Friday, August 31, 2007

The illumination, the earthquake and the Andes

Well, I'm home again.
I feel like I've been gone a lifetime and come back as someone else.
Someone else with Peruvian alpaca yarn.

Peru was an experience. Travelling with a group of 16 young women was a fantastic experience. Fantastic humour and courage and tenacity. We had illness and tears and hilarious laughter. I had some moments when I wanted to leave and come home; when I didn't think I could manage the responsibility - but of course, I did - we did. We had Peruvian hospitals and doctors; and we had copious amounts of vomit.

I have comforted so many tearful people and exuded empathy and sympathy from every pore for nearly 3 weeks. Guess what? I'm pretty good at that. If you'd asked me what I thought were my strong points before I left I wouldn't have thought to include that. In fact, I think I might have thought that everyone could do that in the way I can - but I guess not. Perhaps that's why I've had so many problems in the world - I truly haven't realised that not everyone can feel/see what others are feeling. I can. But I also discovered that I was stronger than I realised - I thought I would be overwhelmed by others pain - and I was at times - but actually I could cope with it in the moment. I could comfort and reassure through pain and fear. I could see and read and guess fear. I used my knowledge to guess where others felt frightened and I was right. I have skills I never knew I had. And it may have been exhausting but it was good. I said many times that I didn't mind people crying and being fearful and sad - that I would just be there for them and that I wanted to try and make people feel better; or at least, not alone. I think I managed some of that. I think I'm finding where I need to be.

I'm not sure what that's going to translate into but it's a better feeling than I've had for a long time. What I think I felt to be a flawed aspect of my personality - caring what people thought and how they felt - being aware and frightened of sadness and fear and anger; well, I think I now realise that it's an asset. It's something that not everyone has to the same extent.

I just hope this isn't a flash in the pan. Yet another wild dream of a moment (Yes! I want to be a fighter pilot! - No, I'm kidding; I never wanted that. I'm too much the pacifist for that.)

I think I've also come home realising how much I want to be married and a mother. I've been fighting my mothering instinct for a long time and it's not necessary.
I'm quite frightened now I've written that - and I want to shout 'no! no, I don't! It's a lie!'. But that would be the lie. I run away from making decisions. I haven't seen enough of decision-making around me. I've watched a 10 year wait-and-see scenario and I've allowed that to teach me not to make choices. I don't know how I'm going to make some choices but I'm going to have to try.

1 comment:

Snoskred said...

Well I would have found the vomit difficult to cope with, but I tend to sympathy vomit, so.. ;)

I'm really thrilled for you, that you found out you were stronger than you thought.

Re the wait and see situation - how could you do otherwise? Bringing a child into this world is a big commitment and if you can't guarantee you're going to be there for them how can you make that commitment? Yet at the same time, people get hit by buses, they fall off cliffs, any number of unexpected situations can arise where they can't fulfill that commitment they made to their child.

Does that mean even for a second that people should never try? That they should not have kids, just in case?

Everyone dies someday. You are still here. You are not dead yet. You have to live each moment while you're in it and not worry about the future other than having a backup plan just in case - like every other parent on the planet has. Like me, being a cat owner, has. Because something could happen to me tomorrow and I want to make sure my cats are looked after.

Maybe this might help you out. ;)

The Inaugural Get-Yer-Shit-Together Challenge -