It's been a while since I wrote to you... I couldn't figure out what subject line to use...
- How normal people have PTSD too
- Tuesday morning garbage glee (<-- I don’t think these are high ranking SEO keywords)
- She’s aliiiive!
- How we all have PTSD
- Filial Piety is a thing
- Thawing like a pork chop
She Coaxed Me Out
I’ve been so wanting to let you in on one of the toughest periods of my life, with my dad passing away shockingly 3 countries into my 16-country Exquisite Freedom tour, and with being summoned home by financial crisis 4 days after I decided to visit every country iin the world.
But I couldn't. My body was frozen. Completely. Utterly. Frozen. More on that below.
A few days ago, I was coaxed out by one of my readers, Chereen, who asked:
Where have you been luv? Noticed I don't get emails from you anymore.
I miss my wisdom infused with funnies.
Come on back! Hope all is well.
Clumpy tears gushed out like marbles rolling out of a tipped over jar. For years, I've been dancing like no one is watching and writing like no one is reading. I forgot that someone is reading.
Chereen and I started out as complete strangers. She read my blog and we bantered via e-mail. To her loving note, I started replying to her by e-mail. Right before I hit send, I thought, you are also my reader, so you too belong to this conversation.
Bagan, Myanmar 2015 © Ellany Lea
This is where I’ve been….
- Cleaning 6 tons of black mold and pack rat parental house for sale
- Wrung dry by the sheer force of Filial Piety
- Frozen and ravaged by Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Thawing and thanking the Universe every day that trauma is heal-able
- Hiding in the safety of paperwork for my sweet, sweet legal name change
- Empty nesting and feeling jubilated that I'm finally done raising my parents and siblings
- Mastering the art of non-belonging
- Chasing sun looking for home, for a place where I truly belong
Backtracking a bit
I'm a huge fan of general success principles. I'm also a big believer that the most helpful wisdom sometimes comes from the lived story of one person. Here are some of my moments...
In 2005, my best friend and I went on an 11-country trip Around-the-World. In 2015, I thought it poetic to do it again, on the 10th anniversary! I was in a relationship at the time. So like any good girl raised by a doormat mom to be a good doormat (aka a place for guys to wipe their feet on), I buried that dream.
An Unexpected Well of Power
It wasn't until the flames of betrayal blazed through my veins that my dream erupted with full force from the dormant volcano that was my soul. In that moment, I realized 4 truths:
- Never fear betrayal because within it lies a power so divine, you'll wish you were betrayed sooner.
- We train people how to treat us. If we train them poorly, they treat us poorly. I trained him so poorly, I allowed poor, poor behavior. Oops.
- We, collectively, as intelligent, high-potential, superwomen, settle far, far, far, FAR too much for scraps when it comes to our loves lives. Double oops.
- I'm finally, finally, finally, finally, FINALLY done blaming my mom for raising me as a doormat. Her mom was probably one too and the women before her as well... What a relief to no longer be leaking vital force on blaming!!
Never fear betrayal because within it lies divine power.
Freedom never dies
So off I went, living, working and rejoicing in a different country every week for 16 weeks. It was the celebration and total annihilation of external indoctrination, cultural conditioning, social shackles, birth order duties, gender stereotypes, external judgment, scarcity, and perfectionism.
Freedom never dies, I thought. I felt invincible and on top of the world. But 3-countries into my tour... dad died. Shockingly suddenly.
I flew home immediately for the funeral. All flights for 16 countries cost $5,200. But one funeral flight home cost $3,000. <grumble, grumble, cry, sigh, accept, cry some more, grumble, grumble just a bit more>
It took every ounce of courage and love from my 3 besties and you to get back on a plane and finish the whole tour. Dad died. But freedom hadn't died.
Richmond, BC, Canada © Jennifer Jasmine
You are being summoned
Although freedom never dies, but it can come to a grinding halt.
Back in 2006, I packed 71 boxes, put a partial down-payment on a gorgeous townhouse in Vancouver, and moved my family from Montreal to Vancouver, so my parents could retire in comfort, sans snow and closer to Asia.
I created this giant tabbed binder with all their banking, wills, power of attorney, real estate, legal, and fiscal documents. Any fellow OCD person who held it would also hear angel songs coming from this holy bible of organization.
Back to 2015, I was on a such a high after living out of a small 15 kg suitcase for 4 months that I decided to visit every country in the world. Instead of waiting until I was 80, I'd do it now!
But... when your baby brothers, whose diapers you changed and tears you wiped off, tell you that shit has hit the fan (no matter how holy that tabbed binder), you:
- immediately wire transfer thousands upon thousands upon thousands upon thousands upon thousands upon thousands upon thousands of dollars home, and
- put freedom on pause.
The crapiest homecoming ever
After 16 glorious countries, shooting stars in the Sahara, hot-air ballooning above Myanmar and skipping under Iguazu Falls, I came home. No welcome home party, no Powerpoint slides of my shenanigans with handsome, ahem, blue-eyed boys.
Just heaps and heaps and heaps (and heaps, and heaps, and heaps) of black mold, junk, black mold, junk, cob webs, black mold and more junk...(to be cont'd)