Nicaragua Trip Part 2

Even though I had surgery and was sick, I had a lot of fun too. We went to Ometepe Island for the first 2 days. Jonathan’s friend was getting married there.

We took an hour long ferry to the island. Which was a beautiful ride. The water is kind of nasty looking. The view was amazing. The island has two volcanos and some small lakes. It has a tiny airport you can see from the ferry too. We rented a motorcycle while we were there. It made getting around much easier. It was only $30 for the two days.

The first day we visited his friend for an hour or so. It was nice to meet the bride and their children. They cooked us a nice steak lunch and showed us their house. After, we went to a swimming hole. The water was freezing yet it was so much fun. There was a Tarzan swing we used to get into the water. The cold water was nice to keep my fever down. We did some swimming and relaxing before heading to see a local beach.

The beach was not really a beach because the tide was so high. We just drove by and saw the town. I was hungry and tired so we went back to the hotel for the rest of the evening. We had tacos, which are more like taquitos, for dinner. They are one of my favorite Nicaraguan foods. I fell asleep in the hammock the hotel had around 4:30pm. I was so exhausted I slept through the night.

The next morning we went to Charco Verde. Charco Verde is a nature reserve with a lake on the island. We went pretty early in the morning. It was beautiful. They had a butterfly exhibit. They had a beach, which we couldn’t swim in due to the tide being so high. They had some beautiful trails we walked through. It reminded me of the fall time in the US. They had leaves falling off the trees with a cool breeze. A light jacket would have been perfect. Leaves were covering the trail as we walked. I started to get a fever and body aches so we headed home. We rode the motorcycle through the runway of the airport which gave us a beautiful view of the volcano.

Once at the hotel, Jonathan ordered soup for lunch and made a trip to the pharmacy for medicine. I took a nap that lasted from 11 am to 4:30pm. I knew at this point I had the flu and needed rest before making it to the wedding at 6pm.

After spending two days in Ometepe, we headed to Acoyapa, Jonathan’s hometown. It took us 6 hours to get there from Ometepe. Two buses and two cab rides.

The town of Acoyapa, has one hotel. To me, is in the heart of Nicaragua. I was the ONLY non-Nicaraguan there. People would look at me as though I was a foreign object that didn’t belong. I didn’t quite feel safe there for this reason. Anytime we left the hotel, Jonathan was at my side. Most of his family lives here. I was able to meet many aunts, uncles, cousins, one of his children and his grandmother. They were all inviting and nice. I enjoyed my time with them as well as their cooking. They made me feel right at home. They understood I was sick and in pain for most of the trip. They made me feel right at home.

For most of the time there, we spent time at his aunt’s house. I took many naps because I knew my body needed it. It was also too painful to do much walking. We attended a rodeo on Christmas day. It was not like the rodeos in Costa Rica. There were too many people that it was too overwhelming for me. We stayed for an hour and a half.

Later in the evening, Jonathan told me he had a gift for me. We were sitting in the living room watching a rodeo in Costa Rica. He and his cousin were looking for his jacket because the gift was inside. After a good 5 minutes of looking, he comes over puts his knee down and asks “will you marry me?” I was in shock for three reasons. One was because he said it in English. I thought if he ever asked it would be in Spanish. Second, his aunt and grandmother were there. Third, the ring was gorgeous and not what I expected.

The Friday after Christmas, we took the bus to Juigalpa to do some shopping. I got new shoes, a dress, and a pair of earrings. Jonathan got new work shoes. The town of Juigalpa has many markets that line the streets. You can find anything you need there. Shoes, pants, beds, sunglasses, diet pills and all kinds of other things.  

I stayed at the hotel all day New Year’s Eve. I had a lot to take in from the engagement, surgery, and difference in culture. I needed some time alone. He brought me food for lunch and dinner. I just spent the day relaxing and watching Netflix. He spent the day making a doll for them to burn for the New Year with his friends. It’s a tradition they do every New Years. It signifies the start of a new time by burning away the old. There was a ton of fireworks. It sounded like a war was going on outside the hotel. I could see the night sky lit up from the hotel window. It was a nice calming feeling being with myself in this new country.

We went home a few days later. I was so happy to be back in Costa Rica. I missed the hot showers and the safety of the familiar. The night after we got back someone posted on Facebook that they needed a place for two puppies. Jonathan mentioned getting a puppy this year. I responded to the post, within 15 minutes, I had two puppies. They were super cute and adorable. A boy and a girl.

The next day, we took them to the vet to get medicine for the worms I was sure they had. I got the correct food for them as well as flea and tick soap. The boy puppy found a home before we even left the vets office. Jonathan and I just had the girl. We named her Nina.

It has been a great experience with her. She is learning so many things quickly. She spent one night in the vet’s office for dehydration. Other than that, she is recovering well. She hasn’t pooped in the house in 3 days. She is learning to like the crate. She is absolutely the perfect puppy for us. We are happy to have Nina as part of our family.

