Wow, time flies. I have already been here 2 months. I’m a month away from having to leave the country for a few days to renew my visit (you can only be in the country for 90 days at a time without a visa). And I can’t believe all the adventures I have lived in 60 days. Good and bad. More on that later…
Saturday, I pretty much spent the whole day with José. I slept in nice and late and I skyped my hermano amigo, John, a bit later. Love you so much, John! And I miss your face. John got to meet José over skype and I got to translate a little. That was fun. I can’t wait to be translating more for people. It makes me feel so special. Sure, I still can’t understand a heck of a lot of Spanish, but I know a lot more than some people and when I encounter those people, I sure feel cool.
Afterwards, José and I went to the park and met up with a few of his friends. I really liked them. They were nice and interested in talking to me slow enough to where I could understand. I like when I am included in conversations. We hung out with them for a while in someone’s house while they shared a few beers and then we headed to Punta Cera to watch some movies. I’d been craving watching some movies lately and Punta Cera has a nice little TV room with couches. So we watched a couple of movies in Spanish and I didn’t understand much at all, but it’s good to expose my ears to it.
Sunday I got a TON of reading in. I shocked myself with how much I read. I thought José and I were going to get lunch together that day because he said he wanted crepes, but I heard nothing from him all day so I urged myself to get out of the house and stop being stupid and do nothing while waiting on him. So I studied and studied in a café while I waited to hear from him. I finally heard from him at 5:30 and we met up again in the park. We had a special dinner Sunday night. I couldn’t decide what I wanted so we just walked around and we finally passed an Italian place that had the most inviting environment I’ve seen here. Gorgeous lights and a fountain. The place was a lot pricier than most places here, but for me, it costs about normal like a place in the states ($11-$17 a plate) so I thought I’d treat him to something nice since he’d been so good to me. It ended up not being the greatest Italian food, but it was still a nice environment.
It has been so romantic hanging out with him. He also said he wants me to meet his family and wants to meet mine and I thought that was so precious. A bit early for that, but precious none the less. He’s asked what do I want for my birthday and told me he is always there if I need him, just call. You can tell I obviously cleared up some feelings since my last post. Apologies to those I offended in that post by the way, but I promised to be honest in all my posts and warned that I cuss sometimes and so I felt it was all necessary. But the last thing I want to do is hurt anyone in my blog. So I hope I have not done so. Also, thank you to everyone who’s been keeping up with me. I hope you are learning some things through my experiences and are enjoying all my posts. I appreciate all the people that told me they’ve been loving my blog so far, even people I didn’t expect to be reading it!
I skipped my job again on Monday because I just couldn’t wake up again. My body has readjusted to staying out late so I just couldn’t do it. I’ve lost my motivation to go there. I haven’t been in two weeks now. I don’t remember what I did Monday morning, probably studied, but I met up with José again after class Monday. He treated me to dinner on another side of town that I had not been to yet and it was really good. Some kind of bread twisted with Italian pizza-like filling. We went to Punta Cera again after because it’s just so much more comfy to sit on couches than the hard chairs that most places offer. He returned me really early Monday night (10:00 pm) which is unusual for us. I wasn’t tired and I didn’t want to go home yet, but that’s what we did.
Things started changing Monday night. My house was empty and I had had so much fun the last few days that I suddenly hit a lonely spell. I was anxiously awaiting my next encounter with José. I don’t like lonely spells like this. Perhaps some people can relate, but I just can’t do anything but hang out with people and if I can’t hang out with people, I can’t do anything but worry about everything under the sun and get depressed. I don’t know what happened.
Tuesday didn’t help. I was so excited to be meeting my tandem partner to tell her everything that had happened and she cancelled. I was supposed to skype David, but never heard from him. I was supposed to see José before his job at 3:00, but I never heard from him until he was already working and didn’t hear much from him at all. I felt horrible all day. I couldn’t motivate myself to do anything or to cheer up. And José said he wanted to talk, which I of course thought the worst things possible and worried some more.
