Have you ever been blinded by love?
You create this image of someone in your head,
a best friend.
You fall in love with all their good and make excuses for their bad.
Excuses when they fall short of your needs.
You stay because you want to work on things, you want it to work out in the end because you truly love someone.
Because you opened your heart again.
Because you don’t want to have to open your heart again to someone else,
to be vulnerable with someone new.
So you stay.
I never knew what that feeling was like.
I believe people change. We change every day. We grow mentally every day.
But, I also believe in relapsing. In falling back into your old ways because its a comfortable place.
That is what I find to be the biggest disappointment.
Hoping someone would change for you,
the way you would for them.
When your gut tells you something is not right,
you build up the courage to talk
or to leave.
And when you do go to leave,
they know exactly what to say to give you that hope.
To keep you around because you think, maybe,
they are telling the truth.
That they really do want to change.
And they do. The effort is there. They try to prove themselves.
A few weeks go by and the urge for the high comes back.
Then they slip back into that comfortable state of being.
The effort stops.
Then you are left wondering what is going on.
Why do I feel like something is missing, yet again.
What happened is that you stopped knowing your worth.
You clouded your thoughts,
Why don’t I get flowers anymore? Why does another person calling me beautiful, feel so good? Shouldn’t my partner be making me feel good enough that this doesn’t even phase me?
These thoughts are red flags.
But we make excuses because we are so blinded.
So in love.
Wanting to rebel against the modern dating culture of making new lustful connections being at the tip of our fingertips that when we find someone that is worth the rest of our life,
we want to dedicate our everything to them because we do not want to fall into the life of swiping left and right.
I don’t need to listen to these other people, I know I’m beautiful. I don’t need any external validation. My partner shows me in actions that I’m worthy.
Do they though?
Does your partner make you feel good?
Are they fulfilling you?
Are they supporting you in life?
In your dreams, in your goals, on your path of life?
Are they acknowledging all the changes you have made to better your relationship?
Is the relationship equal?
Or is it a competition, for them?
Are you excelling in life,
so much to the point that they become envious instead of supportive?
Even though all that you are doing, is to create a life with them.
These questions, are valid.
You are in love with someones potential.
A damaged humans potential to love.
You get a taste of them when they put forth the effort,
and it is euphoric.
You want to shower in that love when it is there because it is so fulfilling.
It is everything you wanted.
Or so you thought you wanted.
You can’t build a relationship based on hope.
Well, you can.
And everyone has done it.
But I hope you have the strength to stand up for yourself if you ever find yourself in a situation like that again.
That the second time around you do not settle.
You never really understand how hard it is to stand up for yourself in a relationship like that.
Get ready, because it is a feeling I can’t even find the words for.
But, it is beautiful.
Once it is over, you remember who you are.
You remember what you have accomplished in life to get you where you are.
Then love starts to flood in from all directions,
from who truly makes you feel whole.
Your friends and family.
Just know, that they will come back.
Begging for you.
I hope you have the courage to hold your ground.
To know that it is ok to love someone, and let them go.
If they want to leave out of your life, let them.
Because what is not there in the beginning,
will not be there in the end.
My current destination landed me somewhere closer to home, somewhere familiar.
After years of country hopping, I was ready to plant my roots somewhere.
To sprout a foundation for myself.
Throughout the years, traveling has been amazing and I will never stop enriching myself in culture but, there came a point where it was beginning to feel like I was floating. Floating from place to place.
My grandmother told me at breakfast one morning, about a year or so ago,
“Whatever you are searching for, I hope you find it.”
That stuck with me.
Am I searching for something?
So I made the move to a place that has always made me happy,
a place surrounded by salinity, that always smelled of ocean breeze and low tide.
A place where others viewed as a vacation spot but a place I could call home,
far enough from Miami but close enough to still visit for Sunday breakfast with my grandmother.
That was when I found myself packing my things and heading to the Florida Keys.