The 3 weeks I had off of work was full of adventure, pain, and growth. I am happy to start the New Year off with a new puppy and a great man. I am excited to see what more this year will bring!

Advertisements

Nicaragua Trip Part 1

waiting to see the doctor

It has been an adventure filled few weeks. During the holiday’s I went to Nicaragua with my Jonathan. It was one hell of a trip. I woke up in the morning with a sore throat. That turned into the flu the next day. I had the flu for about 5 days. That’s not even the worst of it.

Getting through the border was easy. Getting to the border was interesting. We took the bus really early in the morning. There were quite a bit of people on the bus so we had to sit in the open area where the wheelchairs go on the first bus. The second bus we sat on the stairs by the back door. Since there were a lot of trucks waiting to get checked at the border, there was a line of trucks. The bus was unable to pass. We would have waited for hours and hours, so we decided to walk. It was about 4 miles to the border from where we were. We walked about 2 miles before a colectivo picked up.

The buses in Nicaragua are a whole new experience. They pack the buses full. They will put as many people on these buses as possible. Most of the buses we rode on while in Nica we had to stand for a minimum of 30 minutes if we didn’t get on the bus first. The longest we had to stand was an hour and a half. You pay for the bus after you get on the bus so the man you pay is trying to walk between the crowd of people to get everyone’s money. The one good thing about the bus is people will sell you things at the stops or on the bus. We were on one of the buses in Nica for 3 hours. We bought corn on the cob, cooked beef with salad, and cough drops during the 3-hour trip. We either yelled out the window or the person was on the bus asking us if we wanted any.

On the second day of the trip, my Bartholin gland became infected which caused some pain. I have had them before and antibiotics would take it away within two days. That did not happen this time. I tried sitting in a hot bucket of water 3 times a day as well. Nothing worked.

By the time Christmas came along I was just sleeping all day because the flu and the pain were unbearable. I wanted to wait to see my doctor in Costa Rica. I couldn’t make the trip back even if I tried. We went to a local gynecologist in Jonathan’s hometown. We explained to the doctor what was the issue was and how many times I have had the cyst in the last year. None of the doctors spoke English. We decided the best course of action was to have surgery the next day. I told Jonathan there was no way I could make the trip to the hospital (2 hours away) on the bus. I was crying all the time because the pain was horrible. Jonathan arranged everything for me. He hired a driver to take us to and from the hospital. He made sure I had all the medicine I needed. The local bank would only accept Visa and my card was a Mastercard, so we had to borrow some money from his aunt to help pay for the doctor. He took care of everything.

the hospital

I didn’t sleep well the night before the surgery. No matter how I laid, I couldn’t stop the pain. I was not allowed to drink or eat anything so medicine was out of the question. We woke up early to make it to the hospital in time for the surgery. The hospital was an open-air hospital. In the middle of the hospital, there was an open area with trees and flowers. There was no air conditioning in the main part of the hospital so this open-air allowed for it to stay cool. We sat in this little room with another doctor as she took all my medical information. They did blood tests and gave me an IV of fluids. I sat in this room with Jonathan for a good two hours. At one point, I killed a spider or two while we waited. The wait was one of the worst waits I have ever experienced. I am thankful I brought the pillow from the hotel to sit on because they didn’t offer me a pillow, a bed, nothing to make the waiting better, even after I kept crying. Jonathan was having a hard time as well because there was nothing he could do to make the pain go away. The lady had put the tape on my IV a little too tight so the fluids weren’t actually entering my body. We told the nurse. Her response was it is a very slow flow. Jonathan and I tried to explain to her that the tape was hurting my arm and the fluids were not going in my body at all. She didn’t seem to listen so we just waited. While we waited I went to use the bathroom. Since there is not a good water system in Nicaragua, using the bathroom was interesting. They have a huge container of water sitting in the middle of the bathroom with a bucket inside. After you use the bathroom, you take the bucket full of water and dump it into the toilet. This allows the toilet to flush.

The inside of the hospital. We sat in the room at the end of the hallway.

After two hours another lady came to get me. She walked with me to the operating area. At this point, Jonathan was not allowed with me. We stood for a few minutes in a hallway linking the main hospital to the operating area. It was cold and much cleaning than the other part of the hospital. The lady noticed I was in pain and got me a bed to lay on. As I laid on the bed she fixed my IV so that it wasn’t so tight and the fluids were entering my body. I do have to say I am proud of myself for being able to communicate and somewhat understand the nurses and doctors. I was in the hallway for about 15 minutes. The doctor wheeled me into the operating room that was really clean, cold, and half-updated. They had new lights and equipment. The table was a more outdated one yet it functioned and was clean. They used cloth for everything instead of the disposable linens they use in the US. I got situated in the stirrups.

