So I decided to go to Guatemala.
OK not really.
What happened was, I was kicking around the idea of going to Guatemala on a "mission" and then I tripped and fell and by the grace of God and my friends and family ....
I'm going to Guatemala.
You know how Facebook kind of connects you with people that you may not have ever REALLY known from your past but then suddenly through the wonder of the world wide web you become BETTER friends with them? Yeah that's how it went down with me and Bethany Widby. She was an acquaintance in high school but not a lot more. We started chatting a lot on facebook and we're both bloggers. Hers is http://www.raisingawanderer.com/ and she talks about raising her son while traveling the world. And oh yeah, she happens to run this organization called A Heart for Guatemala. I think we connected because we both have passion for the things we are ... yanno, passionate about... and we both DO something about it and we both BLOG about it although Bethany is WAY better than I am at it but I digress. Anyway I became both intrigued and inspired by what her and her husband and son are doing in Guatemala. Did I mention her son is 6? But he's right there every step of the way working with his mom and dad making things HAPPEN in Guatemala? Gosh I love that.
That's what excited me about this trip. See, generally speaking, I'm "anti-mission" trip. Yes I've found my way back into church and yes I believe in God and Jesus but what I don't believe is that I should fly to another country and try to make you believe what I think. I just don't like that idea. If you want to, you can yell at me privately about that. What I like about the "mission" of A Heart for Guatemala is that it is education based and geared toward TEACHING people. Not just straight up education like reading and writing but also it's about teaching the children and the elders a better way of life. About farming, and gardening, and finding clean sources of water and life skills and............in all of that, teaching confidence and hope. Bethany fell in love with the Mayan culture and people and developed a passion and a heart for Guatemala (yes, pun intended) and she did something about it. She didn't just talk the talk, she is walking the walk and she's growing her organization and the help she brings to that country more and more each year.
I've been through a lot in the last two years and Bethany has watched it unfold on Facebook. Not that my status was ever, "Hey I got a divorce today!" but she was able to read between the lines and several times would message me privately and give me words of support and encouragement Throughout this process she asked me to consider joining her in Guatemala ~ for me.
Me, in a third world country? Clearly Bethany forgot too much about me from high school. I enjoy flushing toilets wayyyyyyyyyy too much to consider this. But here's the biggest thing I've learned in my journey through divorce. You. Only. Live. Once. I realize it's a big craze and catchphrase right now, "YOLO!" but for me it has become a mantra. I feel like my life has started for me just in the last year, at age 40. And I don't want another MOMENT to go by and another opportunity to escape me where I say, "Why didn't I?" No more. So the question was never truly "Why would I go to Guatemala," but rather, "Why wouldn't I?" I'm healthy, I'm able, I have something to give, and I WANT to give it. The only thing I lacked was the resources. You know, the financial ones?
So Bethany insisted I could raise the money. I thought she was nuts but again, YOLO! Why not? I started an indiegogo campaign and aptly titled it "Opening a new door." I posted it on facebook with the goal of raising $1800 in 55 days. My friends, I have over 30 days left in my campaign and I have only $100 to go to reach my goal. $1800 covers my flight and my room. Anything above and beyond $1800 will be used to purchase beds and clean water and books and food and chickens and good things that the beautiful people of Guatemala need. In fact, THE DAY I launched my campaign I was able to purchase my flight. And within 48 hours of launching the campaign I had nearly reached my goal. Every time someone made a donation, I posted it on facebook. I started saying "blessed, humbled, grateful" so much and so frequently that I jokingly said, "I'm having a tshirt made that says that."
This is my first post about my trip. I'm going the first week in July. I'm going to try to be good about continuing to write about WHY I'm going and then of course I will write WHILE I'm there and share my amazing stories. I can't wait. I CANNOT WAIT.....to open new doors and see new faces and breathe new air and as I've said since this whole thing started, "I'm kicking myself right out of my own box." It's time.
Friday, May 3, 2013
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Look at me, blogging twice in 30 days. I better be careful, or I might make this a... habit.
I doubt it.
This post has been brewing for awhile. Ever since my last one, mentioning the you-know-what.
My friend Heather posted a comment on my last post: "I'm never quite sure what to "say." I'm so sorry? Congratulations? Hang in there?"
I suppose the answer is different for different people but for me I can say....... "all of the above."
I'm so sorry. Yes. The situation in and of itself is a sorry one. It's sad. I assure you with 100% certainty that NO ONE walks down the aisle with all of their hopes and dreams tied to the person waiting at the end with the thought, "Eh, I give this thing 15 years." Me and the Mr. were BEST friends throughout high school, and quite honestly the duration of our marriage. We. Made. A. Family. Together. And I take that pretty seriously. I stayed a lot longer than I wanted to because of our children, because of our family, because he WAS my family. No matter how you slice and dice it, no matter how much I don't want to be married to him anymore, that man was part of my existence for 15 years. And even though I don't want to live with him anymore, it's still....just.....sad. So yes, saying "I'm sorry" is appropriate. Because it's hard and gut wrenching and soul sucking and robs you of your sleep and your sanity and your confidence (I mean, if you can't make this work, what on earth CAN you make work? Another post for sure), and did I mention your sanity?
Congratulations. I've had women "high five" me and give me a "you go girl." These are the woman who have been there. These are the women who know that on some level it's more difficult to leave when there is no "real" reason, that to leave when there IS one. I mean, my ex is a wonderful man, and truly an amazing father. We got along great. We were AWESOME roommates. But. That. Is. All. We. Were. And who do I think I am to say I want "more?" How can I look at my two beautiful children and tear apart their quite awesome lives because "I want more." I'm not tooting my own horn here. But I am recognizing that what I did took guts.
The guts to say "Damn straight I want more." "Damn straight I'm going to find it." and "Damn straight I deserve it." Actually, we both do.
Hang in there. Yes. There are good days and bad, as in everyone's life. The holidays are hard. There are days when I see it in my son's eyes, both of them (both sons, not both eyes ha ha ha) that they hurt. And on those days I feel the air escaping my lungs and my ability to breathe has ceased. But I can sleep again. I am off my anti-depressants for the first time in.......well, um.... 15 years. People tell me they can see it in my face. And the truth is, I do feel different inside. I feel.... lighter.
When contemplating divorce for the better part of two years, I always said, "I'm just trading one set of problems for another." And that's very true. Many of the securities that marriage provided are now gone to me. And again, there are days when I can't breathe, but for different reasons like....
But broke or not, my heart is free, it is unburdened and it is healing, so for that I will take a "congratulations."
And for the record, as hard as it is for you, the receiver, to figure out what to say, it's even more difficult to be the one to actually SAY it. Out loud. I'm kinda just starting. It's not like you get a tshirt made, or a tattoo on your forehead -- there's a certain degree of shame that comes along with divorce. You know? "I failed at the most important decision I ever made in my life and brought children into this world under this decision and awesome plan and now I've ruined their lives and disappointed every member of my family and the Mr. etc so on and so forth." Yeah, that shame.
But, I know this is part of my journey. And his journey. And my kids' too. It's a building block of our foundation. I'm building my bones as Liz Gilbert says (I really do read other authors, I swear). I'm learning as I go. These are tricky waters to navigate, but navigate them I must and I will and I am.
To those out there in cyber land and candyland and real land who have supported me with ALL of your words, I express my deepest gratitude for always, ALWAYS leaving your doors open to me. You know who you are.