So here’s something you might not know: I write a lot of drafts of random things that NEVER make it to this blog. Little bits and pieces really. Just thoughts, impressions. Of course some eventually get brushed off and fixed up and polished and made all shiny with pictures and correct spelling and punctuation and then posted. But many—probably MOST—don’t. Every now and then I find one of these wild gems on my computer and sometimes I just shake my head at it, but sometimes I read through, have a chuckle, and genuinely enjoy its unfinished charm. This is one of those times. And since I haven’t got much new to say right now that’s not related to the trip to Peru I’m taking in two weeks HOLY SHITBALLS OMG HOW DID THAT GET HERE SO FAST, I’m posting it now. Enjoy, and you’re welcome.
Monday, January 7 2013, 6pm.
The cave was packed. Not tightly, but thickly. There was room to move, but not to be seen. Air to breathe, but no space for anyone to notice if you didn’t. The teacher’s voice echoed out of her little Britney mic as if she were down a long hallway, around a corner, perhaps all the way in the bathroom. I might as well have been taking class outside. In the entrace way where I left my shoes. In the hall where we all came in. In the elevator that brought us up. On the sidewalk in front of the building. That’s how far away I felt. It was no one’s fault really. Some classes are crowded the first week of January, and some rooms are caves. Nothing to be done about it.
It was hard to focus, in the back of the cave. I could see enough of myself in the front mirror, but there was so much going on. So many people, so much movement. Lots of newbies, new years resolutioners that bought an internet coupon for something called Bikram Yoga that promised to burn 230957 calories in just a 90 minute class and hey yoga is supposed to be relaxing right? This wouldn’t be hard, would it? I think we all know how that ends up…
I tolerated the crazyness. It didn’t really bother me, at least not that anyone could see I’m sure. I couldn’t get my mind to focus for the life of me. Something about the air being thinner in the back of the cave maybe? Or something about feeling so alone in the biggest hottest room packed thickly full of people that I became more and more certain I would never be seen perhaps ever again. This was the end. I was going to expire in this cave. Amidst all these people. It wouldn’t be the class—the class wasn’t that hard. It wouldn’t be the heat—it wasn’t that hot. There was air to breathe…. But no space for anyone to notice if I didn’t. And that, frankly, was wildly depressing.
I felt heavy, but nothing more. There were plenty of things to distract me and my mind flitted around like a butterfly, landing on all of them… This mirror makes my ass look huge. THIS mirror makes my legs look great! THAT mirror is just completely distorted and I look like one of those skinny aliens with the long necks. Someone’s sitting down. WHO just kicked my towel? WHY does the teacher keep using the word “perfect”? About EVERYTHING?! Why the hell is the door open? I bet they all think I’m crazy for wearing long sleeves. My backbends are sucking less and less. What was that Britney Spears song where she was an actress or a movie star or something and the video is her walking a red carpet and being followed by paparazzi?
But physically I kept it completely together. Strong postures, no fidgeting. Not outwardly anyway. No one would ever have known the crazy and the dark inside. Under all the frivolity about mirrors and Ms. Spears (the song was “Lucky” by the way), I was deeply irritated. What was the point of practicing in the back of a cave? Why was I even here? I came because of my teacher. She’s amazing and I love her. But this place, these people, the vibe here, the packed so full room that I disappeared into? I less-loved all of it. I knew from the start I wouldn’t be seen as more than an afterthought. Normally that doesn’t even bother me too much. I don’t need to be validated. Or criticized. Whatever. It’s fine.
I grimaced and gritted my teeth and kicked. The pose ended.
“When my teacher gives me a correction, ” she said pointedly, “I smile. Because I know that means she loves me.”
Ohhhhhh snap. I am an asshole.
Hey guys! Two things…
ONE! I’m on Instagram!
(Click the little camera thingy!)
Ok, I’ve been on Instagram for oh, I don’t know… years? But I’m now actually USING it. So if you’re interested in my super exciting, never dull, thrill-a-minute life here in NYC, follow along! It’ll be so fun, I swear! You guys, I didn’t realize this before but Instagram is just like blogging except without all those annoying words! And with pictures of food and juice and puppy dogs! OMMIGOD SO FUN. Check it out.
