Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Day 90-2: Crawling Back Up the Landslide

sorry, asian couple

I passed a Starbucks after about an hour of driving, turned around, composed myself and went in: I needed WiFi. I used the gift card my mom had purchased for me before I left to get a coffee - by now, the anxiety of the day had stolen my appetite. (I even turned down free cake.)

I managed to use the WiFi to turn on International calling on my phone, which also was upgraded to free data, which meant I would now have access to a GPS in addition to calls and texts. (Though I'm not sure I would know how to do this again if it tried!) With that, I texted a friend from DC who, before I left, said if was was ever sad or in a pinch and needed a hotel, to let him know. Since Canada had just stolen the money I had budgeted for a hotel room (and the hostels I Googled didn't have parking), I needed help. He then immediately booked a hotel for me. (Thank you, Ben!) I began to feel a little less scared; at the least, I had a bed for the night - and a much needed shower after two days. (I reeked of campfire still... which, in retrospect, probably didn't help me at the gate.)

Afterward, I checked facebook after getting texts from family and friends. And texts from my mom, to which I confirmed I was okay, but shaken.  To my surprise, someone actually gave me some money for my fine. A lot of folks told me "Oh Canada has the worst border patrol - I could have told you that!" (Great, thanks.) But overall, people were incredibly supportive of me; offering words of comfort I so dearly needed.  I realized then: solo travel has its merits until you're almost arrested/detained in another country by yourself. And then you want anyone else.

In reading the comments and becoming emotional over the love I felt, I think I made the Asian couple that sat across from me uncomfortable enough to leave once they noticed the silent tears streaming down my face (and fogging my glasses). I didn't care; I couldn't stop and I needed these people right now. For someone who is rarely emotional, let alone in public, this out of character moment perhaps exemplified how out of sorts this whole ordeal had me. About an hour later, at 8pm, I was getting ready to leave because Starbucks was closing. I checked my email before I lost connection and saw that five other people had donated and successfully covered my entire fine! 

It was unstoppable. A rush of emotion I had not yet experience. And there I was in Starbucks, 20 minutes outside of Vancouver, full on ugly crying. I was so moved by the generosity of my friends and family; by my online community. Quickly, it occurred to me that the only way to capture the raw emotion of the moment - my pure gratitude - was to click over from email to the camera button, because words would never do; they would not be able to express how I felt; how moved I was - am

Then I left and went to my car. It took about ten minutes for me to compose myself enough to be able to safely drive to my hotel. When I arrived, my appetite finally came back too. I didn't even bother to shower before walking around the corner for food - I decided I deserve it, especially being the first real meal in about 48 hours. (Turkey and brie sandwich with a cider...fine, two ciders.) And that's where I am. Where I write tonight. Where everything that has just happened has taken it's time to sink in...

 I feel changed. I am amazed. Astounded. So humbled. And (nearly) speechless at the incredible human beings I have managed to find and befriend in their world. Everything fell apart and they took to their keyboards to scrape me up off the floor. The only time during this journey I have met complete and utter defeat; utterly alone, through tears "I just want to go home" and meaning it and they managed to create tears of gratitude over sorrow. Another bought me a hotel room - unaware six folks hand covered my fine - and the room number I was given? 111 - apparently the sign of Angels. (And the 3rd time I've gotten this triple number room.) I do not have the words to explain how much this means to me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. My Angels... 


  1. This post just popped up in my RSS feed. And then I noticed the date. How have the last few months gone?

    1. Hi. Well. I'm updating all the time. I posted this recently, I just date them retroactively. Currently working on posting more! Thanks!

