October was a wild month. Debriefs, weddings, reunions. I was gone more than I was home. I packed, and unpacked, and packed again. I flew 6 times and slept in 5 different beds.
I loved every minute of it.
I went from a chilly, rainy debrief in Ecuador to a hot, sweaty debrief in Guatemala. I went from one wedding dance floor to another. I road-tripped, repelled down waterfalls, played volleyball on a black sand beach. I ate mayonnaise on corn (…when in Ecuador) and had the best hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted.
I laughed harder than I have in a long time.
There was the time a group of us girls visited a natural hot springs in Ecuador. We didn’t have bathing suits, so we rented some (…apparently it’s a thing.) The lady tossed us bikinis that were way, way too small. Like, inappropriately small. “Um, más grande?” I said with an accompanying gesture. She motioned back at me that it was fine.
It was not fine.
But that didn’t stop us. We squeezed into the itsy bitsy teeny weeny
yellow polka dot bikinis, put on the required swim caps and laughed our way into the crowded hot springs.
We didn’t last long… it was too hot.
There were the nights in Guatemala I spent having “retainer talk” with my squad leaders before we fell asleep. We laughed so loudly I wondered if we would get in trouble.
There was Texas, where I ate one of the best meals of my life and then felt sick from laughing so hard afterward.
October was full of belly laughs, good food, travel and adventure.
That’s what you would see on Instagram (if I had one.)
But as we all know, that’s not the full story.
This month was also filled with hurt, pain, and grief.
I anticipated moving out of the house where I lived for the last few years would be hard, but actually living out that hardship is a different story. Letting go of safety, security, comfort and familiarity is easier said than done.
It makes you feel raw and vulnerable. Exposed and uncomfortable.
I know I’ve had things to process these past few weeks, but the weight of it felt too much. Especially amidst the coming and going. “I’m avoiding.” I wrote one of the few times I cracked open my journal. I worried that if I opened up my heart on paper, my hand wouldn’t be able to keep up. So why even try?
I knew I would have to face my feelings sooner or later. Tonight, I sat on a friend’s bed and let the words and tears spill out. The hurt, the pain, the grief.
“What’s confusing is I feel both joy and sorrow,” I told her. “It would be easier to just feel one thing.”
I came home to more tears and more words (6 pages on a Google Doc so my hands could keep up with my heart) and now this blog.
It’s good to process, to release tears and fears and feelings. But processing doesn’t shortcut the journey. I still need to wake up and face the day and figure out life in this new context. It will take time. It won’t be easy.
Tears and laughter, joy and sorrow… and so the story goes.