The rollercoaster of a ride I would take in the following months surprised me but nonetheless, I learned many lessons about loyalty, betrayal, patience and the power of words.
Making a home somewhere after years of being unrooted, is uncomfortable.
Buying a car instead of a plane ticket means normality.
Sticking out a job for six months means there is a good chance I will be here longer.
Being here longer means potentially meeting someone.
Meeting someone means a loss of freedom.
For someone who has been running for years, this means vulnerability.
Just the word could make someone like me head off again but I will say it again.
What does being vulnerable even mean?
By definition it means “susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm.”
What does it really mean?
It means learning about yourself while being emotionally involved with someone else. It means opening your heart regardless of the outcome. Letting down your walls and risking it.
That is what life is all about, right?
I fell in love with a man.
A wonderful man. Kind and playful. Strong and Free-spirited. Sweet and driven. He motivated me to do the things I loved. We laughed and laughed endlessly.
But I also fell in love with a man who couldn’t let go of his past. Even if I was “everything he ever wanted in a woman.”
His heart was with someone else. Another woman who he described as toxic, a type of poison that seems to take over your entire mind and body. The type of woman who cheats and blames it on you. The kind that manipulates and belittles you until you are left so hollow you cannot breathe. The kind you keep going back to no matter how painful, because once it is introduced into your life, it becomes an addiction.
I fell in love with what felt like a ghost. Someone who was terrified to be vulnerable again with someone after the pain he went through with her.
Can you blame him though?
The only time he was ever human, was when we left town. When he could completely let go of her and all the baggage dragging him down in this small town. I was given a taste of that far away man, and it was all I envisioned.
Maybe with time he will get there.
“Time” was always his reasoning, “It is just going to take time.”
I gave my all. I thought all of our ups and downs was because of me. Always apologizing for being who I am. Too emotional, too sensitive, too hormonal.
Crying at night when the lights turn off because he sleeps with his back turned to me instead of talking to me.
Rejected and unworthy of my own mans touch.
When really, the battle in his mind was driving his walls higher and higher. Pushing me out, yet he stayed with me in hopes that what he was feeling would all just go away. His thoughts drowned him and I was only a distraction.
Suppressing thoughts only creates a rebounding effect.
He tried for 8 months to free his mind but in the end, it was something he had to do on his own. I could only remove so much poison from his heart to replace it with sweet nectar, until my own flowers began to wilt. I hope the lesson he learns from is that love is meant to be kind and patient. It is understanding. It is not yelling or bitter words. It is not drinking and smoke cigarettes to hide emotions. It is nurturing, empathetic, and it is compromise.
When he finally opened up and spoke from his heart, we both knew that it was time we go our separate ways. Spending one last night together, we cried and held each other. In the morning, I woke early to gather my things and before walking out the door I gently kissed his forehead. Though I felt the brush of his hand trying to grab me as I walked away, I didn’t look back.
I almost forgot what heartbreak felt like.
Then I found myself lying on the floor of the office at my work gasping for air through my drowned out eyes.
No matter how strong you tell yourself you are, a heartbreak shows you just how human you really are.
It feels clichè when you always hear about it but when it hits you, it hits.
My best friend told me something later that night that really stuck with me.
I had thought this relationship taught me what truly loving someone again feels like.
And what if feels like to have your heart broken.
But she told me,
“You learned what being in a relationship means. Communication and not running away. When you find the right guy, it just comes easy. He wasn’t the right guy but he was a good relationship to have because you’ll grow.”
So here I am,
watering these roots every day like I always have only when these flowers bloom again, the fruit will be even sweeter.
The universe is funny sometimes.
In the midst of my breakdown, when I picked myself up off the floor to then wipe my eyes, my phone rings.
Every path has a purpose.
People are given to you at the exact time you need them.
I haven’t been writing much here because I have been so focused on writing a book.