TWO! This is a big one… I’ve alluded to it before but will say it outright now…
On May 31 I’m leaving the city for 10 days for a spiritual retreat deep in the rainforest of Peru drinking indigenous visionary plant medicine—aka, ayahuasca—with a shaman.
Yep, you heard it. I’m going to the jungle for some very serious soul searching. This has been bubbling up in my mind for a long time, and officially in the works since last November. It’s a BIG deal, at least to me… And I have LOTS going on in my mind and heart right now, as I’ve been preparing for it these past few months.
Obviously, I have LOTS to say about this… and there will be LOTS of posts about it. So forgive the lack of snappy class recaps and Bikram related banter for a while, I’ve got self-realization on my mind! Also, the nature of the universe. And consciousness. And physical matter. And perception. And psychotropic drugs. And plant spirits. And mosquito repellent… HEY, it IS the jungle after all!
Get ready guys… It’s ALL happening.
Suck it, wall! I don’t need you anymore!!!
Could have sworn my feet were closer to my head, but HEY, I’ve got a whoooooole summer of inverting outdoors to work on it!
During Half Moon…
Teacher: “Dina! DINA YOU’RE NOT WORKING! Push, Dina! Come down and push, push, pushhhhhh, PUSH, PUSH, PUSH, PUSH, PUSH, PUUUSSSSHHHH!!! And change…
Dina! Daddy had to get a little firm with you there, didn’t he?
Ok, that was creepy.”
Creepy, yet debilitatingly hilarious! I couldn’t stop grinning for about two postures after :)
So if you’ve been following along for a minute or so, this won’t be news to you, but I’ve been sick. Like, really sick. It’s been about two and a half weeks since I came down with what I thought was the flu—turned out to actually be shingles OMG WTF I AM ONLY 33!—and a little over a week since I was officially diagnosed. Things have been, well… challenging.
Yes, we’ll go with that.
But the good news is, I am feeling so So SO much better than I was!!! I’m not totally back to normal yet, I still get tired very quickly and have some minor pain in the affected area, but really it’s NOTHING compared to what it was! Seriously, I’ve never been SO happy to feel slightly sub-par!
Interesting how a viral infection will put things RIGHT into perspective for you, eh? Related: After a week of wearing a rash on my face that looked more like gunshot wounds, I will never ever complain about the unsightliness of acne again.
The recovery process has been intense, but then I made it so. I’ve been working at it like it’s a full-time job! Which, to be fair, it IS. Healing—physically, mentally, emotionally—is ALWAYS a full time job, and as Kris Carr says, you are ALWAYS at the office! But looks like the efforts have paid off. My recovery is going quicker than anyone expected!
For those unaware (ummmm, like me two and a half weeks ago!), shingles can have a host of nasty-wasty after-effects. The virus itself takes anywhere from 2-5 weeks to run its course. You can have a week or so of flu symptoms (as I did) before the rash ever appears, a rash that lasts about two weeks, and residual nerve pain that can last anywhere from another three weeks to a month to six months to years to THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. Not kidding guys. This shit can SERIOUSLY fuck you up. Not to mention if you get it on your face where I did it can cause blindness, hearing loss, and facial paralysis. GOOD TIMES, AMMIRIGHT?!?!?
Praise and gratitude to everything holy, I seem to be safe from all of that. I visited the eye doctor yesterday, and my eyes are good! They even took a cool picture of my optic nerves!
NO, those are NOT my boobs, shut UP, ya PERVERTS!
You might notice the optic nerves themselves are not symmetrical, which I guess is out of the ordinary, but the doc didn’t seem too concerned. Hooray!
I also visited the ENT! They tested my hearing, which involved sitting alone in a tiny silent sound booth that looked like it belonged in a David Lynch movie (cue awkward lighting and eerie Angelo Badalamenti score) in the dark and hitting a button everytime I heard a slight sound pumped into either ear. You’d be surprised, but this shit was NOT EASY! A million times I was all, Ummmm did that sound just happen or am I making this up? OH WAIT, that was just my stomach grumbling, RIGHT.
But somehow, miraculously, I managed a perfect score. In BOTH ears. Holy crap you guys, I am a SUPERHERO!
The ENT marveled at the results (as did I, frankly). Dumbfounded, she showed me the chart and told me she had never seen anyone recover from shingles so fast, and that the disease can REALLY “mess people up!” (I’m assuming that’s official doctor terminology.)
