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Reality Struck!

Updated: 5 days ago

I made a move to Jamaica officially in November 2021. After a series of unfortunate events (pun intended), I landed in the arms of Ricardo (a kind soul) and here we are married and in a muck! Not in a muck because we don’t love each other or made a mistake marrying one another. It is clear we love each other; and if you know Virgos when we love, we love, and that is a solid depiction of our commitment to one another!

While sharing our vows, 4 months ago, I remember his eyes! His eyes penetrated my soul. He saw me! Of course, that can be a scary thing when a person “sees” you! That means they “see” you, all of you! The good, the bad and the ugly! Yet instead of being scared, I felt beautiful, acknowledged, and valued!

As I sit in our now new home (because we have lived in three homes together now) a small efficiency-like apartment with a portable AC unit that works when it wants to and electricity that flickers whenever you turn on the water, I realized that I have been chasing the wrong things for peace. These things (the things of life) are too flaky and inconsistent!

Reality struck!

I was initially chasing the adventure and the culture. I like to explore and learn about different people groups. Now I am here trying to survive because chasing peace is like grasping for wind! The irony!

Meanwhile back at the ranch (the God-forsaken United States of America), landing a job is also like grasping for wind! I am educated and there are “thousands of jobs” and yet I have spent 9 months looking for just one and landed two interviews to date! I am educated and experienced so is it that I am too experienced (or too old), or is it that I am a service-connected disabled veteran? What is it? How can one piece of paper possibly tell the employer all my experience, and in 7 seconds, at that? Rhetorical for sure and maddening indeed!

As I sit here, with my soul, in the quiet of the morning, we’ll not be so quiet because the dogs are barking at who knows what, I realize it’s the little things, the little pleasures of life that we (the haves) get hung up on and frankly that we are accustomed to, unlike most Jamaicans (the have nots) it is quite normal to not have AC or even WiFi! Or to come home and have the power off (what they call a “planned outage”) and not because you did not pay the fortune you pay to have power in Jamaica!

I did not sign up for hot flashes and a body that sweats like a pig in anything less than 75 degrees. I do know I can survive off likkle (Patwah for little)! After all I am a survivor, I am a good soldier trained for war, literally!

How is it that I missed the train of continuing my exploration of the world around me in exchange for troubles like no power or WiFi? I do need power and WiFi to write about my exploration of the world! And to find a job! But good Lord, why should something this simple be so hard in a country that has had years to grow independently of their British master, as it were!

Reality struck again!

“It is what it is!” My dad’s voice, that I hear in my mind, as I imagine what he would say to me right now if he were alive!

A critical spirit (no short of these in this world) has never won over the hearts of people but a person who weeps with one who weeps and dances with one whose mourning ended is the one we prefer when times get tough!

So like any best friend would do, you tell her what is happening and she weeps with you! As mine did last night when I texted her to pray for us! She reminded me of the truth! Truth and reality are not the same, at times!

Let me say that again,

Truth and reality are not the same, at times!

The reality I experience cannot be indicative of my truth, at times, because when given a hand of cards, even when you play all your cards right (live in truth), you can still lose the game (the reality).

I am not saying I lost the game, but I am saying that some of my cards are just not winners! And, indeed, we don’t see the cards until the hand is dealt, in most cases!

And even with a bad hand, we can still make moves that make us winners!

I digress!

Reality struck when I realized all this…realized that “it is what it is!” I did not know the hand (moving to Jamaica) until it was dealt with. I realized that I couldn’t survive in Jamaica and still manage my responsibilities back in the States on my current income. And worse yet, my current income is double what most middle-class Jamaicans make!

Reality struck, that since graduating with a master's degree in education, I probably need to work a little longer and use all that great knowledge gained! And finally, the beautiful reality is that I have grandchildren and young adult children to love whose life I want to be part of, and who are all in the States!

Sadly though it is also because Jamaica cannot provide enough income for people to do more than survive. America even struggles to do that! The middle class in Jamaica is vast but so is the poor in Jamaica!

As my husband and I prepare to transition and make a life in the U.S., I will find ways to play this next hand in light of the previous hand. I can not reconcile the negative return on my investment by moving to Jamaica but I can say that some of the people I have met and some of the experiences I have had in Jamaica did add value to my life and for that I am grateful! And my story with Jamaica will never end because this will be home one day again!

Reality sucks!

But I will remember reality and truth are not the same things, at times! I am working on accepting my current reality although it feels like failure. My truth is that I took a risk and lost some but I also gained something that can’t be lost – perspective and new experiences!

Reality Struck!

#decisions #women #Love #Learning #lifechanges #jamaica #moving #Change #culture #travel #reality #life #thirdworldcountries #Marriage #Jamaicans #struggles #emptynest #Truth

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