I didn’t want to sound like I was repeating my stories in it but, I realized that I had to continue practicing being vulnerable, regularly.
My most recent trip took me to Mexico.
This was one of the most ballsiest trips I have taken thus far.
This man messaged me on instagram late last year when I was working the boat show in Ft. Lauderdale, asking me if I ever worked on yachts and that he was getting a job in Baja that season. I didn’t think much of it because at the time I was involved with the man in my previous, Red.
These instagram flings seem to be an ongoing trend for me. Which is not healthy, by the way.
The whole love them and then run from them deal never works out well in my favor,
yet I couldn’t resist the idea of another adventure.
A few months later, he had messaged me again.
It was during my art show the following week, and a couple rum runners deep, I am planning a trip to meet him out there in Baja. I didn’t think I would actually follow through with the plan, but a month later I was sitting on the plane on my way to Cabo.
I had never spoken to this man on the phone, nor seen much of his face.
I completely winged this trip. With no back up plan, just complete trust in a stranger.
The day I booked my ticket, was also the night Jonathan died.
Jackson’s and Andrew’s little brother.
The last of the three brothers.
All three of them now dead.
How does that happen?
How do you explain something like that?
You don’t. There is no explanation.
Everyone told me I was crazy for this trip but, at this point,
I really didn’t care about taking a chance on living fully.
I walked out of the airport, he said I would notice his truck.
At first, I searched and searched the crowd of people and cars with no luck
and I began to get nervous but, I knew I would find him.
His truck I did notice, it was hard not to because he was the only blonde haired kid in the entire parking lot.
His skin was stained by the sun and kissed by freckles.
He wore two silver rings, one with a turquoise stone the other a solid band.
His hair longer at the top, with hints of strawberry blonde intertwined with browns and sunshine.
His blue eyes were like a starry night speckled by grey clouds, the kind you could lay around staring at for hours.
He talked to me but I could not even look him in the eyes.
I knew he was staring at me constantly as I answered him.
We began the drive back to the Serendipity, the yacht he worked on, stopping at a few spots on the way. The first was an overlook of a few surf breaks, he pointed out spots he found during his time in Baja. His hand grazed my back and said lets go before the sun goes down.
I thought, that’s it. That touch just set the mood for the rest of this day.
We went to the ocean but it was too cold in the day to swim, so we laid out a blanket and just laid talking.
He asked me about what happened, then told me about how he lost his little brother when he was a kid.
Laying on the beach, by the water, in that moment, just felt free.
I couldn’t help but melt into his eyes.
The way he smiled at me,
stared at me.
His laugh was intoxicating and I was getting quite drunk.
This road trip consisted of plentiful amounts of film, dust, tacos, and heavy breathing.
But like most of these stories,
it ended upon my arrival back to Florida.
Trying to make something work that was created by two free spirits running from the real world, running from facing our truths, I knew would never last. One needs support, growth, emotional stimulation, and to be needed, none of which would come out of a lustful Mexican dream.
I needed to plant my roots in a place, not a person.
As much as I cared for him and everything we shared, I knew I had bigger plans for myself.
I had to nurture the woman I was becoming, not the woman I wanted to pretend to be.
He was the raven I needed in that time of my growth,
to bring my wild woman wolf back to light.
So, on to the next chapter.
Until we run wild together again Raven.
Falling in love with words seems to be a pattern these days.
Did you ever love me?
Or were you in the love with the thought of us?
Did I ever really love you?
Or did your words just make me feel worthy of someone for once, that it clouded the reality of the situation?
You can’t love someone until you know their darkest layers,
and instead of cowering and attacking them,
you nurture them.
You hold them in your hands and speak kind words to them.
You give them life with air that fills your own lungs and water that is composed of your own body.
You show them the sun and watch it make them grow.
You don’t give up when it gets hard, you fix it.
You work at it.
At the time, I thought you were love.
Now, I know you are not.