Next thing I know, I am feeling and seeing crazy objects I can’t make out what they are. I was thinking where am I, what is happening. Then I remembered I had been put to sleep. I didn’t feel like I was in my body. It was like my body is laying on the table and my consciousness was someplace else. It was like I was in a kaleidoscope of reality and something else. I could tell the cyst was gone and I had no more pain. I am not sure how long I was in this state of disconnect. I kept trying to look around the room and see where I was. What I thought at the moment was that I was in the scene of interstellar when Cooper was in the black hole or alternative universe. He’s in what seems to be a library that he moves around in until he finds his daughter and the house. He sees his daughter and is yelling and screaming for her. She can’t hear him. That’s how I felt. I was floating in this space that I didn’t understand until I could slightly see the people in the room. I wanted to ask them questions. I wanted to open my mouth and ask where Jonathan was. I just wanted Jonathan. No matter how hard I thought they couldn’t hear me. There were 3 nurses and a man that had surgery as well. None of them could hear my cries in my head. Not only was I crying in my head, but my body was also crying too. I have never felt anything like this in my life. I started to feel really drunk as I started to reconnect to my body. The nurse took my IV out and rolled me to the hallway where Jonathan met me. He told me it was time to go.

I could start to speak what I thought at this point. I told him I couldn’t get dressed on my own. I felt so drunk that I had no control of my body. I couldn’t hold my head up without help. He got me dressed and we slowly walked out of the hospital. I was laughing because I felt completely crazy by the drunkenness. He put me in the cab, got the prescriptions, and headed home. It was hard to sleep because I didn’t feel right. I felt tired and awake at the same time. The experience of drunkenness lasted until much later in the evening. It gradually decreased as time went on.

The next day, I felt normal. I was still tired from the surgery, yet I was happy I wasn’t in any pain. The surgery I had was a marsupialization. It is where they drain the cyst and use stitches to hold the skin open. This allows for the gland to still drain. I needed to use warm water and antibacterial soap to clean it 2 times a day. Since there was no hot water, Jonathan borrowed a coffee maker from his aunt for me to sponge bath myself.

The whole experience was intense. I had no idea what to expect. I was nervous I wouldn’t wake up from surgery. I was afraid the doctor would mess up and cause more damage. I had a ton of fears going into the hospital. I have only had surgery under general anesthesia once before in the US. Having it done in a country where I speak the language very little was terrifying. No translator. Except google translate which doesn’t always translate correctly. Jonathan can translate certain things into a more simpler form of Spanish for me. Yet it’s not as clear as it would be if it was in English.

I am happy that I was able to go through this there. I felt safe having Jonathan and his aunt with me. She is a nurse so she was able to help us find the doctor and answer some questions we had.

The day we got back to Costa Rica, I had my gynecologist look at the area to make sure it was healing well. It is doing well. He said it looks just like it should. They would have done the same thing.

I am still healing two weeks later. I have another appointment with my doctor next week to check it out again. I am happy with the results.

Because People are Watching

I haven’t written in a while because so much has been going on. It’s the end of the trimester at school. I have been preparing grades, talking with parents and preparing for our Christmas school. One of the biggest things I have been experiencing is having something hit so close to home.

In the United States, there are people who discriminate or judge people based on things people in the culture do. There are many people that think that they should close the US border to people coming in. They say there are too many illegals who aren’t paying taxes or are taking away jobs from the US people, and so on. Some people think they are only criminals coming into the country and it isn’t making the country safe. Which is true, that is a high possibility. However, not everyone coming into the country have bad intentions. I never really understood this until some recent events in my life.

In CostaRica, the Costa Ricans have judgments towards Nicaraguans. Just as some people from the US have towards Mexicans or other immigrants. It has always been a part of the culture and way of life here. Within the last year, the situation in Nicaragua had changed, causing many of them to come to Costa Rica for jobs and safety. Some come legally, some come illegally.

A few weeks ago, an American- Venezuelan woman was visiting Costa Rican for her birthday. The night before she was to go back to the US, she was killed by an illegal Nicaraguan man that was working in her AirBnB. This is a horrible and tragic event that happened. The AirBnB owner did not take precautions to protect the guests by hiring a man that was illegally here. So many people have been affected by this in ways I never thought would affect me. The family and friends of the young woman are devastated by her losing her. The country is now dealing with tourist not feeling safe to visit. Nicaraguans are being judged based off of actions of a few.

This is affecting me because I am dating a Nicaraguan. He is legally in Costa Rica. And He has been here for many years. I never thought that I would have to be careful about the things I do in my own home because people are watching. The other day, I was in some pain because of my Endo. I started crying. Jonathan is always the best at comforting me. This time was a little different. He still comforted me and was there for me. He had to warn me to not cry or to cry very quiet because the neighbors are listening. I was confused as to why he said that. When I asked why he responded because the neighbors can think he is hurting me. I was blown away by this.

