Blue homes stacked like Legos on the rolling hills welcomed me to Chefchauen. It was a relief to leave behind the bad memories of Tangier. I felt I could actually breathe the moment I saw that crap city behind me and started seeing signs for Chefchauen before me.
On the bus I met a super cool girl from Jordan and with me was a girl that I had met in the hostel in Tangier. We all made our pilgrimage together to the calmer hills to the east. It was good to have a built in support system because I wasn't quite sure how Chauen was going to be and if I would feel safe there. Tangier tripped up my confidence and I was trying hard to gain my footing back. Shoulders back: check. Head held high: check. Bitchface: check.
We all checked into the same place and I went for a walk on my own. Best to test the waters sooner rather than later. I put my best bitchface on and sneered at the many guys who offered me hashsish. I cringed at the people walking fast down the hilly alleyways, sandals slapping the cobblestones, then pushing past me quickly. Each time my heart lept and the flashback of my attacker appeared in my mind. "Keep going, don't let him win" was my mantra. But I soon found that the reality was that these were good people here. They didn't need to see my bitchface, so I practiced being open as much as I could. Bitchface filed away for use at a future date.
In my quest to rekindle my badass-ery I did a long hike with the girls to a waterfall. It was utterly grueling. We only made it to the small waterfall because we also wanted to go and see God's Bridge. This proved to be a serrrrrous hike on a slippery,rocky path no wider than my hips, straight up, and on my left a straight cliff going down. This was going to test me. My fear of cliffs is for the most part gone but ghosts of it remain, and are still active.
"Screw it" I thought, as I just did what I do best: shut up and just do it, already. The view at the top was breathtaking and I made my way out to the furthest point of the cliff that I could. There was a rock that jutted out over the edge of the cliff that I gently edged to. I want to get over this petty fear once and for all. I breathed in the fresh air and my quiet victory.
At last we were ready to go. Damnit! Now I had to go down.