The rain came as quick as the fire sparked and we were put out,
by anger, fear
Focused on the flaws,
not the goodness of the words you spoke before we went to bed,
not on your hands as they caressed my waist under the red sheets I bought you.
The sheets I will rip off your bed
because I refuse to allow her to stain them with her
pheromones when you return home.
I wanted to get better with you,
but you gave up.
I think I did too
here we are.
Burnt out lovers.
I was too wild,
the fishing line so tangled in my bones
you threw me back to the bottom of the ocean
because the effort to untangle what I was composed of
was too much for you.
Knowing she came back to you in an instant,
knowing you called her to come to your side,
days after me,
feels like a hot blade to my skin.
But I watched you stick that sword in the fire this whole time,
the poison that dripped from your mouth when you spoke of her
I knew was only a cover up.
I will not let the welt that swells from it define me.
It will not make me wince in pain
because what you did not know all along,
I am fueled by fire.
Beneath this epidermis hides many scars,
that tell many tales
and at the end of this story,
there is only one fool.
Can you guess who it is?
He walks with his head down because
he knows what people will say.
With his tail between his legs
because he knows I will write about him.
You will not longer feel me underneath you
speaking soft words to your damaged heart
I am sick to my stomach
when I think of you going back
to the poison
My recent travels took me to a country one would be hesitant to travel to, especially for a female traveler. It is reasons like this that I want inspire other women to stop living in such a fear and to get out there like I know you want to, despite what others say.
What was suppose to be 7 days, later turned into 11 days because it made me feel that good. It was a last minute trip I decided to book because I was in need of an adventure after returning from Australia.
A buddy of mine was going to El Salvador for a spring break surf trip with a group and asked me to go to photograph, I thought “Well, why not?”. They already had a place booked to stay and I was not keen on sleeping on the floor, so I turned to Facebook to ask if anyone had any inside friends or relatives there. Low and behold, I actually had quite a few.
So here’s the story, a few years back I had a band I was following on Instagram stay with me in Jacksonville. They messaged me saying they were coming and asked about where to stay, I offered up my place and we spent a few days singing, drinking beer, beach swimming, and sharing stories. Turns out the lead singer has family there and he put me in contact with his cousin. I told his cousin that I was a photographer and I really wanted to experience El Salvador like a local. I wanted to steer clear of fancy hotels and doing things that didn’t support the locals. The cousin’s best friend was opening up a hotel and offered to give me a room at discount in exchange for photographs during my entire trip. Of course I jumped at the opportunity. He even offered airport pick up for the entire group I was with, which consisted of 3 girls and 5 guys.
I arrived at MIA around 10 pm Thursday for a 11:49pm flight, only to realize that my departure flight was actually out of Ft. Lauderdale. I couldn’t help but laugh at myself and I called my mom to tell her to turn around. I get in the car and we head to Ft. Lauderdale, going back and forth about whether to try to make it or change the flight. I called my buddy and told him what happened and to let me know when they start boarding, in case I needed him to stall. Long story short, I made my flight and we were off.
We made it through customs and I had no idea what this man looked like but as if the universe was answering this question at the same time, there was the hotel owner Pablo, holding a printer paper sign that said Welcome Tyler in black pen. I could not stop giggling inside at how epic it was because I had never had someone waiting for me at an airport before so naturally I felt like a bloody movie legend of some sort. He some how managed to strap 12 boards and squeeze 8 people into this van. The crew was staying in El Tunco so we dropped them off and I headed to El Zonte with Pablo. I passed out as soon as we got to the hotel. When I woke up in the morning, my first sight was this.
Mind you, this place is now finished and it is a dream. I will photo update you when I go back at the end of May.
Stoked couldn’t even begin to describe it. The room had beautiful tile floors, a private bathroom, a queen sized bed with a full mattress above for extra room, a safe for my belongings, a table, and air conditioning. It also came with all your bathroom necessities, shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc. Not only does this place have a beautiful exterior and interior, on the other side of that fence is a dreamy view of the river where locals wash clothes and wild horses can be found roaming free, culture and nature living as one.