Thank God for Willy. Tuesday, my day was brightened for at least a short time as I arrived to class. Willy could tell something was wrong and slammed his books shut and said “Ok, tell me.” So I started explaining what happened and how I tend to worry if this or that happens and he was saying “Oh yeah, me too. It’s like this….” and would explain that he knows exactly how I feel. Then he paused and said “Wait. When is your birthday again?” And based on the subject of our conversation and his question, I instantly knew what he was saying and I filled with excitement and said “September 28…. and yours is… OMG OCTOBER 7th! We’re both Libras!!!!!!” And we burst into laughter. I don’t believe much in astrology, but it’s pretty fun sometimes and can be rather surprisingly accurate.
This was the best class I’ve had yet. After we realized that, we talked about hundreds of things. What’s your favorite color? Chocolate of vanilla? Do you LOVE chocolate? Music and art or sports? Everything. We share the same favorite colors. We both die for chocolate. We don’t really like sports, but if we like anything- we like gymnastics and figure skating in the olympics. We’re both great at remembering dates and we love romantic movies (He LOVED the notebook when we watched it in class). We both like peace and hate fighting with people and we are really uncomfortable if anyone is upset with us in our life. We are sensitive and get hurt easily and also are sensitive to the feelings of others and can easily read people. We want everyone to like us, sometimes to the extent where it’s unhealthy because we just don’t know what to do if someone doesn’t like us. We hate being unoccupied and can often spiral into a depression if we don’t have something to do. We prefer to be surrounded by people we love instead of being independent and we love romance and to be in love. We both get sick a lot with colds and stomach issues and often the stomach issues come from a love of indulging on the wrong food. We always think the worst when something happens if we don’t have all the details and we have a horrible guilt complex where we can think anything is our fault even if it’s not. And we’re so overly sensitive and romantic that we often feel like we’re completely out of place with the rest of the world and don’t know how to relate. And we LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVEEEEEEE being able to hug and love on someone. WHAT?
ALL of this. Everything we talked about and asked each other about, we shared the same feelings. We had so many moments where we just couldn’t say anything more because we were so shocked. We both had never met another Libra before (aside from my dear sweet grandmother, but I’ve never talked about any of these things with her before. But I have seen a lot of things that we have in common through observation). It felt like finding your soul mate (Or, I suppose soul friend is a better word because we’re not in love and he’s married haha) and we were so excited that class. We hugged a bunch of times and couldn’t stop laughing and when we hugged before I left, I said “And now we’re going to cry, right?” And he said “Shut up!” because he knew it was true haha. It felt so good to finally meet someone who knows EXACTLY how I feel.
It was nice to have a ray of sunshine on my day. I have felt disgustingly unneeded lately (personality issues once again) and it has made me depressed. I have a need to feel needed in my life and get really sad when I don’t feel important. With not much communication with my friends here and when José doesn’t answer me and people cancelling things, I get lost. I like to plan and when plans change, I don’t really know what to do with my day. Wednesday, I finally got up to return to work, but I thought maybe I should text first before I show up since it has been so long. Well, I texted and they said they didn’t have time for English class this week. So I skipped again and wonder how I will return after so long. It will be hard. I told my tandem partner we could meet up that morning and she said that’d be great so I got excited to finally see her again too, but 2 hours later, she cancelled. So I had another slow and lonely day. I did finally get to skype David, but poor thing just had to listen to me complain.
My teacher too. I got to see José for a moment after class and then I went to an hour of my salsa class. But I just can’t deal with it anymore. I’m going to start taking private lessons too. The class is too hot and too boring and I’m not growing at all. I went to eat at A Lo Chapin again because I’ve grown tired of Rainbow. I can’t believe I’m saying that, but it’s true. The music is the same every week so I thought I’d spend some more time with my friend Kevin. I’d been spending too much time with José recently and that wasn’t good for my heart. But about halfway through, I heard a familiar voice coming from Rainbow and realized Rodrigo came in town to sing again so I went to go visit him. Afterwards, I spent the rest of the night until 3:00 am with José.