    2. Good deal and looking forward to reading more of your adventures.

  2. I've enjoyed reading about your adventures while trying to decide where to live. I think all of us should do this so that we are happy where we live and not stuck someplace we hate and too scared to leave due to the unknown or just hate change so much they rather be miserable than take a chance to find happiness in where they live.
    I also am envious of the friendships you have. I can honestly say that I don't have friends like this. I know it's sad but a true statement, heck not even family like this. It makes me wonder what is exactly wrong with me that the people in my life only want something to do with me when they want or need something from me otherwise I'm stuck on the proverbial shelf until needed again (even with my own parents). So much so that living in the same city just miles from each other became so painful that when the opportunity presented itself to leave and put miles between us presented itself I jumped on it of course I hated where I live and it was my birthplace, and I still despise the place but now I may not have a choice but to return and risk the mental pain of being placed on the shelf once again.
    See we were the first victims of the housing crash (which the government didn't do squat to help like they've done for the others) and after losing our jobs to the crash as well and trying to find full time work only to find part time and losing those to the crash we had to make the decision to try looking out of state.
    Yeah! I found a job in Salt Lake working for the Salt Lake County Youth Services. But this would also prove to be short term as well but not before moving the husband who happened to get a job with the city of Salt Lake. At the beginning it was just me who moved first so for the first time in our 24 soon to be 25 years of marriage we would be apart. I would have to live without my husband and our sons, and I was excited and hating it all at the same time.
    See our youngest was just months from graduating high school and really what type of mom would I be? What type of parent we would be to move our sons to Salt Lake when one of them was just three months from graduating with his friends that he had grown up with? Not going to be that selfish so since I had gotten the job first I went ahead and stayed with my brother in law and his family.
    While up there my husband applied and gotten his job and soon it was the two of us while our sons lived with my parents the one finishing high school and the other becoming the help to my parents (it's another story that maybe one day I'll share with you).

  3. In a previous post you had the "Stay as long as you like" comment. I agree, you should take that as code for "When are you leaving" because that is really what it means 95% of the time. My first night at my brother in laws was greeted with "we are not going to automatically include you in our plans and I encourage you to entertain yourself". His wife wanted to know how soon I was leaving. Which left me to question why the hell they even offered to let me stay with them. Honestly regardless if it is family or not if you don't want a person there then freaking don't offer. It got so bad as to when my husband joined me in Utah the SIL (sister in law) decided that even though we had been married for 25 years that we couldn't sleep in the same room together. Then even knowing that my husband worked a swing shift and by the time he got back to their place (50 miles away from his work) in the early morning hours that she would start the morning slamming the doors in the kitchen and wake him up. That is until I woke him up to take the bed in the bedroom when I left at 5:30 in the morning to drive the 65 miles to work. But it didn't take long for us to find a place and move out without even telling them. It took them two days to figure out that we had left. Oh and that was without the "Stay as long as you like" imagine if it was with it.

  4. Within a few months we would move both of our sons and one of the girlfriends to Salt Lake to live with us in a townhome. Yes, I am open minded knowing that since they were already living together that they were having sex. I also left a case of condoms on their bed the first night with a note telling them that NONE of us is ready for a surprise baby at this time in our lives. We all needed to get our shit together first. Besides they were only 20 at the time and I really wanted my youngest to have a good job in the field that he trained for in Las Vegas first. Needless to say the girlfriend ended up moving back to Las Vegas after she decided that they should "take a break" while living in our home. Not going to work, I'm his momma and like any good momma (no matter how much she became a daughter to me) I had to tell her how unfair it was of her to expect him to share a bed with her while she started dating someone else. She either had to move out or go back to Vegas. I had already informed them both that she had been a part of our lives for four years now and I wasn't going to just kick her to the curb or out of our lives because they broke up. That if she chose to stay in SLC that she would have two weeks to make living arrangements while our son stayed with friends who would later become his roommates. In the end I called her mom to come pick her up (Yep, another story for a later time).
    To jump ahead and shorten this more I felt the housing crunch again when I was laid off from the SL county job. But a door did open that would lead us to living in Denver Colorado working for a company that offered me more money than I would ever be paid in my life. Unfortunately, the oil prices falling hence gas prices falling has finally cost me my job and come July 27th I will be unemployed once again trying to decided if we want to stay or head back to SLC to live minutes from our youngest and have the family close again or head back to Vegas where it's cheaper to live, a place I only want to visit and not live in again and be placed back on the shelf. Yep, it comes down to where ever I can get a job.
    Though in the back of my mind I keep thinking what I really want to do is have my husband upgrade his drivers license from a CDL B to a CDL A and get my CDL A license and do some team driving in a big rig while finding a happy ever after place to settle in our old age (I'm 49 and he is 55). So kudo's for doing this, I wish I could do it too. Who knows maybe I will.
    Now I have to say something about the whole marriage issue. I want you to really think about this. Do what is right for you. If you feel not having a wedding and a piece of paper makes a difference than that is what you do. If you feel that you do want it than do it. It's your choice. Do not take what others feel due to their own feelings on this matter. You do what is right for you both.
    That being said I want you to know where I am coming from. My parents were married for 55 years and best friends for 58. Yep, they have known each other since they were 13 years old. They were as much and more in love with each other when my father passed last year (the day after my mother's birthday no less).