Fast forward a couple weeks… I get a knock on the door of my apartment. It was the neighbors in the back asking to speak to Jonathan. He was unfortunately not home, so I told them he will come by when he gets home from work. Some people were telling the neighbors to be cautious around Jonathan because he’s untrustworthy and does drugs. Which is not true by any means. Jonathan has had a past with drugs. Heis open about that because it is his past. It is something that he has not done in a very long time. He is trustworthy or my landlord would not have given him keys to the complex when he worked for him a few months back. I would have also noticed things missing from my house.

All of this has been hard for me to wrap my head around. I am not sure what to think about the situation. I have mixed feelings about it as well. This is a new experience for me. I am learning to love, laugh, and be happy regardless of what is being said. I know that I won’t stop being me. Jonathan and I have nothing to hide so we are living life as normal as possible.

Being put into this position is difficult. It’s requiring some growth and awakening within me to be able to understand fully what the feelings and emotions I am having are. As I am with all my life experiences, I am happy to have this practice of understanding.

Living Life

Hey Guys!

It has been an interesting few weeks. So much has happened, conversations with my boss, navigating buying a new iPhone, trying surfing again, meeting new friends, and applying to freelance jobs.

First, I had a conversation with my boss that was super tough to have. It was great though because we are now on the same page. We understand each other a bit better now. She and I are better at communicating with each other now. Work is a more enjoyable place now. It was enjoyable before it is even more now.

Second, my iPhone got soaked in the rain on the motorcycle. It is now broken. I tried to see if someone could fix it and they could…. for $800. Hahah no, thank you. I will just buy a new one. Finding the cheapest option to buy one is difficult. I could have someone bring me one from the US which is cheap. The only problem with that is I don’t have the money to buy it without credit. I would have to pay monthly payments to the US for a year. I did some research and sending money from here to the US is not easy. It can take time and money to do. Soon, I will have my work visa which means I can get a phone here through the local phone carrier. The good thing about that is it’s cheaper because the currency is in colones. Since the dollar is worth more I spend less money. Living here is not always sunshine and roses. Navigating a foreign countries laws are tough and aggravating sometimes.

Third, I met some new friends and have been hanging out with them. I went surfing with a girl from work. It was pretty awesome. I am proud of myself. I was able to surf with no help. I did come away with a cut and swollen (very little) nose. Surfing is not something I would want to do all the time because it is a bit dangerous. Every once in a while, it is good because it’s great exercise and an amazing way to spend time with friends.

Fourth, I have been applying to freelance jobs on upwork.com. It is competitive. A friend of mine told me about it. She has been using it for a few months. It took her a good 3 to 4 months to be able to get a side job from the site. I am confident, I can get some side work on the site to help supplement my income. I am also going to do some babysitting for people here on vacation or during events like weddings.

I am really proud of myself and the efforts I am putting into making my life the best life possible. It is not always easy and I struggle. The struggle has helped me be more positive and excited about the life I live. I am learning to laugh and enjoy the life I have. It is pretty amazing.

Freedom in Schools

aladdin

Most of you know that I live in Costa Rica teaching English to second graders. I love having the freedom to teach how I want here. There isn’t the same type of politics in my school. I am allowed to teach how I want. We have a very basic outline of what we need to teach. They allow us to teach the core concepts however I want.

Last year, we were learning about scarcity. The students had so many questions about what it was and how it looked like in our world. Since I had been to Africa, I had some photos to show the children of what can happen when there is a scarcity of goods. I pulled out my phone. Opened up the photos of the children and things I saw in Africa. Some of the children didn’t have pants or underwear on. My students had so many more questions after this. I used what I experienced to create a conversation that the children talked about for days after. Which surprised me because they all live in a 3rd world country. I see scarcity and poverty in many areas of Costa Rica. Yes, none of what I see compares to what I saw in Africa. It still is here. The students were able to see the poverty and scarcity that we have here in a way they never could have before.

My point with this is…. If I had shown the same pictures to a classroom in the USA one parent would have complained about the children in the photos being “nude”. Or saying it’s child porn. I would have been in so much trouble that it probably would have cost me my job. Not one parent complained last year. I didn’t get written up or in trouble for the photos. Nothing happened because I was creating a valuable lesson and conversation with the children that will last them a lifetime. And the parents knew this.

This week, I sent home spelling and vocabulary words. One of which was god. I chose this word because we are learning about Greek gods and goddesses. Since most of my students are learning English as a second language, when I asked them to tell me what the word was, they said “good”. I knew this word would challenge their spelling skills. Every time I give the students new spelling words, I send an email home. As I wrote the email, I felt nervous about the words because the culture of schools I experienced in the US.  It has been 3 days since I sent the email. No complaints from the parents.

