13 April, 2007


Okay, the excitement I had over my potential exciting vacation with 4 guys turned out to be the absolute worst experience in my life…maybe not the worst experience, but definitely the worst vacation! To sum it up, I spent 5 days and 4 nights with whiny, indecisive, immature males. I had previously felt happy when no other women were coming because I wanted to hike and have some tranquil time alone when the guys surfed. Well, there was no “surf”, the waves were non-existent so the first day what did the guys want to do?…well, after whining all morning, they suggested to go shopping….for surf stuff, I was okay for awhile browsing the stores but after one hour in one shop, I couldn’t take it anymore, I told one of the guys that I was going next door to have a beer. I sat in this little bar for about 30 minutes watching the Americas Cup on the TV and then figured that I better go and see if they were still in that shop or had moved on to the next one. To my dismay, they were still in the shop! They spent over 2 hours in that one shop and it’s not like a super walmart kind of shop, it’s roughly the size of a small starbucks! I tried to be as calm as I could since basically there was nothing I could do; I was too far from the camping area to walk back. After that we ate dinner and went to a bar…a surf bar with big screen TV’s and watched surfing on the TV for another 2 hours….so I sucked it up…and up…and up and that is what I did for the next 5 days, I sucked it up.

I became extremely emotionally exhausted while trying to communicate with them and trying not to get angry when after hours of debating whether they would surf the little waves, they would decide against it and settle on getting high instead. By the last night, I was done, emotionally and physically. I was done with them all, the lack of disrespect for me was overwhelming and I couldn’t believe these were “grown men” and any chance of a further relationship with M was simply unheard of, since the one single night we were to be together just the two of us, he ended up getting drunk and high.

In order to tolerate the trip, I had to dig deep in my mind and find a purpose as to why I had to endure the punishment. I know it sounds melodramatic, but for me to be “trapped” with no ability to leave and to be with people that I had no desire to be around is the worst thing that could happen to me. I kept asking “Why am I in hell?” What have I done to deserve this? I didn’t know the answer at the time, but luckily I had my journal and my Ipod. With music cranked I wrote about my thoughts and feelings. I was able to release somewhat and then, it came to me a certain sense of clarity. I needed this time to realize that I was not heading in the right direction. I was getting complacent in Castellon. I had not worked on my thesis in over a month and I was half-assing the required Austria Peace Program online course I am enrolled in. I had been lazing around not practicing Spanish, not exercising much, not eating well and basically not thinking of what is best for ME.

While doing all this inner searching, it was like a light was suddenly ignited inside of me…I suddenly felt clarity, like a sense of calmness, of course there was still the devastation of the fact that I was “trapped” in a place I couldn’t escape, but I was able to go beyond myself and see what is important in my life. Relationships are important, but not one that makes you put your hopes and dreams for yourself on hold. It was also ironic that the only book I brought on the trip was “Man’s search for Meaning” by Victor Frankl. In the first half of the book, he speaks about his 4 years in a concentration camp in Germany. It’s a book about why some people survive horrendous situations when others don’t, his reasoning is that if there is some kind of meaning in one’s life, just one little reason to survive (perhaps a child), you will. I thought of all the suffering going on in the world and here I was pouting over some emotional pain while sitting on the incredibly beautiful coast of northern Spain. Kind of put me in my place. In the book Frankl also talks about how in those 4 years of incredible torture and pain, he would find pleasure in the simplest thing, like glimpsing a flower. During the 4th day, I took a long jog along this path along the coast, which was high above the water. After about 45 minutes, the path came into a small town where (because it was Easter Sunday) people were out walking and enjoying family time. I slowed down to a walk and just watched the people. Such happiness, such a stark contrast from what I had just run from.

I then noticed that there were many dogs running about along the path. One chocolate lab puppy in particular was tearing down the trail like there was no tomorrow and about a minute later came a young girl on a bike and her younger brother on in-line skates trying desperately to keep up. The girl was yelling for the dog and all of a sudden the puppy came bursting back directly towards them. He then took off again and ventured off the path straight into a huge water puddle, which he then proceeded to roll around in with the most incredible puppy grin on his face. I started laughing out loud, perhaps a little too loudly as the little boy next to me jumped and then started laughing too and then the lab ran over and took a toy away from another dog and they played chase for awhile dodging all the people on the trail. In that moment I experienced complete simplistic happiest, which was by far the most happiness that I had experienced in 4 days.

Another thing I came away with was forgiveness. I don’t know why but for some reason I do not have bad feelings towards M, I can’t explain why but there was that sense of clarity or something that gave me a peaceful feeling inside. I had been trying to fit into a lifestyle that wasn’t right for me, a certain kind of relationship that wasn’t right for me. I’m back on track now and focusing on what will make Melinda’s future brighter.

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