  5. I was married to my first husband for a year and we dated each other two years prior to that. I didn't know what an abusive SOB he was until after we said our "I do's". I didn't let it stop me from thinking of happy ever after’s and that I would someday get married again. Because I did have a great example in my parents. I know that it can happen, but I also realized sometimes it doesn't happen for everyone. Same with wanting children, you know if you want them and if you don't. Sometimes it’s a deal breaker in a relationship, but you really have to ask if you really belong together if the views are so different. The "you won't feel that way with your own" is just someone's way of forcing their views on you. I never felt that way and had always wanted children and thankfully so did my husband. If one doesn't then they need to make sure to take steps that they don't for the sake of a child who isn't wanted. It's not fair to that child. Again, this is my own point of view and I applaud those who have made sure they didn't because they never wanted a child to begin with. I have a few people (friends on my part/acquaintance on theirs) that fill this spot too and I've never passed judgement on them nor have I tried to convince them that they were wrong. They know what they want and it is their lives not mine.
    So back to the marriage topic. I didn't let what happen to me sour me on marriage, it only made me more cautious of who I feel in love with and choose to live my life with. I was lucky the second time around and found my soul mate. Now I'm going to shock you by telling you that we are both MORMON. However, we did live together because I wanted to make sure the person I was giving my heart too wasn't going to change once the "I do's" were said. You can't act 24/7 eventually the colors will start to appear if your abusive. Thankfully they never have. We're on 28 years now. So do what is right for you both. After all it's the two of you that count no one else. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks you should do. They have their own lives to live and wouldn't like it if you started to push what you think they should do on them. Same thing I told everyone at church "Kick me out if you like but it's me that has to live with my decision not to you. If he is abusive or discover he is a little freakier than I can handle than I can leave before making a commitment that I take very seriously. It's not you and you don't have to live in my shoes. I do, this is my life not yours we're talking about and I don't recall asking for your opinion on the subject. So but out!", which might be why no one from church came to my wedding. Oh well, their loss not mine.

  6. So always go with your gut, do what is best for you and your immediate family (if you have kids) and you can't go wrong. We all make mistakes sometimes and all we can do is pull ourselves up and keep going while learning from those mistakes. Because sometimes the gut can be wrong or what we thought was right can be wrong. There is no way to know until you try and learn one way or another. Hence my life. Oh and just so you know. My first husband I dated for two years. My second I dated for two weeks. We meet and went on our first date March 18th 1988, engaged April 1, 1988, moved in together April 11, 1988 (the night I got pregnant with our first son) and would have already been married if it wasn't that this was his first and even though it wasn't important to me it was to his mom who wanted to see him get married so we did the whole "Vegas" wedding and a reception at my maid of honor's home for his mom who I absolutely adored and miss now that she is also gone. I've been lucky and blessed the second time around. So for me marriage is the way to go. But again that is what is right for me. Everyone is different and needs to make their own decisions on what is right for them. I know this was a long post to you but I felt strongly about making sure that you know how beautiful, strong you are and that you can count me among those who are behind you. You rock girl!

    Okay, I'm going back to reading your blog now and I'm getting off of my soapbox.


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