Now, the real point to this blog…. Back in the USA, my niece auditioned for her school play, Aladdin, Jr. She was cast as Jasmine. Last week, my sister said she was angry. I asked why. She sent me a letter, she received from the school (see picture below for the letter). There are a few parts from the letter that I have issues with, that could have been handled in a better way to teach the students how to think differently.

In short, the letter stated that they will no longer be performing Aladdin, Jr due to it negative stereotyping of the Arab culture. They want to “make choices that resist negative stereotyping, promote understanding and celebrate all people.” (taken from the letter itself) I understand the need to promote understanding and respect to all cultures and people. After living in a different country, I have an appreciation for different cultures. I may not agree with all the things other cultures do, I still see the importance of diversity. I have learned many things about myself and society that I appreciate since moving abroad. I have adapted my life and thinking to certain aspects of the Costa Rican and Spanish culture because I felt it was better and healthier than what I had known before.

I had conversations with different people in my community that helped me open my eyes to a new way of living. What if we used this opportunity to create a conversation about the Arab culture instead of just pushing it under the rug?

One reason they canceled the show was because they called Arabs “barbaric”. Why not create a conversation or activity to show why this is not applicable to every Arab? Why not show the community and students photos and examples of Arabs that are normal or extraordinary? Why not give them the opportunity to grow and see the Arab culture in a positive manner?

The letter also stated “After careful consideration and with INPUT from the perspectives of many stakeholders—teachers, PARENTS, and community member…” This did not happen because my sister had no idea there was any issues with the play until she received the email. So, where did these parents perspectives come from? It sure wasn’t from all the different perspectives. If it had been, my sister would have had a chance to speak her side. What are they teaching the children by cancelling a play without having a conversation with EVERYONE involved? When I showed the students what scarcity looked like they understood what it really was and how it influenced their lives. Why not create something similar to the environment in my classroom? My students respect me in ways I could have never imagined because I allowed them to ask the questions they had without pushing them aside. My student opened up to me about their lives so that I could guide them through a new understanding.

Lastly, from what I understand there was one student and his mother that had the biggest issue with the play. She is a lawyer and activist. Her son was upset about the word “barbaric” was being used to describe Arabs. I have two question from this. Why did this conversation not happen before the students started rehearsing? Did the students not have access to the whole script before hand? Why couldn’t they change the word “barbaric” to something else? Why is everyone else having to do something because one person is upset? Why not teach them something greater from this experience?

I may not live in Maryland or the USA any more. I do know what happens there from family and friends, news and Facebook. I don’t say much about what I hear or see because I feel that it is not my purpose in this life to do so in that way. When I have something I feel led to say, I express what I need to say. I know I may not make a huge difference with this post, yet I know I am putting something good out into the world. If one person can understand the need to have conversations instead of pushing things under the rug, the way I am trying to express, I would be happy.

As a society, we need to have honest and open conversations with our children about the tough subjects. I know this is hard to do because I have to do this every day as part of my job. I know this is hard because not everybody is willing to listen and be open to what is said. I believe if one or two people benefit from the conversation than we did our job as leaders. The compound effect will multiple and eventually the majority of people will become enlightened and open.

IMG_5420

https://www.wthr.com/article/maryland-school-cancels-aladdin-jr-over-arab-stereotypes-1

https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Maryland-School-Cancels-Aladdin-Jr-Over-Arab-Stereotypes-498331261.html

https://www.wbaltv.com/article/school-cancels-production-of-aladdin-jr-for-complaints-of-stereotyping-arab-culture/24086346

A Curtain Room… Means the World.

IMG_5104

Sometimes life throws you curve balls. What do you do with them? Catch them and throw them back. I have been using CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) to help me with my thoughts. It has been really helping. Lately, I have had some experiences with my boyfriend that have caused me to have to breathe and really think about my thoughts. The app I have been using has been great for this. I record different thoughts I have, good and bad. I write my feelings as well. It has been great to see where the different thoughts come from and how  to transform them into better thoughts.

This all started about a week ago. Last Wednesday, Jonathan told me that his ex was not going to let us see the children without her. He was very upset about this. I haven’t seen him this mad. He didn’t want to pay child support if she won’t let him have access to his rights. Costa Rican child support laws are very strict. If he doesn’t pay for two consecutive months, he would go straight to jail. He is frustrated with her because she uses the kids against him when she isn’t happy about something. We talked about the topic for most of the day trying to find a solution. We don’t have a solution for right now. He has a plan and set of steps he should take. It is very emotional for him when dealing with her because he wants to see his children. He wants to be able to use the rights he has a father and she makes it very hard for him to do that. I do my best not to overreact. I do my best to support him and help him see alternative ways to get through stuff, like he does with me.

