Where do I start?
I guess I should begin by admitting that I like to think of myself as very in touch with the Universe. I’m constantly trying to understand what lesson the Universe is teaching, while embracing my immobility until fully comprehending that lesson.
I’ve stressed enjoying every chapter of our life, in the moment, for my entire marriage. I can vividly remember telling Jarrell how we had to enjoy being broke, while we lay cramped in a pool house in Mexico, close to three years ago. I knew then that we would laugh about the struggle, as we do now.
Throughout this adventure around the world, we’ve both been shocked by our ability to spend so much time together, and still like each other. We’ve experienced so much ‘material for the book’ along the way. But we’ve never wavered. Our bond, our love, and our friendship have always been solid.
So, understanding that the Universe is always trying to teach you something? Got it. Embracing the journey and actively trying to enjoy every moment, in the moment? Check! Remaining close to your partner in the face of adversity? Aced!
In comes the curve ball.
Recently, after our move to Thailand, I became extremely overwhelmed. We had a new place, which needed new things. I’d taken on a charity project with a group of women in Cambodia, then gotten behind on orders. And after three years of constantly planning our travels, I felt a little empty as such a large part of my routine was eliminated. It was all too much.
If I’m honest I can admit that I saw this all coming on. I tried to counteract it with a trip to Cambodia, but that backfired when I was bitten by a centipede. Ouch! I knew that I was putting too much on my plate, and I knew that I needed a break. But the days go by so fast when you agree that you’re too busy, and tomorrow always seems like a great day to ‘figure it all out’.
Eventually, I collapsed. Not physically, but mentally. Spiritually. I couldn’t take it anymore. I felt embarrassed and disappointed in myself. I was confused and exhausted. After spending 3-years running towards this goal I didn’t really know what it meant to be here. I didn’t find solace in accomplishment. With every new level of success had come so much more stress and pressure.
I’d perfected looking for the lesson, and remaining tight with Jarrell. But what about me?
I took a much needed break. I stopped Snapchatting my life. I may or may not have grown my hair a couple of inches by not touching it for an extended period. I ate the extra donut, and read the book that was not going to teach me to be a better woman, or marketer, instead it was only going to make me turn the page faster to see if he’d kiss her.
I introduced Jarrell to what we called ‘GFS (Go For Self)’ Nights at home, meaning mom wasn’t cooking, but there were endless options in the lazy Susan if you were okay not being lazy Amirah. We ate a lot of Pad Thai from the street vendor down the street from our condo.
I slept a lot. Like, a lot. I sun bathed by the pool and even worked out a couple of days. I wrote short stories, and painted designs on my toenails. I got a Netflix account and binge watched “The Affair” (seasons 1 & 2 – loved it, btw).
I slowed down.
So what’d I learn?
Enjoying your life, and lessons, is important. Your family, and relationships are important. But no relationship is more important than the one you have with yourself. And while you should remain close with your spouse while times are tough, and enjoy your struggle, don’t forget to love yourself.
Even when it feels like everything around you is crumbling, love yourself. Especially when it feels like everything around you is crumbling, love yourself. You deserve it. You need it.
It’s okay to not be okay. Just remember to love yourself throughout every lesson the Universe takes the time to teach you.
Sorry for the break in blogging, Loves. I’m refreshed and I’m back. Did you miss me?