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UnBELIEZEable, San Pedro, Belize

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Ya, mon. I had the best birthday and experience of my life! Turning forty, I have to be honest, made me feel like I was saying goodbye to my youth. I had struggled to get that last 5-8 pounds off. My metabolism has slowed down to a screeching halt.  The zit and wrinkle combo is not cool. I can’t binge on whatever anymore, without consequences.

I lost 8 pounds walking in the warm, thick humid air, moisturizing every part of my being. Palm trees swaying against the ocean breeze, Caribbean clear blue water, white sandy beaches. Biking on the cobblestone roads, dodging golf carts and taxis.  sweating through every pore. A Belize-an cleanse; consisting of water, beer, tequila and exercise.

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What I discovered on  this magical island of Ambergris Caye ,is that I accepted my spiritual womanhood on this island. 40 is where it begins, the journey into true self. Not giving a shit what people think.There is a movement of woman rising in this world, creating a vibration. History tends to repeat itself.  The slaves were given freedom before women. It is soon our time, ladies.

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People are the same internally no matter where you go in the world. We have different languages and cultures that express themselves through food, spirituality and  different societal standards. But we all feel the exact same way inside.

What I loved about this culture was the expression of touch through hugging a lot,  when I communicated something they agreed with or liked they would shake my hand or fist bump.

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Since dad’s suicide I have cried every day ,even on the plane to Belize, I was sobbing, with my sunglasses on listening to music, that reminds me of him in some way. I didn’t cry once in Belize, I genuinely felt happy. It was the most bizarre paradox I have yet to experience. I felt I traveled to the edges of darkness that seemed to know no time, with dad’s suicide and Mom’s car accident. To the euphoric feelings of being in Belize.  The gut laugh that is so real that it shocks you that you are capable of such happiness.

When people go through trauma they need to talk about the trauma incessantly to process through the pain. I call this island magical, because in America when I talk about the suicide it becomes awkward and I feel shame. Here in Belize, when I talked about dad, they would hug me and tell me, ” I am so sorry.” They would constantly make sure I was happy and bring me beer and hug me over and over. It was so healing and I never felt ashamed.

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I love this photo.  My husband and I reconnected. It was our honeymoon we never had.  You know those fighting patterns you get into as couples,  like a loop of defenses. We broke  through our loop. We went beneath the defense mechanisms and really talked. More island healing.

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Coming from mile high altitude, drinking was more like water. It took me 10 beers and 6 shots to feel it. I would be dead or hospitalized at home with this much alcohol.  We did drink a gallon of water a day too.

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Our first night on the island, we took a taxi to town. In San Pedro, if you are in a cab they pick the local people up as well ,along the way.

Bettig ( pictured above) and her boyfriend jumped into the taxi, she told me,”it’s my birthday today. ” I asked her, “what are you doing for your birthday?  How old are you?  ”   She said,” going home. I am 40.” I told her,” we will  take you out for your birthday because that is why I was here on the island and it was my 40th too.” She took us to some local bars, she wanted to sing karaoke,  she was in love with Billy Idol. We walked together arm and arm  as we walked around the town. She told me ,”she had lost her son in a bicycle accident.” We just hugged each other. Before we left she brought us shirts from Belize, to our hotel room.  She looked at me with her soft smile and said,” so you know someone in Belize loves you.” So sweet 🙂

After biking all day Saturday around San Pedro, we went out with these people from our hotel. We went to bars with sand for floors, a huge club. I would love for people to see island dancing, It takes twerking to new levels, apparently this has been the way they have always danced.

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I decided to get a tattoo there.  This is the Gemini sign. I fell in love with the blue.  Being my birthday and in Belize where myans had much to do with astrology,  I thought it would remind me of Belize forever.

We spent a lot of time at this tattoo shop if we were in town. It had cool people, air conditioning,  and WiFi.  I was dependent on WiFi to talk to my kids through Facebook on my unlocked phone I brought.  That is the only time I have actually needed Facebook in my life. My kids were sick of course during  this time, and needed to contact me frequently.

Another lesson in hopeless moments; I am not in control!  I get to control how I respond to the situation and how it affects me. I had set up everything in case of emergency with the kids before I left,  I had to trust that people will help and they did. Or I can jump a plane home. It worked out, I didn’t let it affect our trip.  I chose to trust. It is strange after loosing dad that I choose to live more not live in fear but understand our days are numbered.

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Our favorite bartender. Her demeanor never changed. No worries,mon.

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Colin made us this dish from Africa, called Sereh. Plantains, fish , sweet potatoes in a coconut base with cilantro. It is served with a side of rice. Amazing! I feel in love with the creole language which is African and English.

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We want to live in Belize when our children are grown. We choose on this trip to hang with the locals to really experience island life. It was a life changing trip that I hope to integrate somehow in to my life now. I believe I will start with hugging more.

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