Thursday I got a random invite to Monterrico with my friend Xavier. I was feeling rather depressed and only got 3 hours of sleep Wednesday night so I was thinking maybe I should rest, but the thought of escaping Antigua and spending more time with new friends drew me in. I decided to go for it since we’d be back in time for my class yesterday and away we went at 9:00 at night. I’m so glad I went! He has a nice group of friends and they were all really welcoming and tried so hard to make me cheer up from some things that have happened.
And holy crap was his house nice. This definitely beat my time in Monterrico with José. I had no desire to really return there after because it’s not that nice and it’s horribly hot and dirty. But no. Xavier has a private house there and it was like a RESORT! SUCH a beautiful house with lots of comfy beds, a housekeeper/cook, a wrap-around porch, a gorgeous pool, a gazebo with hammocks, and it was right on the water. He also had four-wheelers- so much fun! A real escape; just what I needed. I was so grateful that Xavier thought to invite me. I need some real friends here. It’s a shame they live in Guatemala City though. I won’t be able to hang out on a regular basis. But I much appreciated the time I got to escape Antigua.
Additionally, I came to find out that I met two famous people. Two of his best friends are famous. One is a soccer player for the national team (I think that’s what Xavier told me) and the other is a famous singer in Latin America named Ale Mendoza. PSHYEAH. I met famous people, kiddos! How lucky am I? I felt so special to be included because Xavier told me that they don’t like to tell people that they are famous and they also don’t have many friends because most people just want to be their friend because they’re famous and have money. But how nice was it of them to trust me to not be one of those people? I’m not one of those people, but they don’t know me. I could be a crazy that chases people for their money, but they trusted me enough to include me. I felt bad that I was so tired and sad that whole trip to really open up and be my usual self.
Xavier also told me about the history of the name “gringo.” He’s not sure if it’s 100% true, but supposedly the first people to cross the Mexican border were marines and since the Mexicans couldn’t speak good English, all they could say was “Green, go!” to tell them to get out of their country.. Entonces… “Gringo.” hahaha!
Since I went with them, I most certainly didn’t catch up on sleep. I got about 6 hours that night and came back just in time for class. My poor brain was fried and I was trying so hard to get Willy to have another fun class, but we’ve had “fun” classes all week where we’ve just talked about the drama in my life. So thank God that Willy decided to put an end to it. He’s mad at me because he knows I’m studious and I was climbing so fast in the beginning but now I’ve had so many distractions that my Spanish is not improving. So he pulled me in and started introducing the god-awful Subjunctive tense. This is going to be a beast to learn. And additionally, I’ve got to learn it AND fight some serious depression at the same time. My poor brain. Why are you depressed Lizzie? Why are you homesick?
Well, two things can make a girl feel really homesick- being physically sick and being emotionally sick. I’ve been physically sick over half of my trip. And this girl’s heart has been broken in 100000000 pieces. Like an idiot, I fell for a guy here. Like a god-awful stupid idiot. After all the warnings about how guys here are players, I had to go and be stupid and fall for one. And now I hurt just as much, if not worse, than how I hurt when my long-term relationships came to an end. I don’t know how people have short-term relationships. I just couldn’t deal. I’m always in things for the long term and it kills like a knife to have something so short-lived. Maybe it hurts more because it was all a lie and it was the first time I’d opened my heart back up to someone since being cheated on, but the lesson I am trying to learn is to press on.