Then, in what may have been the awesomest moment of my life, she—the DOCTOR—asked ME—the patient—what I did to make myself better.
OH. HELLZ. YES. You guys, you know you’re doing something right when the doc has to ask YOU how you got better!
So I was all, Wellllll! Let me TELL you about it sister!
If you’re curious, the list is long; in addition to the anti-viral drugs the doc prescribed, I’ve been taking 1,000-3,000 mg of Lysine every day, a double wheatgrass shot every day, at least a liter of green juice every day, three vitamin C packets every day, a triple dose of multi-vitamins every day, eating super super super clean every day (no high-arginine foods, no processed stuff, no sugary stuff, mostly plants, a little protein, no caffeine, etc.), plus daily Bikram yoga once I felt well enough, callendula on the rash (REALLY helped!), Vitamin E all over my face, meditation, healing art, a little EFT, and of course a steady regimen of Advil for pain.
PHEW! You guys, healing yourself is HARD WORK! But ultimately, it’s pretty awesome work. This has NOT been a walk in the park or a good time by any means, but I’m grateful for the experience of learning to take care of my body, and watching myself heal as a result of my own effort and attention.
And yes, my case of shingles wasn’t as bad as some. And I’m young and strong and don’t have any longstanding immune system problems. Also, I caught it fairly early and was able to start the medication right away. But even so, I feel pretty good about my prognosis.
This experience—while perhaps not the most convenient or pleasant thing in the world—has really underlined for me that we are ALL capable of healing our bodies. But healing is not a passive activity. You can’t just sit by idly and ‘wait for the virus to pass’ (as many suggested I do). You have to be SO proactive with yourself, you have to not just WANT to heal, but you have to be WILLING do the work.
More on all of this later, I HAVE SO MUCH TO SAY YOU GUYS!!! For now, my advice is this: take care of yourself, be proactive, and do the work! It DOES make a difference and it—more importantly YOU—are worth it!
TODAY’S HEALING FOOOOOODZ!!!
Liter of green juice (spinach, kale, cabbage, cucumber, apple, pear!), 16oz of carrot / apple / ginger juice (delicious and sweet!), pineapple (anti-inflammatory!), apple (from the fruit basket my parents sent; pretty sure it has healing karma!), emergen-c packet (the bubbles are fun!), maple almond butter (so delicious it’s stupid!).
Not pictured: the double(!) wheatgrass shot I already had, lemon cayenne hot water from early this morning, and the half sweet potato I’ll probably eat around lunchtime. Dinner TBA.
HEY, this virus is NOT messing around with me, so I am NOT messing around with it! Hippocrates said it best: “Let food be thy medicine.”
HAPPY TUESDAY—EAT YOUR GREENS & LET’S HEAL OURSELVES!!!
There is no escape. You have a full time job. You are always at the office of HEALING. — Kris Carr.
“That’s it. I’m curing this thing with green juice, vitamins, meditation, and yoga. THE END.”
That was my facebook status update earlier today. I sound empowered, no? And I am! Or at least, I’m trying to be… What’s that they say? ‘Fake it til you make it’ or something?
See, here’s the thing guys. As much as I try to put on all this new age-y, spiritual, nouveau hippy, radical free-thinker, being of light, enlightened, guru-y flower child stuff, the real truth is… well… I have doubts.
Oh, keep your pants on. We all do sometimes, don’t we?
I was talking to my yoga teacher recently—the one that’s particularly new-agey—and I mentioned how sometimes I don’t know if Kundalini yoga is working, and all those intense breathing techniques are leading me to have a true spiritual experience, or if I’m just feeling lightheaded and open because I’m half-asphyxiating myself.
I mean, come on. There’s a fine line between the colors and light you see when the Kundalini energy moves up your susumna and the colors and light you see when you get close to passing out. And really, all this breathing-to-see-things, isn’t it just kind of like playing the ‘pass-out game’ we used to play as kids? But now on a more elevated level? A level with a cause?
“Alison,” my teacher replied, very serious, “I can’t believe you even said that.”
Annnnnnd I felt judged. For being a non-believer. The verdict was in, I was just NOT new-agey enough!