The next day, Jonathan was not responding to my messages during the day like he normally does. I knew something was up, I just didn’t know what. I gave him his space and focused on my work. Once worked ended, I asked him how his day was. His response was that it wasn’t good. His last day of work will be the next day and his ex was creating problems again. He told me, we would talk about it in the evening. At this point, I had so many questions. I didn’t know what happened or why. I didn’t know what he was going to do and how this would affect us. It is the rainy season and work is slow around here. I knew I wasn’t going to see or talk to him much for the next 4 hours which was really hard for me. My thoughts wanted to go crazy. I pulled the app out and started doing some of the exercises and thought journaling. It helped as much as it could.

When Jonathan arrived, he started to tell me about why he lost his job and what the situation was. I understood that his boss, my landlord, didn’t have the materials for Jonathan to finish building the house. Since he lived on the property of the house he was building, he needed to leave. He has no family or anyone around here so he moved in with me, temporarily. Which was a hard decision for me because I have come to like my space. I like being alone. We talked about my fears and concerns. One of the biggest things I struggled with was, we would be living in the same room as my home is a studio apartment. I need nights where I sleep alone without anyone with me. I can handle about 4 days then I need my room to myself. We didn’t officially decide another until 2 days later.

His ex was talking about how she loves him and misses him. She also got his mother’s number and was calling her. He didn’t like the things she was saying. She plays many games that Jonathan doesn’t understand. She has done thing like this in the past. We are working on getting through situations with her differently than he has in the past. This day was hard for me. I had enough for one day. I got angry at her for the first time. I was tired and irritated. I went running and screamed to let some of the anger out. He let me vent and cry. He understood how irritating it can be so he was patient with me.

One thing that I love about being with him even with all the drama and changes is that he makes it easy. He and I have a harmony, I have never experienced in this way. I don’t know how to put it into words. He respects me and my space so much so that he built a curtain wall around the couch. (see photo below) He did this so I could have my own space. Yes, I can hear him and he can hear me. Yes, it is just a curtain and not a wall. Yet, the thought he put into taking the time to do that made me cry. I was at work when he sent me the photo of his tiny bedroom. I had to hold back tears of joy. I don’t know many men that would do that so a woman could have her space. It blew me away. This is only one small and huge thing that I admire about this man. This is harmony. This is respect. This is what makes it easy to love him. I am currently writing this as he is asleep in his curtained off room. He makes me smile.

Keep searching for the perfect person. You will know when that person is in your life because even when things are hard and you feel like giving up, they will make it feel easier. One way to attract this into your life is to grow yourself. Keep fighting for your freedom and your respect. Figure out what respect should really look like and how it should feel. Attention doesn’t feel the same as respect and love. I still don’t know what respect looks like 100% and that is okay. I learn every day what it looks like. Find someone who will make a little room from curtains just to give you space.

Life is not always easy, it is worth living. Never give up. Life gives you exactly what you need, when you need it. I am here to share my story in hopes it will inspire change and awakening with whomever is ready to receive the messages, I do my best to share. It is hard for me to put into words the things I go through. I do my best because even if I impact one person that is enough for me. I know how inspirational others are to me,  I want to be the same for others.

Homemade Monopoly

Hey Everybody,

Jonathan and I have been wanting to play MONOPOLY. Since it is hard to find certain games in Costa Rica or we could need to drive a long distance to buy the game, I decided I would make a game as a surprise. I did some research online and found “LOVOPOLY” so I went with it. I used a lot of the same ideas from Liife with anna blog.

(http://liifewithanna.blogspot.com/2015/02/lovopoly.html)

I used a few pieces of paper to design the board. I designed the spaces according to the original game. The spaces were names after some places in our lives. The most expensive blue spaces were Nicaragua and USA. I chose these because I am from the USA and he is from Nicaragua. I chose places we have been such as the town of our first date, the town of where we live, the town his children live in, and the name of the wrong ferry we got on that made a trip the adventure of a lifetime. I used the street names we lived on when we were children. I used cities I have lived in and cities he wants to take me to when we go to Nicaragua for Christmas. These can be anything you want them to be. If you have children, maybe name some after your children. Get creative and make it fit your relationship and life.

For the life’s surprises and get lucky cards I modified the original game cards and add some of my own. Examples are Pregnant Pay Doctors, Ex goes to jail collect $200, hurricane flood pay $40 per house and $115 per hotel. You can get creative with these and create ones that work for you.

For money, we used money from a game we found here. We used beans for the houses and used little towers from another game we found for the hotels.

It came out quite well. It was fun to play. We were laughing and enjoying the time. Since we have had a huge amount of rain that caused power outages, we played in the candle light.

f5bc3052-9e65-43e9-976f-30f873115526.jpgIMG_5062IMG_5351IMG_5352

Change is hard

The last few days have been intense for me. I have been having to deal with myself. My relationship with Jonathan has been testing me in ways I thought I had overcome. It turns out that I have more work to do.

It brought me back to the relationship I had with my ex-husband. When I was married I lost myself. When I lost myself, I lost trust in both of us. This started happening with Jonathan. I was having trouble trusting him and I knew it was irrational. I know this because he has done everything possible to show me that I am the one for him. It has been hard for me to believe this. And the reason is because I was so focused on the future, I wasn’t living in the present. I was trying to make myself be in a place that I am not ready for.