The beach is a short 2 min walk.
At the end you of the road you can find this view.
Pablo took me across the river a few times during my stay, where you can find some fresh local food at a price no one would could complain about. A typical lunch would consist of chicken, tortillas, salad, and rice running you between $3.50-5.00 depending on where you are and if you enjoy it with the local beer. Pilsner and Regia are the best local beers, both about $2 a pop. I went for the camaron ensalada (shrimp) because the seafood there is remarkable. I’m talking $3 bowls of ceviche right off the fishing boat and $6 whole fish platters remarkable.
Saturday we had a BBQ at the hotel and I met some of his friends who were some of the nicest men I’ve ever met. Pablo asked me if I liked oysters and I didn’t really know because I couldn’t remember the last time I had them. Few hours later, this woman shows up to the hotel with this massive platter. Pablo hands her money and walks back over to us only to reveal this beautiful sight.
The next morning the crew and I decided to dawn patrol it and surf one of the major surf breaks there, Punta Roca. Afterwards we went and grubbed at a local joint in El Tunco, each getting a desayuno typico which consists of scrambled eggs, refried beans, plantains, queso fresco, and bread rolls for $3.50.
After brekkie, Pablo suggested we take a hike up to Tamanique Waterfall. It was a moderate hike and we were up for anything so we jumped at the opportunity. I recommend not doing it mid afternoon like we did because well, dead sun in the afternoon, but if you bring lots of water and snacks you should be fine. Make sure to pack your swimmers as well because once you reach the bottom, it is an amazing swim.
We were pretty beat by then but, Pablo and I dawn patrolled it for the next three days. I had never been so stoked on shooting surf in my whole life. Picking up the local from shredders every morning and listen to them froth on waves, there is nothing more exciting. We linked back up with the crew on the 23rd to surf out in a new right break, K59. They surfed for about four hours that day and it was their best session yet. After we dropped them all off in El Tunco, Pablo and I headed back to the grocery store and grabbed more BBQ essentials. It was our second to last night in El Salvador so we wanted to enjoy it as much as possible and Pablo made sure of that. At this point we had picked up a few extra people, including two Australians we met out at K59. Pablo provided all the food and beverages having everyone pay just a small charge of $15 each. Which was amazing for how much food, alcohol, and transportation to and from Michanti that he provided.
Just to be clear, It is not a hostel nor a party house. I was the only guest at Michanti at the time. So he was happy to accommodate all my friends with these services as it was something they were all interested in doing. Surfing in the morning, having BBQs together and enjoying each others company while mingling with the local people, as we all should. This place is a respectable welcoming hotel with amazing tour services. Anyone who stays here would be catered to anything they needed. This place now also includes a full bar and food service from locals.
When the day came for us to leave, it didn’t take much for me to cave when Pablo asked if I was changing my flight. We picked up the crew and drove them to the airport to send them back to Florida.
I told them I wouldn’t be returning back to Florida just yet.
And it was the best decision I could have made.
Over the next couple of days, I caught up on my photo editing. I told Pablo that I wanted to experience some of the local life there. The real El Salvador. I wanted to learn how to make pupusas, one of the staple foods you can get in El Salvador. It consists of a corn dough filled with cheese, meat, veggies, beans, really whatever it is you want. It is so bloody good and so cheap. So, he set that all up for me.
I got to do the entire process of making pupusas. From washing the dry corn, boiling it, to taking it to the mill where the old man grinded it for us. It was truly a spectacular process and it made my heart so happy. This was truly getting the local feel.
Saturday after the crew left, he took me to the fishing pier in the city where we picked up fresh crab, shrimp and fish to make paella that night. I cooked with the two women chefs that night and we traded English and Spanish lessons for each of the ingredients we cooked with. I couldn’t stop smiling the entire time.
