Buffalo to meet me, I relived some of my younger days, going back to familiar places and meeting familiar faces.
It was one of those vacations that, were the circumstances of my life any different, would have concluded in me coming back to Malaysia well-rested, at peace and missing the life I have here. Instead, it has left me with a feeling of total surrealism, as though waking from an extremely long, extremely beautiful dream — and worse, waking up into the nightmare that I had waited five months for a reprieve from. I used my time there, especially the weekend in Boston, to forget that my life here — and the ruins surrounding it — existed, and when it was over I was left wanting more.
Two good things to have come out of this vacation, however, are that I now have a fabulous tan, and that I have a clearer vision of what I’m going to do next summer. I know now, without any doubt, that there is so much more to life than what we see within our own four walls, and it can be ours if we just have the balls to reach out and take it for our own. This trip has helped me regain some — definitely not all — of my courage, and I hope it will only be a matter of time before I can snap out of this funk and concentrate on what I need to do for the future.