I’ve run out of media space for journalfemme so from now on you can find me at the link below:
…and it’s written by my little sister – in 10 min.
She needs to move to Nashville.
I think I might put together a Kickstarter to help her get on her way.
About 4ish years ago Don was working in Montgomery Alabama for an extended amount of time. When I left home to go visit him, we went on an excursion to the Montgomery Museum of Art, which just so happened to be featuring Patrick Dougherty’s “Sapling Sculptures”.
Back in 2009, when we’d first witnessed the exhibition, I’d taken it in as a beautiful natural work of art – yet didn’t research it any further.
Come to find out that nearly 3 years later I’d come across another set of Sapling Sculptures at the Honolulu Museum of Art.
The sculptures aren’t permanent, and their final days of exhibit in Honolulu were March 3rd, but luckily Don & I were able to snap a few quick photo’s to add to our album of travels before they were cut down.
And to add to the “it’s a small world” perspective – in doing a little bit of research for this post, I found out Dougherty recently sculpted an exhibit in my hometown of Sarasota, Florida at the Sararsota Museum of Art.
I have a strong tendency to do things in extremes. My abrupt, and sometimes hasty decisions are usually a direct result of poor stress management. I’ve spent a lot of time and regret dwelling on past situations where I made a quick decision to bolt, rather than work through an uncomfortable situation. Presently I feel an insane amount of pressure to be perfect at something I’m struggling with. In the midst of discomfort I find myself making excuses and looking for the easy way out.
In stewing over my options I’ve somehow realized that my ability to see something through, even when it’s not ideal, is all about perspective.
If I take this temporary challenge and see it through till the end, I’ll give myself more freedom of choice and better opportunities on the other side. I’ll also take confidence in pushing through when my normal reaction is to avoid the uncomfortable.
Yesterday Don & I celebrated our 3 year anniversary. Well let me re-phrase that. We didn’t so much “celebrate” as I came home early from work, sick with the flu – with just enough energy to lift my head from the pillow and see that Don had bought me flowers and scheduled for us to go on an Island Seaplane Tour this weekend. Tres romantique, non?
All said and done I am hoping to be cured from this bug (which has managed to start with a cough, produce a sore throat, then deliver sinus pressure – ear tingling that makes my head feel like an anvil, oh yeah and then all that good stuff drained and infected my stomach) by tomorrow. Fun times.
This all leads me to admitting I am horribly, terribly bad at being sick and staying still. I can have a 102 temperature and still insist that this so called sick time is the perfect chance for me to take down the Christmas decorations and vacuum.
But enough of my dramatics and more of the anniversary cuteness.
The best part about looking back at these photo’s is the complete sense of mystery they hold, eluding to what the next 3 years would hold.
While I was riding shotgun to Texas in that big ol’ UHaul I could have never guessed that after a year I’d be living in Honolulu, Hawaii; the next year I’d solo travel to Cambodia for 3 months (spending a week of it in Manila Philippines with Don); and then I’d start the third year of our stint in Hawaii working for the most amazing organization.
All that being said, I am a lucky girl. Three years of adventure, travel, time apart that made “absence makes the heart grow fonder” so true and every-day challenges have furthered my convictions that I have married the most wonderful man.
Don is a man in all the ways one would use the word, Man. He is steadfast in his convictions. He is protective. He is loving. He is hard working. He is incredibly intelligent. He is, of course, quite handsome. And most importantly he supports my independence and my position as a woman who can stand on her own. We support one another, and nothing, nothing in this world, means more to me than knowing I have someone who understands me, loves me and all my quirks, and will stand by my side, holding my hand through life’s crazy challenges.
I am one fortunate woman.
Happy 3 year Anniversary Don. I LOVE you.
I’ve been pretty absent from the blog world lately.
Reason being – I got an awesome “big-girl” job that’s been soaking up all of my free time.
I’m hoping to fall into a routine once I get past the holidays, but for now there is limited time for extracurriculars (we don’t even have a Christmas tree yet)! Stay tuned, I’ll be back with some rejuvenated creativity soon!
