How strange it feels, to be alive and well, spending time in one of the most popular and picturesque destinations in Europe, yet be aware of the colossal amount of tragic events, ignorance, and sorrow in the world with a Trump America, a war-torn Syria with millions displaced, griefing and anger over the Manchester inicident, post and neo-colonial Africa and Latin America and with that centuries of implications, erosion of indigenous peoples' rights and voices, regions which still haven't recovered from the financial crunch of '07 and' 08, climate change-induced droughts, floods, and subsequently, the beginning of an era of climate refugees and water wars -- and here I am, enjoying the almost-summer breezes, sangria, tapas, sweets, and sunshine of Barcelona while paying a whooping €15 to see a "donation-based" cathedral that was started in the 1880s and will not be complete until 2026 (extremely magnificent structure, don't get me wrong, however I'm thinking what that quantity of money and energy could have been dedicated to instead). I find myself often surrounded by folks who will take 10+ selfies to get that one shot to look cute/cool/radical to their friends/followers whilst not particularly paying attention to where they actually are and the significance that surrounds them. I see shoppers who drop hundreds upon thousands of dollars-euros to temporarily satisfy their superficial material fix, only to return for more. As asthetically beautiful, full of history and vibrant arts, I've been reminded a number of times that I am back in this part of the western world where excess has driven and continues to drive these cities and society. I can't say I am surprised, yet I've found myself in a dilemma that I haven't felt this strongly since being in Japan back in November. I feel disgusted. I feel let down by humanity. I feel that I cannot be on the same team as these fellow humans who seemingly have little to no awareness of their actions and the happenings around our shared world, which as we go deeper and deeper into the technology and information age, ignorance to me becomes a choice rather than not. I feel the impending doom hitting as we keep riding these cruise ships on fossil fuels as the sea levels continue to rise, flooding homes and displacing people we don't know and don't care to know while we tell ourselves YOLO (You Only Live Once) so I deserve to spend and do what I earn so STFU (Shut The F Up) but hey here's $10 on Kickstarter for your non-profit phew my soul is cleansed and karma will bring me the goodies for lyfe! That same time when I got hit by this wall, this blatant culture of excess and ignorance, I started a long personal post about a related climate change dream that I had had the night prior. I never quite finished it as I got deeply concerned about humanity and my own mental well-being as the words came out. Despite being my last evening in Barcelona tonight I made the decision to stay in after picking up some fruit and empanadas from the store around dinner time. I needed this time to reflect and process it all -- how do I continue to keep my head up and fight the good fight? Where do I continue to draw motivation to move forward in these turbulent times? What is my greater contributions and what positive impact have I and am still creating? Where do I go from here as I wrap up my 14 months being away from "home"? Is what is geopolitically considered the US even home? Who can I collaborate, live, thrive, and be with to allow myself to be myself and co-create the best that I and we can be? Thank goodness for the good people that you do meet and hear about. Just earlier this afternoon I went to check out a co-working space in the middle of Barcelona where an Italian couple who has been living here for several years do a weekly donation-based luncheon for anyone and everyone with mostly rescued foods and groceries from nearby stores and markets. Apparently the food waste movement started in this city a little while ago and now there are grassroots groups dedicated to picking up what would otherwise be thrown away due to arbitrary "expiration" dates. Phew. I needed to meet them and know that. But I do wonder and think... how strange it feels to feel lonely amidst so many.