Monday, August 10, 2015

It's Been Three Years Since I Fell In Love

"It was a big day in our lives. And it's not only hurting for my past self, it's mourning the loss of that self. It's knowing that I can never be that person again, for good or bad. And I'm not jealous of the anxiety that I was feeling on this day years ago, but I am jealous of the adventure that person was about to go on."
-- my Honduran roommate on our Friend-aversary and moving to Honduras

It's been three years, to the day, since I have fallen in love.

Three years ago today I fell in love with a country so vastly different from the one in which I grew up. I fell in love with the dirt roads and the cows that frequently walked them. I fell in love with the fruit stands on the side of the road that allowed me to buy an entire pineapple and eat it in the back of the pick-up truck while driving down the highway. I fell in love with the mountains, and at the same time, with the beaches. I fell in love with the cars driving around town with speakers on top of them blaring music, or sermons, or the latest special at the supermarket. I fell in love with $1 taxi rides and baleadas for every meal.

I fell in love with Honduras in the same way people fall in love with each other-- savoring the good, while tolerating the bad, and knowing that all of it together creates something that you know will impact your life forever.

Three years ago today, I was a recent college graduate who was terrified to be embarking on such a huge adventure, but ecstatic to be embarking on such a huge adventure. Today I've taken the courage that I gained and moved abroad AGAIN, on another huge adventure.

Three years ago today, I was optimistic (maybe overly so) about how awesome of a teacher I was going to be. Today I'm realistic with the fact that I'm not going to be a perfect teacher and that's okay.

Three years ago today, I had never had to humble myself when communicating because I wasn't able to understand what was being said around me. Today I stumble over words and say "I'm sorry, I don't understand" every. single. day.

Three years ago today, I was unable to fathom a group of students who wouldn't listen to me. Today, I realized that last week was my first week of teaching that was completely tear-free.

In the last three years, I have laughed, I have cried. I have threatened to quit my job, I have threatened to leave the country. I HAVE left the country, I have moved to another country. I have learned, I have taught. I have made new friends, I have missed my old friends from home. I have been homesick, I have contemplated never returning to the States.

Three years ago today, I could have never imagined myself as I am now.

A Love Letter To The Country That Changed Me

Mi Querido Pais,

Is it weird to write a letter to a country? Is it weird to fall in love with a country? 

I knew that I loved you the moment that I saw you-- four years before we were actually together. Your beautiful mountains and breath-taking beaches, as well as your vibrant people, took hold of my heart and made you impossible to forget.

When I finally returned, three years ago today, I didn't know that how much I would laugh or cry or love. I didn't know the person I could become.

Thank you. Thank you for changing me. Thank you for challenging me. Thank you for making me into the person I am today.

Siempre te amo,
su catracha de corazon

August 10, 2012: Adios Ohio, Hello Honduras
August 10, 2013: It's Amazing What A Year Can Do
August 10, 2014: Two Years

No comments:

Post a Comment