We all have our ups and downs in life. Some years are good, and some go pretty badly. Myself, I have been through a lot, though, I know that no matter what life throws at me, there is always someone going through a worse time than me.
It has been exactly one year and a few months since I went through a job lay off, my Husband Divorcing me, my Father in-Law (someone I had grown to care for) passing away and not being able to see him as a result of the Divorce, my Daughter having to live with her Dad and not speaking to me, moving back to Seattle from San Francisco and losing more than half of my belongings to an incompetent moving company all in a matter of a few months. No matter what life throws at me I always seem to get through it.
One of the adventures I had enjoyed while married was the opportunity to build a school in Nicaragua with my Husband several years ago, and with the divorce, I have been upset that I wouldn’t get a chance to keep doing good now that he and I were not so much even talking to one another. So when the opportunity came along to travel to India and Nepal to do some good, I jumped on it.
Today I leave for our first leg in India. My friend Katherine and myself are joined with Kara and Barb, two hard core inspiring women. All of the three are dedicated to helping others, and more particularly, children.
For me this is going to be a chance to unplug. Other than the occasional sharing of pics and updates as we roll along, I won’t be digging into traffic data for any website, analyzing where rankings are and how I can improve them, or weeding through code to get a block of content to line up just right with an image on the page. This journey for me is about self reflection. I wanted to leave with all of my ducks in a row. The kids in a good place, horses care covered, friends all in a piece of mind, and finances straight. As of yesterday, that has all been accomplished and I can leave not worrying about anyone while I am away for an entire month.
There are three movies that come to mind when I begin my own self reflective adventure:
- Eat Pray Love
The movie starts out with Julia Roberts’ character at this realization that she isn’t happy in her marriage and says she wants a Divorce. She jumps into another relationship that is toxic and crazy and decides to leave for a few months to discover who she is.During that journey she realizes the relationship she was in is toxic and ends it, then proceeds to clear her head and experience what is around her.I hope that I take this time to focus on what lies past my laptop screen and outside of the barn. My process in healing from the Divorce has found me throwing myself into work only to take a break when I spend time with my horse or son (who usually rides with me). I do get out for an occasional dinner and movie with Jason, and dates with eligible bachelors. I also managed to get away 2 weeks ago to Arizona with one of those men, but found myself working most of the time and couldn’t shut my brain off when trying to spend time with him outside of the hotel walls.I’m leaving my computer at home. Gasp…
This is a tough one for me as I have clients I don’t want to leave in the lurch. I know my man Gunnar can take care of them, though I still can’t help but worry that they are going to need me. A month is a long time.
My goal at the end of this is to get back who I was before the marriage. I feel like through the years I have just started to find myself and enjoy me, then a man inserts himself into my life and molds me into what he wants me to be. The anger and hostility begin when my true self starts to come through and I fight for myself once again. I feel I need to find that woman inside and get her to a place that she won’t want to ever go away again.
- Under the Tuscan Sun
This movie starts right off throwing it in your face the obliviousness that Diane Lane’s character experiences when she is presented with the reality that her husband is cheating. Cut to a nasty Divorce where he gets everything and buys her out of her house. She has money, but is left with no place to live. Her friends give her a tour of Italy that they had purchased but could not go on, and she is off to her journey of self discovery. While on her tour she comes across a cute little vila that she ends up purchasing. With the money she has she hires a group of men to fix the place up and gets to know the people in the nearby village.Oddly I am almost in her same position. I have been renting a room from a friend while my life is in storage (with a good mover this time). That friend decided 3 weeks ago that she is going to sell her house and buy a new one with property for her horse. Her first attempt left me having to pack my things and be out of the room before I leave. Which means that I come back from my trip to no place to sleep. I began packing and lining up a place to come back to. Fortunately just a few days before I am scheduled to fly to India her house purchase fell through. I get to leave with knowing I have a place to come back to, but in the meantime found a great new home to rent when I get back.I hope I don’t find a cute little home that I can purchase, or fall so in love with India or Nepal that I stay, but I do hope that I make connections with the people I will be working with. I’m not a big fan of children, however it seems that I do very much like children from other countries. Maria and Sandra are still in my heart, and I often wonder how they are doing in their school we built for them.The children of the orphanage in India and the children at the school in Nepal, I hope, will help me to find a way to connect with others once again. I can’t wait to get dirty and sweaty building the chicken coop, and see where my techy knowledge will help in Nepal. I leave here with an open heart and open mind ready to accept what this adventure is going to throw at me.
Reese Witherspoon’s character is flawed in many ways. The movie tries to pin it on her Mother’s death, but let’s face it, we need to own our shit. No matter what unforeseeable circumstance is thrown at us as children that we could not control, or what we did to others in our adulthood that made us feel remorseful, we all need to look at ourselves in the mirror and own it all. My 3 Divorces define who I am, my 2 kids, and my family all made me who I am today. I can look back and play the victim putting the blame on this for why I do that, or justifying my anger because someone wronged me, but what good does it do? I will just keep going on hurting those I love and tell them “I do it because…” So where does that leave them? I would just continue to hurt others with no regard to the impact I have on them.I have worked the past many years on owning my shit. I started to get to that place where I accepted that I was doing harm (while not on purpose) many years ago. Once acceptence has been reached I could then begin to correct the behavior. Just as I was working on that side of it I got swept up with my last Husband and I stopped. He loved me so much that I didn’t need to own my shit. He told me he was going to be okay with the things I warned him about. In fact he had me sliding backwards as I followed his lead in blaming my ex-Husbands, friends, and Family for my faults. Yeah, that’s it. They made me this way. Then he left me in a rage over the very things I warned him about.So I’m back to owning my shit and on the way to stopping the damaging behavior.I hope that this journey, with one woman I know and value our friendship, and two others I am just getting to know, will allow me the time to really to work on my shit. I know I’ll slip up, and they will probably start to get angry or frustrated with me, but I will keep trying to improve.
I hope to come out of this with my eyes wide open again reminded of how fragile life is. Leaving behind a better life for those I have encountered along the way. I also hope that I am a more solid human being with a stronger sense of compassion for others and open to accepting new love into my life again.