Thank God for Isolina and Maynor. They sympathize with me just enough, but Isolina is a tough cookie that tells me the truth. I’ve been pitied my whole life and it has made it hard to be strong when these things happen. It makes me want to run home to mommy and cry and be waited on and stay in my bed for weeks on end because I always know I would be sympathized with when I run to her. I don’t like this. I came here to change myself. And I’m going to do it. I’m not going to be that silly girl that cries for weeks and quits everything and doesn’t care about life when I get my heart broken.
Isolina reminded me that I came here to change and I can go cry everything I need to cry, but after that, I need to wipe my face, wash my hands of it and carry on. She’s right. I’m not at home. I don’t have the luxury of having mommy to cry to. I’m on my own. I never felt so homesick. But here I am. I chose this because I wanted to change. And for the first time ever, I’m really being shown that THIS is life.
At least I know that I’m really living. I sometimes forget that to really be alive means to feel pain too. I hate that part of life, but it’s true. You can either have a protected life and be bored to tears, or you can live good and bad experiences and really know how to live. And I’m living! Look at everything that’s happened to me in two months…
-I’m in a foreign country away from everything familiar for six months
-I’m learning how to speak another language and communicate with more people in the world
-I’ve been sick for over half of my trip but still have been able to enjoy it
-I’ve seen beautiful and ugly new places
-I’ve taught English to people
-I’ve stayed out til 3 am in a place that is considered dangerous and nothing has happened
-I’ve peed in the street
-I’ve kissed 3 guys in one night (one of whom I didn’t really want to kiss)
-I’ve learned how to dance a little of Salsa
-I’ve met amazing people and I’ve met some not so amazing people
-I’ve ridden on a motorcycle, sin helmet
-I’ve hung out with a famous person
-I’ve been treated to a luxurious stay at the beach
-I’ve ridden a chicken bus, countless times
-I’ve experienced two tremors (yep, we had another one last night when I got home from class. It was funny to look out my window and see everyone walking around like nothing was happening haha!)
-I’ve gone a week without showering and have had to shower a few times in ICE cold water
-I’ve fallen in love and had my heart broken by the typical Guatemalan player
Life hurts. Life is fun. Life is good. Life is bad. But the main point that I’m having to learn is life moves on. And life goes fast. And there is no time to waste on the things that hurt. Because then you’re ruining your life. What if I indulged on my thoughts when I got my heart broken? I would be hating myself right now because I would have not only had my heart broken, but I would have failed my entire point in coming here.
What were my thoughts? Go home. Quit. Run away. Spanish is getting hard to learn anyways and now your heart hurts. You can’t concentrate when your heart hurts. What’s the point of continuing? Just get a ticket back home and get your money back. And what would I think of myself later if I followed through with these thoughts?
Hate myself more. It’s an ongoing spiral. If you are hurt and indulge yourself in the negative, you will hurt more later. Life is painful. But we have a choice. We can live a depressing life and indulge on the negative, or we can focus on the good things that happen and forgive forgive forgive the people that cause the bad things. Forgiveness is for us, not for the other person. They don’t deserve to be forgiven, but we deserve to be set loose from our angry thoughts. It’s hard. It’s harder than anything else I can think of and I will continue to have sad thoughts and mad thoughts and will continually have to re-forgive and re-forgive, and as Isolina says….You have to grab those thoughts and throw them out every time they appear. You have to just be thankful for what you have or you’re going to be miserable all your life.
So I’m putting my foot down. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and as my Italian side of the family likes to say “Gotta keepa go.” So here I am, keepin a go. I’m not saying nothing is affecting me. I still cry. I hurt like nothing else. But I’m not going to stay in my bed and wish I was dead or wish I was home. I hurt more than I can express or explain and every part of me wants to give up on everything, but I refuse. I hurt, but look at all the amazing things I’ve gotten to do on this trip. Life sucks, but life is beautiful too and through all the pain I’ve experienced, I still never want to stop traveling. I’m going to enjoy the rest of my adventure, scarred and hurt, but here in Guatemala. And you can bet your butts, I won’t be kissing any more guys here.