Many people have wondered what has happened to me over the last few years. So much of my story has remained hidden from the world. Maybe it’s time to share a portion of this story? The portion I am willing to reveal is a mere summary of a very long book. This book doesn’t have a title, nor are the pages filled with actual writing. No. The pages. The details. The truth. All of that still remains buried in the dark corners of my mind, covered in a tangled web of ancient tears. Tears I no longer shed, but the pain of the past still remains.
So, where do I even start? Perhaps I should start with the first time I heard the word Bahrain. It was in April of 2010. I had no inclination where this tiny little nation was located on the world map. The only reality I knew at the time, was that it was taking away someone very important to me. Someone I did indeed, end up loosing along the way. At that time, I was a rosy eyed naive teacher living in Hawaii. I had a good job, I had a fiancé, I thought my life was figured out. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
But, how was I to know that? How was I to know that the word Bahrain would hold the highest of highs and the lowest of lows? Or, that the next three years of my life would revolve around this tiny gulf nation? That over time, my dreams would come to a screeching halt. That I would sacrifice so much, to end up with nothing. That I would leave my warm life in Hawaii, a job that I adored, to marry the man that I loved with all of my heart. A man, who was supposed to be there for me thru thick and thin. Someone who I had already given four years of my life to.
But people change and nothing in life is certain.
I learned very soon after my wedding that my significant other didn’t truly love me. Two weeks after I was married, my EX told me he didn’t know if he wanted to be married or not. He had made a mistake. I will spare you the details of this horrific chapter and leave it at this: I had just spent my life savings on a wedding, my life was on hold, and I was very confused. I didn’t know if he wanted me in Bahrain, if I was moving with him to his next duty station, or what the future held. I was a mere puppet on a string.
Since so much of my life was uncertain, I decided to travel. And travel I did. It was my escape. It was the one thing I felt I could control. At times, while I was waiting for him to make up his mind, I felt like I was bartering with God. I was in the middle of a war-zone. I was fighting a battle. Something I still believed in. Love. Marriage. Vows. I thought if I was strong enough, if I was faithful enough, if I was good enough, if I was patient enough, I could win back his love. It was a battle I fought and lost. At least it was a battle that I believed in. Now to be fair, I made mistakes too. Believe me, I'm no angel. There were things I could have done different to make it work and I said and did things that made the situation worse. I dealt with a lot of anger and disappointment during this time. But, that's in the past now.
After visiting my EX in Bahrain during the summer of 2012, I came back to Colorado, to prepare for the move to his next duty station. My bags were packed, the boxes were ready for the movers, and I had job interviews lined up. I barely heard from him for a month. I spent sleepless nights wondering what was going on. Had he changed his mind again? I finally got a call and it was the same tune, he still didn't know what he wanted. Enough was enough and I had an epiphany. I was living my life for someone who didn’t care to have me in theirs. I was on hold. I was a side note. I was an after thought. It was time to confront my fears and fly back to Bahrain...this time with a surprise ultimatum. Yep, I showed up on his doorstep to profess my love one last time, but I was firm. “Either I am going with you to Florida as your wife, or I am staying here and accepting a teaching position.” He didn’t like either option; I couldn’t win.
So I stayed and the adventure began.
|Dancing Away My Past :)|
I embraced the reality that I would indeed survive this twisted nightmare. The journey took me through a maze of turns. I twisted and snaked my way along the path. At first I crawled through the mud, through a tricky obstacle course. After I pulled myself up from the mud, I started walking. Then I skipped, a feeble skip at first. But nonetheless, it was a start. Eventually, I found my song again and I danced my way along the path.
This world, no matter where you reside, holds good and evil. Each culture has snap shots of humanity, good and bad. In the end, I believe we are all the same.
While on my journey, I discovered the best of friends. I found friends who gave me the strength to carry on. Friends who listened to me, gave me a roof over my head, and accepted me for me. I learned what it felt like to be extremely sick, sitting in a foreign hospital, miles from your family, with a friend comforting you. While in Bahrain, I found out how strong I really am. I drove a beater car and lived life on the edge. Each morning, I saw tanks on my way to work. One day, a bomb exploded in the lot next door. But, I did it. I survived. I learned that I will be okay.
So, it is now the summer of 2013. It has been a little over three years since I first heard the word Bahrain. In the course of three years, so much of my life has changed. I now have some wrinkles. I am ashamedly a bit more plump than I would care to admit. While in Bahrain, I definitely made some mistakes and I probably have a few regrets. But, I am happy and at peace. I am whole again.
At this point, there is no turning back. Only acceptance, lessons learned, and some new sturdy boots for walking towards my next destination. The new boots I am wearing have trampled the past into the ground. I would like to think that I left Bahrain with my guns blazing and a new fire in my heart.