I wrote this the day I arranged for an early flight from Cambodia, home.
Where does the truth make you guilty?
Well in Cambodia of course.
Where else can you ride your cheap second-hand bike with the rusty brakes down polluted dirt roads, squirming and pedaling your way through the tuk-tuks and the moto’s and the big fancy Range Rovers, to find yourself praising God when you reach your destination – limbs attached.
Where else can you tuck in for a good night’s sleep only to find that your used pillow the guesthouse provided you with smells like the dirty hair-sweat of the person who slept on it previous to you.
Where else can you wake in the morning, walk downstairs to the main dining area of your $3 per night hostel to eat your generic bran cereal and find yourself sitting next to a snoring, hungover, rotten smelling tuk-tuk driver.
Where else can you see shining ornate palaces, touched with accents of gold, and beneath its shadows the tiny hands of a naked, begging baby boy.
Where else can you be constantly greeted, no barraged, with the phrase “you buy something lady” “lady buy something” as you walk down market stalls, suddenly feeling like the color of your skin has instantly morphed into American Money green.
Where else can you walk to dinner – to a fancy Western style restaurant of course – and be faced with a begging mother who has laid her incoherent, bloated, starving, child out on a woven mat before you on the sidewalk so that you are forced to literally step over him while thinking to yourself, “I’ve only got a fifty. I’ll come back when I’ve got smaller bills.” before indulging in two for one cocktails. On more than one occasion you’ve simply forgotten to go back.
Where else can you find yourself face to face with the reality that for God knows why you – a twenty something college graduate from the United States of America – were born with such privilege, and for some reason, these people, who are breathing the same polluted exhaust filled air as you…they obviously were not.
There are in fact many places around the world that I can go and experience these very same emotions, these very severe examples of in your face poverty juxtaposed against the verity that I myself have for some reason been spared.
This is the most difficult truth to face. This is what gnaws at me day after day, taking in this countries sights, its smells, its customs its people.
I’ve heard foreigners who come to Cambodia say they can’t believe how much the people smile here. I’ve yet to experience this side of Cambodia. Maybe I impose my pessimistic curiosities on others, and I only see in them the harshness of what I perceive.
I’m unsure of it all. I have learned so much and yet I feel as though I am more uncertain about the state of the world, about life, about fairness, about religion about individuality than I’ve ever been. When you spend time in a developing country, and if you’ve come from a developed country, you must adapt. You must look at the circumstances; take in your surroundings, your social encounters, even your daily commute to work in a different way.
So now I wonder, what will happen to these thoughts when I leave? What will happen to my conscience when I’m safe in my king sized bed, comfortable under the cool breeze of an air conditioned bedroom?
What will happen to these thoughts when I resume my responsibilities, as a wife, a daughter, a sister? Will I be able to carry this experience with me, sharing its lessons with significance?
Once again I am uncertain.
I am though, confident in the decision I have made to leave. I feel the weight of these realizations these moments and memories pressing down on me, making me weak. My stomach is in a constant state of acidity and my legs are covered with bruises. As someone who just over a year ago ran a 26.2 marathon, I find it physically difficult to simply ride a bike a few miles back and forth to work each day. And despite my conviction that this situation is all about adapting and accepting, there comes a point where I must consider what is right for me personally.
So with these confessions that surely haunt my soul, I neatly pack my bags and return to the comforts of home.
I set out to challenge myself, and challenge myself I’ve done. I don’t know that I even came close to accomplishing some of the many vague goals I’d set for myself, but bear in mind I acknowledged at the onset that this was as much about me learning to personally take the focus off of vain pursuits and expose myself to a world much different than what I’m used to.
I love that I when I write honestly, without the intent to share, I can look back and grow from my previous feelings. I chose to share this because of the lack of filter. I sometimes feel that when I blog I edit my thoughts in order to appease or impress, but often my most genuine writing comes from my random “thoughts on paper” that I never intended to share.