I started to feel hopeless and anxious all the time. I had a headache every day for two weeks. I didn’t want to go to work and my patience with the children was low. Things at work that never bothered me before started to get to me. I felt as though I couldn’t function.

This started about two weeks ago. Jonathan had lost his phone. He told me he could buy another one in 4 days. For a split second, I thought you can go 4 days without talking to him. I didn’t listen to this and let him borrow my spare iPhone. This was a mistake that took me a good long week to understand. Since the iPhone had my iTunes account every call or thing he did on the iPhone was sent to my phone as well. I thought I had turned this option off, which turns out I did not. He was good with everything. He didn’t do anything that I should have been worried about. I was making a huge deal out of nothing because of my insecurities.

This affecting our relationship in a negative way. I realized that I needed to deal with myself. I needed to deal with my inner issues. I tried and I tried. All I was doing was going in circles. Until it hit me. I need to think differently or it will end the same way my first married ended.

After realizing this, I started to do some work with myself. I started looking for answers. My first mistake was that I denied myself the opportunity for growth by seeing how I could handle not being able to talk to him easily for 4 days. I told myself I couldn’t do it. He needed to have a phone so we could talk. I put myself in a box of comfort that had consequences. This wasn’t quiet enough for me. It was a start and I needed to go deeper.

I reached out to a good friend of mine in the states and another friend at work. I realized I need to take care of me. I am so afraid of losing him that I am suffocating him and losing myself in the process by looking at the future and not the present. I started learning about cognitive behavior therapy because of my friend from the states. I have been using an app called Pacifica to help me work through my thoughts and feelings. It had been helping me prioritize my life and understand my feelings and thoughts. I have been making changes and growing closer to myself. I decided I needed to chose me right now.

When people are in a relationship with someone else intimately, it will bring out everything. Our deepest fears and anxieties will surface because the other person is our mirror. If the relationship is going to last and be strong both parties need to overcome their fears. I am taking time to understand myself.

I have said this many times before. When one person changes, it will force the other person to change in one way or another.

The other night, Jonathan was here. We were about to go to bed and I realized he cannot spend the night. I needed him to go home because my thoughts were not going to a place I knew would be good for me or my relationship with him.  I told him to I needed to sleep alone. He left. I knew he was not happy. I knew telling him to I needed to sleep alone would cause him to have to see himself differently. I knew it would cause some pain and discomfort within him. I chose to do it because it was what needed to be done.

He is still unhappy with me. He is taking space and speaking to me when he needs too. I give him the space and time he needs. When he messages me, I calmly reply with understanding and love. I am having to respond with love and respect. I don’t want to change him. I want him to be who he is. I have replying in a way this is new for me. It is pretty encouraging for me.

I am happy with myself because I have grown in ways I never thought I could. I am strong and powerful. The universe is mighty. It has a reason and purpose for the things we experience. Growth is its main purpose. Finding your higher self isn’t easy. It’s a lot of work. It is the MOST REWARDING work I could ever do. I am happy to be able to go through this experience because I am finding myself. I am aligning myself with the true me. I know that Jonathan will overcome this. I can see the power and strength he has inside. If for some reason he doesn’t then I will still love him and care for him. He is a good man regardless of his defects.

Keep pushing for your true self even if it is hard and painful. Keep going because the universe will reward you in ways you never could have imagined. It is worth it. I promise you that.

IMG_5258

 

 

Endometriosis

Hey Everyone,

Recently, the doctors told me that I have endometriosis. When I was in the states I could complain to my doctors about the pain I would have during my period and in other situations. They just had me on a type of birth control that didn’t allow me to have a period. This helped my pain tremendously. I didn’t know why I had the pain and the other symptoms. They couldn’t provide me with answers. I have been dealing with this since I was 14 years old.

As I have told you in previous posts, I am no longer on birth control. I decided not to use birth control so I can full feel and understand my body. With this comes so many questions and feelings. The last two months have been the worst. Between the pain and the emotional lows, I started to feel crazy. A few days ago, I decided to reach out to other people who have endometriosis. This has allowed me to not feel alone and isolated to some extent. I found out that my emotional downs are related to the hormonal imbalance and pain.

Some days are amazing, and some days are dreadful. And sometimes it is both. Today is one of those days where it is both. The day started off great. As the day went on the harder it got. Currently, I feel as though my body is betraying me. I feel as though I am being punished for something. I feel that I don’t deserve anything good because of this. This isn’t reality. It is my emotions and hormones “talking”.

I still need to get more testing done to figure out how severe it is and what treatment option is best for me. All of this is overwhelming for me. I don’t want to be touched. I don’t want to be around people. I just want my body to be normal. I know that I can work through this because I have worked through much harder things. I know that this will help me with my life’s purpose. It still doesn’t make it any easier. I still have to feel and be with the emotions and pain.

