Oh Cuba! Where to begin? Have you ever felt like life just starts to fall into place a little bit? Well I can’t tell you the last time I had that feeling, or at least had that feeling actually last, until the past few weeks. I don’t think I’ve ever needed to get away more and Cuba just fell into my lap. I met two wonderful girls, one of which started a legal tourism company to Cuba and knowing I like to travel, she threw out the idea of a 4-day trip where we each bring a friend. I have never experienced anything like this in my life.
It was unlike any trip I’ve ever taken. Definitely more of a journey than a vacation if that makes sense. I would never have been able to pull something like this off with my own horrible travel planning abilities. I posted tons of photos, so that should give you a good indicator of the variety of cultural experiences we had. The trip did so much for me. I needed the escape to get some clarity on a lot of things in my life. Cell phones don’t work there, so aside from the turtlenet wifi at the hotel at night, you have no choice but to actually engage in conversation with your friends and with strangers. I can’t tell you how important that is. I am often annoyed with what slaves we all tend to be to our electronics. I think many people use it as a way of avoiding the present moment. But life is really just a series of moments and you learn a lot about yourself and others when you share in experiences together.
My best friend and I made two new amazing girlfriends. To think we live in the same city, but have never crossed paths is really promising in a lot ways. These girls are beyond intelligent, motivated to be successful and most importantly, genuine. I think I’ve been a little traumatized by falling in love with someone that turned out to be far from genuine with me-especially when I needed him the most. At some point, there’s no excuse for what happened and I can’t control it. I guess I was just holding on to some hope that I wasn’t so wrong about someone’s character. There’s a lot of self-blame when you trust someone who ultimately doesn’t have the capacity to do the right thing.
I think Maximus passing away was a real turning point for me in this life of mine. How can it not be? It’s been the hardest thing I’ve had to go through and the broken promises and lack of friendship at that time was devastating. I at least feel like I’m coming through to the other side of it and just have to let it go knowing I did the strong thing, the right thing. I feel good about standing up for myself and I at least know what I deserve and I feel confident with getting rid of people in my life who don’t give me any value. I suck at a lot of things, but I am always genuine and always honest and the more time that passes I see it more clearly. I add a lot of value to a relationship, romantic or friend and maybe some roads are just really long dead ends. I just really didn’t think things would play out the way that they did because I always root for the ones I love to live up to the potential I recognize in them. Maybe you just can’t make people see their own potential sometimes. Or maybe they don’t care enough to do the right thing when it matters.
Regardless, I have taken a lot of learning with the pain of loss lately and that is just where it’s going to be. Acceptance is the hardest part of loss for me. I’m still struggling with accepting the fact that Maximus is actually gone forever. As morbid as I am, I don’t know why this stage of grief is so hard for me. It took me days to pick up his ashes and another day to build up the courage to open the box. Cremation is weird to me, but I thought I might like to take him with me on the trip and leave him on the beach. I will admit, he came back with me. I don’t have any explanation other than it just didn’t feel right to leave him anywhere right now. I think with all of the clarity I have experienced lately, I will just know when it’s the right time or the right trip. Maybe I just continue to take him with me on my travels and never leave him anywhere. With me is where he belongs I think:)
Coming home was incredibly difficult. You really feel the absence there. I told myself I was going to take some serious time off for self love and though I know I will always be a dog person, I wanted to wait and get another pug when I feel ready. I originally told myself a year, but it’s been only two weeks and I am already on tilt. I know I will barely be able to make it 6 months. So I’m just going with the flow since that has been working for me lately. I think I will just know when I’m ready and I’m going to hold off as best I can until then. I seriously feel like buying an entire shelter right now and I know it would fill the void. It’s a lot like a breakup. If you could replace love with love right away, it would be a hell of a lot easier to cope. I think the void isn’t going to be filled correctly with another dog. I really feel I know myself and I need to stop being a homebody now that I don’t have to stay home for Maximus.
Going out more has proven to be a really good thing for me. I have met new people that I can see a great future with-again I’m not strictly talking romantically. You learn the most about yourself when you are uncomfortable. Maybe it’s just a new situation or a new city or a new date, but I like the person I have been lately and it’s all because I’ve challenged myself to learn about new things and be open to new experiences. I don’t think there’s any right way to grieve, but my way has started to finally let me see a little light. I have taken some serious time to really accept the breakup and try to make myself whole again. I just know that in order to get what I want out of life, I have to be the best version of myself. Trying to quickly jump into something new and replace a boy and a dog just isn’t my style. I at least feel really ready and open for some of that now. I don’t know how much my trust issues have been affected, but I feel like I’m in a very stable and happy place again and that’s when the right kind of things happen. So here’s to Cuba. New friends, some healing, a lot of learning and oh yea, we had a lot of fun too:)
Check out all the pictures from my trip HERE!