Some other travelers had told us about a wwoofing farm in the city, I told Pablo about how much I enjoy gardening and learning about it so he got in contact and told me that we were going. So we packed a bag and headed for the city for a night at the farm. Here I learned about what they do, who built the place, where the owners are now, etc. They set up a fire for us that night and we talked about our past travels and family life. I never felt so at home with a group of strangers before in my life.
So it is safe to say that Michanti and Pablo made an everlasting impression on me about this country. So everlasting that I will be returning on May 26th with a few new friends to show them why I fell in love with the country of El Salvador.
I am 24 years old this year. I have a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and a Minor in Art. I have a increasing student loan debt of $27,000. I just got back from living in Australia for a year. Being back in the states really sucks and honestly, I have no fucking idea what to do next. The more I’m asked what I am doing next, the more I begin to panic. I feel like I’m on this time crunch to do certain things in my life.
I’m about to start working at a nearby bar. My mom has to move out of my childhood home by the end of the year so I am helping her downsize. My grandmother needs help with my grandfather because he is having vision problems that are also causing issues with him being able to chew properly. My best friend and I want to move into a place together somewhere on the east coast of Florida but we don’t know when and kind of panicking not having a set job there yet. I have been sleeping ridiculous hours trying to adjust back to this time zone. I have been drinking every night and because of it sleeping is worse. My stress and hormones are completely out of sync with my body.
There is a whole lot changing and I feel like I’ve been hit with a fucking tsunami.
That was written 8 days ago.
Today marks one month of being back from Australia and I finally feel like I am myself again.
I let the full moon and eclipse take what was making me suffer because I don’t need to drown in its tide anymore. Travel depression is definitely real. That constant want to be able to go to new places and see new things. Everything being in reach because of public transportation, making everything easier to get to. It has taken me a months time to realize that I can do all that here too. That when I put something out into the universe, it will respond.
I realized that I am extremely hard on myself. Especially when it comes to my photography and art. I’m not good enough. I won’t ever be good enough. I won’t ever make it because everyone else is doing something better than I am.
These type of poisonous thoughts were killing me. I thought, well now that I am back from Australia I have nothing. I am nothing. I am not doing anything. So that makes me worthless. What I failed to realize was that people were praising me for having the courage to go half way around the world to live for a year. That they all wish they could have done something that crazy. I heard none of this as compliments. All I saw were mouths moving and me just thinking, it really fucking sucks to be back. Shit Ty.. Wake up. People are so excited you are back. They want to hear stories of all your travels. They want to feel a part of your world because they never took the leap you did. It has taken me a month to be able to type these words to myself. To finally open my heart again and love what I have done in Australia.
This year though, I will focus on my art and photography. I don’t know what is next to come in these next months but, I know it will be beautiful. This past year I have focused on child development and learning about kids but now, I will learn to love who I am more than ever.
Be kinder. Be softer. Things will be different but, they will be good. Baby steps, Ty.
It’s been 11 months now. I only have four weeks left here in Australia and I’m feeling all sorts of emotions.
I’m excited for Kelsey and Bridget to arrive on Saturday. They will be here Christmas eve. I have then organized a trip up the east coast for us where we will spend a few days on Fraser Island to ring in the new year.
The feeling of someone from home coming is what is making me cry. Overwhelming sense of happiness maybe.
I’m scared for the wave of emotions that will swallow me once they come and then leave. I miss my friends and family at home so much sometimes I can barely breathe.
I’m ready to leave to start something new in Hawaii but, I’m sad to leave the people I have grown to love here. I feel lost right now but, I know it is just the craving of someone familiar from home to get here already. I just cry thinking about it.
I can’t help having this feeling that something inside me is still missing. I just want to keep running but, I know that it’s only a temporary fix.