Truth is, I WANT to believe it. ALL of it. But I was born and raised a rational. If you know Meyers-Briggs, I’m an INTJ. “The Mastermind”. That should tell you pretty much EVERYTHING you need to know. I value logic, I live by facts. Believing in anything beyond the factual was always a fascinating novelty, but not much more.
It was only when I started practicing yoga that this novelty took on a new meaning… Suddenly there were all these things: chakras, nadis, energetic lines, channels, gods and goddesses, spirits, things beyond the purely physical, that were available to me. That I could FEEL but not always EXPLAIN. And slowly I started to believe in it, and what I couldn’t believe immediately, I desperately wanted to. Because, well, it was NEAT. And in a strange way… liberating.
Which brings me back to green juice, vitamins, meditation, and yoga. And how badly I WANT to believe that those things can heal me. And I do believe it… about 95% of the time. But there’s still that logical rational voice in me. The voice that says,
“What?! Green juice? Meditation? Vitamins?! Those things don’t work! They’ll never heal you! Statistically, you’re sick and you’re going to stay sick for x many days until you run through yz symptoms. That’s the way it is, always has been, always will be. You’re no different than anyone else. It’s the only way, for everyone, THE END. So who cares about the green juice? Go home and eat a burger. Throw some bacon on it. Wash it down with a piece of chocolate cake, because YOU ARE SICK AND THAT’S ALL THERE IS AND NOTHING YOU DO IS GOING TO MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE SO WHY STRUGGLE, FORGET IT, JUST GIVE UP.”
And sometimes, sorry to say, I listen. And I eat the piece of cake, because WHO CARES, nothing is going to make any difference.
Now let me take a moment to clarify: NOTHING is wrong with the occasional piece of cake. I freaking LOVE cake you guys. Especially frosting. I freaking LOOOOOOOOVE frosting. But what IS wrong, is eating cake simply because you GIVE UP on LIFE and believe that nothing you do makes any difference. DO NOT EAT THAT CAKE. Don’t let yourself go that route! All it does is cement your disbelief in place. With delicious buttercreamy artery clogging frosting.
No. When the rational little voice starts to get screamy in your head, you can listen to it. Hear it out. But then send it on its way. I think maybe the trick to all this, to believing in ALL these things that seem new and strange and can’t be backed up by science, per se, is to not give yourself any opportunity to think otherwise. If I’m going to be healed by green juice, and vitamins, and yoga, and meditation, then I have to COMMIT, one million percent, not only to believing it but to living that life. And if I really truly one million percent LIVE that life, with no doubting chocolate cake in between, then these things WILL heal me.
I know, it’s a crazy weird matrix-y mind game, but I think this just MIGHT be how it works.
My yoga teacher—same one as above with the Kundalini story—says “When you go to spirit* with your whole heart, you will be given may gifts. Beyond what you can even imagine with your mind.” And like everything else, I WANT to believe that’s true. And how will I know unless I give myself to spirit—or whatever—with my whole heart? Without doubt? Without the overly rational logical? Without giving up, giving in, going back to what’s comfortable (aka BURGERS AND CHOCOLATE CAKE) even if I know it doesn’t work?
Yoga is all about having faith. Learning to believe in something bigger than yourself, and in your connection to it. Something you can’t see or touch, but something you can feel and access if you’re open and willing. It’s a practice of learning to trust. And I’m learning… every day. And this is just an opportunity. A test maybe, to see how much I can believe, and the chance to learn to believe a little more.
And so I’m taking it. Today, I doubted. Tomorrow, I won’t. This is my challenge, this is what I have to learn. I’ve got a liter of green juice and a double wheatgrass shot waiting for me in the morning, and an easy yoga practice after waking up, and a little meditation before going to sleep. And YES, I’m sure there will be plenty of doubt that creeps in too, probably before I even leave my bed. But it’s the doubt that keeps me where I am, and it’s time to move on, time to let it go, time to HEAL.
The time for cake was yesterday. The time for juice is NOW.
*By ‘spirit’, she’s referring to what others call god, universe, life force, prana, etc. Basically, the higher power governing all things. Hey, I told you she was new-agey ;)
Being sick has given me a chance to catch up on some all-important tv watching. Here’s a fave moment from a recent ‘Parks And Recreation’…
Ann Perkins: Do you have any history of mental illness in your family?
Ron Swanson: I have an uncle who does yoga.
Maybe it was the drugs, but I laughed for about 10 minutes. I <3 Ron Swanson!
