I thought everything would be over and go back to ‘normal’ as soon as the earthquakes would stop. Little did I know that the real fight would start as soon as the ground would stop shaking. After the initial shock wears off, and you’re left with almost nothing – where do you start? Everyone is talking about the time “where things go back to normal”. Slowly I realize that for us there is no going back to how things were. The old Villa Nangka is gone and it will never come back.

My smile is a symbol of hope & strength

Where businesses start welcoming the first tourists again and people start repairing the cracks in their houses our world is standing still. I find it very confronting to see that people are re-opening their business and go back to work. Some people are telling me I shouldn’t be sad as I have the opportunity to design a whole new place and it will only be better. On some kind of rational level I know they might be right but I don’t want to hear it right now. You don’t get to choose how I feel. And just because you see me smiling doesn’t mean I’m not sad. Maybe my smile is a symbol of hope and strength.

A few days ago we started to take down our beautiful Pool Villa. It was the first house we designed and build ourselves. It was a crazy beautiful ride were we learned so much. I remember how incredible proud we were when we welcomed the first guests, just over a year ago. This villa and her belongings tell the story of who we are, where we’ve been, and the guests we hosted. To see my boys taking it down breaks my heart.

The sun doesn’t apologize for the days it hides behind the clouds

While I try to keep my head high, I trip and fall in a black hole. For a few days I keep walking in circles and try to find the exit. I don’t want to be sad, I don’t want to complain, I don’t want to cry but I can’t help it. I find it incredible hard to say goodbye to Villa Nangka as I knew it.

But then my Sunshine made me realize, the sun doesn’t apologize for the days it hides behind the clouds, it’s okay to be sad. I allow myself these days where it feels where the world is standing still and I grief.

It’s time to say goodbey

Today I woke up and I realize that the only way forward is by saying goodbye and leaving behind everything that I’ve known for so long. It’s terrifying and lonely and exciting and more than I ever thought it would be. And I remember what my good friend told me last week when we were sitting on the beach together: Just keep going, one day at a time and one foot in front of the other. You don’t have to know where you’re going. You don’t have to have a plan. You don’t have to have a to-do list already set in motion. Work on rebuilding yourself from the ground up, and focus on what you need right now.

Today I can feel it: It’s time to say goodbye to the Old Villa Nangka and start opening the doors to a New Villa Nangka. And I think I’m ready… 

Love Rose

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