Have you ever had that feeling, the feeling that you just want someone to fully care, someone to fully love you in a moment and listen to you in a dark room? All while you both just lie there in a bed staring into nothing, maybe with your eyes closed, tangled in one another so you are just left there with words? Well that’s what I have been feeling. I’m not always happy, I do break down. Maybe that is the only time I write but, so be it.
I left my comfort zone and my good friends back in Newcastle to change more lives here in Newport. I think I have done so, really and truly. These kids and Justine have become my own family more than I could have ever imagined within such a short time. It pains me to think of them having to have to start over with a new Au Pair.
Being an Au Pair has been one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever done. Maybe it is because I fully care about the children and giving it my everything.
But, there are things that can go wrong as an Au Pair too. About a month into me moving here, I met a french au pair who was totally being exploited. She didn’t realize it, until I brought it to her attention after she told me her duties and pay. She was getting paid $100 a week for the same amount of hours I was doing, plus additional evening/weekend hours at certain times. Not only that but, she was getting paid monthly and as “damage control”, her host mom was hanging onto $100 a month out of that pay just in case “something happened” or “she broke something”. What this meant was, the au pair was getting paid $300 a month.
That’s it. Ya, get stuffed.
You can spend an easy $100 in a single day with a trip to the city. Just on food, transport and maybe something special for yourself. I told her she needed to raise her concerns with her host mom. Long story short, the host mom called her selfish and so she left. I went and picked the girl up a few days later to come live with me until her new host mom could get her.
Things can change so quickly. It is truly amazing how many times a day you change. I want to go home because I want to see my friends and family but, at the same time, I can’t help but wanting to keep living the way I am. I trust my journey and this path of life. Almost every day is filled with joy but, some days are harder. Today has been filled with emotions. It is only 3:23pm on a Monday and I’ve cried majority of it.
I always find myself thinking about you, especially on these days Jackson. I know that I am ok because I have you with me always. I lay on the floor for hours sometimes, listening to soft music and just cry. Then I get up and I put on a song that reminds me of you and I just dance. A slow dance. Once that takes over my whole body and I just move because it is that warmth that keeps me going. I miss you so much. I know you’d be here with me, physically.
I made the move and I found another family.
I felt I had done what I needed to do with those children and it was time for me to move forward. I needed change, mentally and physically.
Now, I’m sitting in a two story brick home in Newport, NSW.
It’s in the northern beaches of Sydney.
There is five bedrooms upstairs with six people (including myself).
Jack is 15, Jesse is 10, Scarlet is 7, and Willow is 4.
Mom, Justine, and dad, Sean, aren’t together anymore so it’s just mom living here but, dad is still involved and comes to help most days.
My new room is next to Mom’s. It’s not a granny flat with a double anymore but, it’s a roof over my head and a bed to sleep.
There area is pretty sweet. The wharf to get to Scotland Island is at the end of the of my street. Scotland Island was the first place I went when I embarked on my Australian adventure. It’s amazing what you walk past in life not knowing that later on could be a bigger part of it.
The beach is just a 15 min walk. There is a pub across the street that seems to always be bumping.
I sat there for a few hours drinking a few beers and writing letters on Sunday.
Starting new and alone is a always weird feeling.
Being comfortable with being uncomfortable. You learn to observe more and you get use to this feeling. You get use to it because you realize that this isolation is just as much part of the process of traveling as being surrounded by familiar friends is.
My schedule is different now. Monday and Wednesday I work 7:30-6:30, only because Willow doesn’t go to kindy those days. Tuesday I have off which is great, it was originally suppose to be Monday but, things changed with her work and a day off is a day off right? Thursday and Friday I work mornings and afternoons because Willow has kindy those two days.
I don’t have to stress about cooking exquisite meals anymore because mom tells me what to cook or prepares it for me the night before to chuck in the oven or nuke up.
No one said I had to cook the way I did with my previous family but, I did feel there was a standard I needed to uphold that actually terrified me every time I had to cook.