YOU GUYS. It has been a crazy, weird, wildly surreal few days over here. Remember my last post? Where I was all ‘Ommigod my flu is gone and I’m out of bed and doing stuff again and it feels so GOOD and so RIGHT and OMMIGOD I AM SOOO HAPPPPYYYYY LA LA LA BRAIN EXPLOSION!!!”
Well. I may have been a HAIR premature in the celebration department. Seems there was a LOT more going on in my body than I was aware of… Let me take you back…
(fairy dust, fairy dust, fairy dust…)
So while I was sick with this weird stomach flu-y thing last week, in addition to normal flu symptoms—you know, the good ol’ upset stomach, diarrhea, nauseousness, achy joints, fully exhasticatedness—I had a few more… well, unusual symptoms. Like headaches. Bad ones. And shooting pain up the left side of my head. Pain in my left jawbone. And pain in my left ear. These were all intermittent, so I didn’t think a lot about any of them. Just weird flu stuff! I mean, who understands the flu anyway?!?! VIRUSES! Ammiright guys?!?!
The achy-ness went away, as did the exhaustion, as did the stomach upset, at which point I was all HURRAH, I’M CURED! Except that the weird jaw-ear-shooting head pain never left. In fact, it got worse. I consulted with Dr. Boss (NOT his name, but he is a doctor—albeit a dentist—and my boss) at work on Thursday, and he said it was probably just a virus remnant working its way out. Ok, I’ll buy that.
But then Thursday night I noticed two tiny lumps near my left ear that hurt when touched. The jaw pain was constant by this time, no longer just a once in a while thing. And the shooting head pains were a regular occurrence. Ok, now I was worried…
And of course, where do you turn with a medical question at 11pm on a Thursday night?!? OBVIOUSLY, you go to WebMD and begin spinning the symptom-dial in a SUPERFUN game we call Self-Diagnosis!!! By 11:30 I was convinced I had an infection of my salivary glands. By 11:45 I was convinced I had cycsts. By midnight I was CERTAIN I had the most malignant form of salivary gland cancer imaginable. And by 12:30 I was making out my will.
YOU GUYS. This is lesson number one on why you should NEVER self-diagnose!!! I mean, unless you need motivation to make out your will.
Cut to Friday morning. I wake up, pop in to a work meeting, mention my weird jaw lumps which Dr. Boss assures me are just little cysts and I should ignore them, then leave and head to Bikram. I’m in the locker room getting ready and I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and HOLY SHITBALLS, WHAT’S THAT?!?!?!?
That THING! Up at the left corner of my forehead! It’s a red welt about the size of a quarter!
Now I live in New York City. Greatest place on earth, and also bedbug capital of the universe. So obviously I’m like OH SHIT. It’s a bug bite. On top of EVERYTHING else, now I have FREAKIN’ BEDBUGS!!!
I try not to freak out during class. My jaw hurts. The stabby head pain hurts. Even this stupid bedbug bite HURTS. Actually, it BURNS! Seriously, WTF is going on with my body…
(Ok time out. Bonus points awarded to anyone who can make a diagnosis at this point! Any takers? Eh? Eh?!?!)
I go home. Smear anti-inflammatory cream ALL over the giant bug bite, though as I look at it, it doesn’t REALLY look like a bite, more like a collection of tiny tiny blisters… WEIRD. WHATEVER. Smear smear smear, I take a Benadryl, I go to bed (after inspecting for bedbugs, obv).
Saturday. I wake up to throbbing jaw. Burning forehead bug bite… that has now grown to include my eyebrow… and a spot on the TOP OF MY HEAD. Like, UNDER MY HAIR. What bedbug is crawling UNDER MY HAIR for god’s sake?!
Ok, shit has gotten too weird at this point. I forgo ALL yoga classes planned for the day, and head over to urgent care. It’s probably time to see a doctor that’s NOT a dentist, ya know? I’m seen right away by a little Indian doctor who’s probably all of about 19 years old. I explain the symptoms, at which point he tries to tell me I have TMJ from grinding my teeth at night.
DUDE. I don’t know much, but I KNOW this ain’t TMJ!
“When’s the last time you saw a dentist?” he asks. Ohhhh the irony.
“OH, I see a dentist EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE,” I reply, not exaggerating. Come ON, I work with dentists!