One thing, I have learned over the last few months is that I need to be there for me. I need to still love myself the best way I can even if I am in a low place. This is my life to live and I need to make the most of it no matter what life throws at me. This is here to show me something amazing about myself. I am a Phoenix burning again, only to rise from the ashes.

For all of you out there that have endo or some type of internal issue know that you are not alone. Know that there is more to life than the pain. Give yourself credit and love. Give yourself space to deal with the emotions. It is hard living with something that will never go away and affects your life on every level. You are warriors. You are strength. I will post about my experiences, success and failures. You all keep me pushing and fighting. Thank you.

IMG_4353IMG_4423

F*@# Yes…. Achieved!

 

Hey Everyone,

It has been an interesting few weeks. I have been trying to get used to being back at work. I have had some issues arise with my boyfriend and with myself personally. It has been showing me so much about myself.

Last week was the first week with the children. It was great. I am loving my new second graders. They are going to teach me so much about myself. I am excited to see how their individual personalities will work together and how I will have to adjust to help them find their own paths. It is going to be a fantastic and wonderful year. It will be full of trials and grow. I am ready for it.

In regards to my relationship and myself….

A few months ago, I wrote a post called “F*@# Yes!” It talked about how I needed to find someone who could say fuck yes to me. I needed someone who could see everything I had to offer and more. I needed someone who would do what they needed to be with me. I wrote that I needed to be that for myself. Since I wrote that, I had been being a fuck yes for myself. I had been doing everything I needed for me. I had been letting go of everything that didn’t work for me. I had been loving myself and being there for me in all ways.

As you all know, I have a new boyfriend. We have been seeing each other for a little over 2 months now. It has been amazing. There have been some struggles. We made it through them. We made it through them because I am a fuck yes for him and he is a fuck yes for me. We both see things in each other that we love. That keeps us fighting for our relationship.

He has kids with another woman. She does not respect our relationship. She has tried to get him to cheat on me with her. She has threatened to kill me if I go to see the children with him again. She has blocked him from talking to the children. He doesn’t like this. He is very open and honest with me about it as well. What I appreciate about this is that he is honest with me about it. He handles it the way he needs too. When he doesn’t know what to do he asks for my advice.

Recently, he and I got into a huge fight because he “played” her game and disrespected me in the process. Which is not okay with me. He has never disrespected me before so I needed to put a stop to it. I took actions so that he would understand the consequences if he did it again. We had a long conversation about respect and about what I need to happen. He also communicated with me things that he could have done that he didn’t do, such as delete the messages so I didn’t see them. I had seen what he could have done that he didn’t do. I appreciated that and told him so. He decided that he needed to stop talking to his ex and the children until she could respect him and our relationship. He will just fulfill his financial obligations. I do not necessarily agree with this because the kids will suffer. He however feels that he has no other options at the moment. I have to trust that he is doing what he feels best.

Today, however, is one of his son’s birthdays. She refused to let him talk to his son. She also communicated with his family that he is not doing what he is supposed to do. She made him seem like the bad guy to his family. He had a very hard time with this and told me. He didn’t know what to do. He didn’t want me to worry and that he was handling it. We talked about it and we found a way around it. He could have never told me about this. He did tell me because he would want me to do the same.

I really like that he is honest and upfront with me even when he knows I could get upset or worry. He isn’t perfect and he makes mistakes. He does correct the mistakes in ways no one ever has with me. I am this way and I expect my significant other to do the same with me. In this way, he has shown me I am a FUCK YES!

One of the other ways that I can see that I am a fuck yes with him is how he is with my emotions. With my monthly cycle, my emotions and hormones are all out of whack. It has been the worst I have experienced in a long time. This past Friday, I had some emotional downs. I told him that I was having a hard time with my emotions. His response blew me away just like it does every time I am emotional. I was sitting at my computer at work thinking  about this. I remembered I wrote something about how I was feeling a few months ago. I couldn’t figure it out until a few days later. That is when I realized I am a fuck yes. He sees me for more than my emotions. He sees me as a queen. He knows how to work as a real team. He knows how to overcome his defects. He knows how to correct his mistakes. When I think he won’t understand or won’t be what I need, he goes and surprises me.

I feel that this post is a little confusing. I am not exactly sure how to express my thoughts and feelings with this one. I am in new territory. I am in an uncomfortable and unsure place with him. I am happy. I am learning. I am glad he is in my life. The relationship is something I am getting used to. The respect, the effort, the love, and the fuck yes is something new to me from someone else. I have been giving that to myself and for someone to be that with me is a bit scary.

I want you all to fight for yourself. Fight for what you deserve. Fight for your fuck yes. It may be uncomfortable when you get it and that’s okay. Enjoy it. Observe it. Learn from it. Life is good.