Trauma in Paradise

Lonely Beach

Paradise is a subjective word.

I learned this only recently – very recently.

Paradise for me is no longer just a place. It is being with the people I love – wherever we are.

Though living by the beach for a little less than two weeks would be like living in paradise, or so I thought, it was hell-on-earth for me. I did not know it would be. I would not have ventured out when I did otherwise.

I was lonely. My husband couldn’t be with me for many days as work required him to be in the city. I couldn’t do it. I could not last being with people who claimed to treat me as “family” but made me feel isolated. I could not last being away from my husband anymore.

I basically courted depression and anxiety – the very same conditions I thought would somehow be “eased” once I am surrounded by water and working in what seemed to be “ideal” work conditions. At 48 years old, I still don’t know myself that well.

It’s not the place. It never was. I was too anxious about the future and was blinded by the promise of a better career – and an attractive salary – that I did not stop longer to really think and consider. What do people always say? If it’s too good to be true, it usually is.

And I finally saw through it. All this time, I had been listening — hardly talking — and I finally discerned. It helps to just listen. Usually, the more people talk, the more mistakes they make by revealing more of their real motives.

The promises made were as loose as as the fine grains of sand falling between my fingers. True characters were revealed, shattering whatever “good impressions” I may have had. I was lonely. I felt very out of place.

I was very lonely. And I left. I picked up whatever I could carry and headed out to the bus station. I had to leave – for good.

And so now I am home again – with my husband and our 3 dogs. I am still recovering from the trauma.

I will get better. We will get better.


A Rainbow Spells “H-O-P-E”

Rainbow_BagasbasI woke up early this morning to witness a perfectly arched and unbroken rainbow. It was literally “clear as day”.

It rained for several days here by the beach – on and off — like a leaky tap.

So the start of the day was, to say the least, hopeful.

Inundated by depressing and stressful thoughts, and the harsh new realities I face, I could hardly appreciate the Pacific Ocean as I walked past it (I hear its roar every second) for a couple of days. It’s such a waste, really, when I SO looked forward to seeing it everyday.

I looked up for several seconds to stand in awe of that rainbow — to thank God for another day, and a new hope. The rainbow didn’t stay visible for long, but I managed to take a decent photo of it.

For me, that rainbow spelled “HOPE”. Even if that hope is short-lived, it is still hope.

It is hope that will sustain me in the coming days, as I wait for my husband to return.

It is hope that things will get better where I am now.

It is hope that a clear answer will come to our heartfelt prayers.

It is hope that we can let go when necessary — without looking back in regret.

I pray fervently for HOPE. Please, give us hope.

When Change Is Not What You Expected

Panoramic View_Madisons Compound

I guess the title of this blog hints at what’s to come.

The beach – work-life balance. It’s all there.

So why do I find myself feeling lonely even while being tickled by the fine sand underneath my feet, witnessing the majestic waves and being swayed by the non-stop onslaught of fresh salty wind?

Gone is the “honeymoon” phase of my transition, as my sister reminded me. Why did I expect it to last?

Different folks adjust to change – even if it is a “better” change – differently. For some, adjustment takes a couple of weeks, while for others, it will take longer. I guess I am part of the latter.

I expected to be “okay” in under a week. What was I thinking? Why did I put that kind of pressure on myself?

My husband and I are both adjusting in different ways. We left the life and home we knew for more than 3 and a half years. We left behind our three dogs with a caretaker while we prepare their new home.

We left a cool climate up in the mountains to live in a hot, humid (though windy) beach side property. I work up a sweat even while standing still! That’s if I’m not anywhere directly hit by the wind.

I don’t know where or how to begin marketing properties in another unique culture. I have so much to learn!

Change – I will need to give myself the time and space I need to acclimatize – to settle in – to feel like I’m home.

When will this happen? I don’t know. I guess I’ll have to wait it out and live one day at a time.