“I get lost sometimes
like everybody else
lose track of my lifelines
lose track of myself
and there’s all kind of reasons
to be scared and run away”
There are many miles between each town we visit and so I have some time to think. To stare at the hills. The mountains. The muddied grass turned brown in the heart of winter.
On the road, you can see life pass you by in a way that you just can’t when you’re in the middle of it, living it.
And so it’s made me think about this blog. How a lot of what I throw out to this space are the moments I want to write down, how a lot of those moments are the happy ones, the rays of light that shine through. I have a selection bias you could say. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t low points. Moments when I think to myself, wait, what exactly am I doing here?
Moments when I really am very scared and have to remind myself that I am an adult now. You could view my instagram feed and see some of what I see – the pretty mountains, the kids I get to meet, the ocean, the landscape.
But therein lies the disparity – because you wouldn’t see the tents. The shacks. The spaces that make me feel uncomfortable. That remind me that I am a foreigner here. That even as I want to get so close and know so much, I’m still and always will be an outsider.
But I don’t want to forget those moments. When I am freezing my bum off in a tent in the middle of coffee bay and praying so furiously because I am scared to be out in the middle of nowhere and not sure where exactly I am. When I am so cold and hover so closely to a candle that I end up burning off a piece of my own hair. Those moments when I see poverty, when I see begging, when I hear stories I wish never had to be told. When two Australians are telling me about their battle with infertility and their desire to have a child at the dinner table and all I can think is why are you telling me this, I am not an adult.
But those moments of discomfort, of thrusting myself into places, under tents, into moments that I’ve never experienced before are what’s helped me piece back together some things.
I think sometimes we don’t even realize how hard we’re running our heart. Like we’re putting it through a wringer of pain and tumult and new things and old things that it didn’t expect, at least not all at the same time.
On this trip there have been a million and one things that have broken my heart a little more. Like when Gerrit turned to me the other day and said “The people out here- they have nothing. You saw the hut that lady lived in – this is poverty at its worst.”
And then I thought to myself, that’s funny, I didn’t see poverty there. I saw a whole lot of love. I saw a woman just like my mom, who was anxious for her kid to get married, to get a good job. I saw dirty dishes. I saw a bed that was unmade. I saw life as it is lived here.
And I realized all these things that make me scared, that push me to be brave, that make me worry and fret and fear how broken our world has become, they’re moments that are not just breaking my heart – they are making room for it to grow that much bigger, to love that much more.
That’s what this kind of heartbreak does.
“There’s just enough hope and it shines to go one scared step at a time.”