So just as he’s about to tell me that the jaw pain is just a remnant of virus working its way out, and I should just take a few advil every eight hours, and I’m JUST about to jump out of my SKIN because at this point I want a DIAGNOSIS, DAMMIT!, he glances up…
“What’s that on your forehead?” he asks. I hadn’t had a chance to explain it yet, since I’d been too busy defending the fact that I do NOT have a night grinding habit.
He goes on right away without waiting for an answer, and in the most matter-of-fact tone of voice says:
BINGO. Who had shingles in the pool? You win it all!!!
GREAT! A diagnosis! At least now we’re getting somewhere! Even if where we’re getting is a totally unsavory locale…
SO. If you don’t know (because I didn’t yesterday!). Shingles is a mutation of the chicken pox virus. Once you’ve had chicken pox, which most of us had in our younger days, the virus never really goes away. It hides out in your spinal fluid and lays dormant, but can be re-awakened by any combination of: another virus, stress, not enough rest, a weakened immune system, certain drugs. And when it’s re-awakened, it travels up THROUGH YOUR NERVE ENDINGS (eeeuuwwwww) causing ridiculous pain along the way, and turns into a weird creepy blistery rash that hurts a lot. FUN TIMES.
So it would seem that whatever stomach virus I had earlier in the week re-activated the chicken pox virus in me and my weakened immune system allowed the virus access to my tri-geminal nerve (the one on the side of the face/jaw) where it laid down roots and was now making blisters out my forehead. UGH SO GROSS YOU GUYS.
The prognosis is good in the long term. I caught it early. I’m on anti-viral drugs. I’m not contagious. I can go about my daily life. I just need to get enough rest and not let myself get stressed. Honestly I don’t know HOW IN HELLS BELLS to do either of those things, but I’m going to try.
And here’s the real dilemma: I don’t know how to take care of myself. Really. I am BAD at it! I mean, clearly, or I wouldn’t be here. I sleep MAYBE 4-5 hours a night. I eat anything I can shove in my mouth with one hand while standing up waiting for the subway. I work full time. I take a billion yoga and dance classes just because I freaking LOVE it. I’m always reading something or researching something or writing something. I’m always going, seeing, working, DOING. I’m a DOER! Or so I like to think… The problem is, my balance of DOING and BEING is way out of whack. I’ve known it. But… it’s hard to change… especially when you want a LOT out of life.
So perhaps I have this nasty-wasty virus that can take anywhere from 2-5 weeks to heal, so that I can learn to rest. To take better care. To BE and not just DO.
My brilliant teacher Elena says that we all choose our challenges, and our struggles. She says we choose them before we get here, and choose the ones we do because those are the lessons we need to learn, and we need to learn these lessons so we can teach others. I believe that’s true. Or I at least see a lot of beauty in it, which makes me want to believe it.
So somewhere deep down, I suppose I chose this disease, because I NEED to learn to care for myself. I mean, I’m a yoga teacher by trade. Not teaching much right now, but I want to be. In fact, I devoted 2013 as my Year Of Self-Realization (whoaaaa topic for another post!), during which I would learn about and get clear with myself, my issues, and my past in preparation to teach again. Well. This is going to be a hell of a way to do it… I HAVE to learn to care for myself—and I have to learn it REALLY WELL—if I ever hope to have ANY business teaching others how to care for themselves.
And so, here I am. Trying to figure out what to do to take care of me, and trying to be ok with that. With BEING and not always DOING. Honestly, I don’t know how this is going to go… but I have to get well.
I’ve heard that all writers write the book they need to read. Elena wrote a gorgeous yoga book called, “The Art Of Attention.”
Well, my book would be called “The Art Of Self Care.” And it begins now. It has to. And it will be born of my own experience, because it has to be that too. And hopefully, in the end, I learn the lessons I need to know, and integrate them into my life and my self, and can pass them on with the authority that only personal experience can bring. And maybe that’s what was meant to happen.
Or maybe I’m just waaaaay dramatizing this situation I mean it’s a VIRUS you guys, EEEEUUUWWW!
But maybe I’m not… Maybe it was, in a weird way, a gift, a teacher… Or maybe it can be, if I let it…
In either case, stay with me. Wherever we end up, it’s going to be an INTERESTING trip.