It’s me learning to take a step back. That I am here to just help mom, rather than feel like full on mom as I did in my previous family. I don’t need to be so full on because this mom actually wants to. It’s breathing.
These past few days, I can begin breathing clearly as I embrace this change.
It’s hard to reintroduce yourself to another family when you’ve adapted to another over the past 9 months. Baby steps.
Breathe me in.
Like you have been under too long,
waiting for the wave to pass.
Would you run with me?
Into the unknown darkness of the night.
Feel your heart begin to race,
as we both gain speed down the beach.
Can you feel me?
In the stars, the moon, the ocean.
Would you dive in with me, not knowing what is beneath?
Into the ocean’s darkness. My darkness.
I can make you wild,
if you let me.
You might set my soul of fire again,
if I let you.
Do I dare howl in the night with you?
Or do I keep running and never look back.
I’ll race you.
Then everything falls apart, the come down from that high.
It pains you but, you ride it.
Every single part of that motion, you ride.
Constantly telling yourself to just breathe and feel it all because all of it matters.
All these heavy parts of your being that you can’t stand. This overwhelming feeling of being lost, it’s like a slow moving poison in your blood. Just waiting to suffocate you.
At first, you want to fight it.
Filling your lungs with more oxygen. Your heart beats harder, your blood runs faster.
Allowing the poison to reach your heart at a faster pace.
Then you decide to trust it and dive head first because you have nothing to lose.
It tastes like salt water.
It smells like jasmine.
It feels cold upon impact but, you adjust and there is comfort found in the goosebumps as they dance across your body.
There has been a lot going on mentally after I wrote that last post, it built up throughout the week until I cracked. I cracked on someone I really care about. I went back to a side of me I didn’t want to be, someone I have tried to escape from for years because I didn’t like who that woman was. When I could finally address where it was coming from, I wasn’t suffocating anymore. I had to start sucking out the poison from my wound.
I was registering my old friend’s presence with my past because she knew that part of me and I was lashing out at her because I felt she had this baggage on me. She was doing nothing wrong and it didn’t make sense to me why I was doing this. I gave myself time to think and address it. I’ve apologized and explained everything to her and completely took her to that dark side of me, which I haven’t shared with anyone in a long time. It was nothing she did, just me getting lost in my mind. She understands and I am grateful for that.
My mom came to visit and I knew it would be heavy. Her uncertainty of me ever coming home and me knowing that this conversation was coming, I knew the visit would be the deciding factor of what I was going to do. Maybe I just didn’t want to admit to myself that I wanted to go home. I’ve always just wanted to run. The thought of having to go home and not know what would come after it, that scared me more than selling everything and moving to Australia. It’s just trusting that process just as much as I trusted moving here.
I met someone this past weekend who made me feel home. It was interesting and exciting but, I can’t help having that feeling to run, again. You know that feeling of uncertainty that sits in your thoracic diaphragm and you feel like you can’t breathe because the thought of letting someone in scares you that much. It’s all too familiar. I’ll get there when I get there though. For now, things have changed. That direction of movement of staying has shifted.
I’m going back to Hawaii. I bought my ticket this morning and it is official. I need to do what is best for me, not best for these kids. They are not my own and my time with them will come to an end. I get attached to humans easily and it is always hard for me to leave something I have given my every ounce of being to. The feeling of always needing to rescue people. It has become too much and the longer I am here, the more I realize how hard I am on myself because of my host mom. I never feel I am good enough. Constantly worrying I will do something wrong. A type of poisonous energy that can turn you into someone you don’t like if you aren’t careful. It has bitten me multiple times but, I have tried to fight through it. There is no more fighting, I am who I am. That is the best I can be.
All good things don’t come to an end, they just continue to get better as long as you perceive each moment as a gift. It’s time to continue draining the venom. No expectations. I’ll be back for you Oz but, for now, I’m headed back home. Well, at least to Hawaii.