am i crazy? don't answer that.

I realize that I should be packing right now, or perhaps doing one of the other 100 things you do two days before you leave the country for a month, but obviously I am not. In a recent post I listed three of my bad habits, and in this very moment, by this very act, I reveal them all to you.

If i remember correctly I listed : being impulsive, scatterbrained and losing things. I will pack tomorrow night, probably in a scatterbrained matter, and curse myself when I am in a small hostile in central america without a toothbrush, or something vital. Sometimes I say aloud to myself when i am searching for keys for the third time that day, or regretting some impulsive decision or realizing that i've taken on far too much, sometimes i say: IT'S SO HARD TO BE ME SOME DAYS! and I mean it fully. Sometimes I wish I could just take a little vacation from myself, maybe I could just sit in a chair and read a book all day, and when i was ready, i could reunite myself with myself, and we could talk things over and proceed in a calm and organized fashion.

Yet, that never seems to happen, where ever I go, there I am again, driving my brother crazy by making a crafting mess on the dining room table, microwaving my soup five times over because I forgot about it every time, losing things I swear I put in very safe and obvious places, making commitments to be two places at once, wavering about in a sea of indecision and impulsive paths that last only weeks or months. Why would I reveal all of this now? I'm not really sure, except perhaps in some feeble attempt to explain to myself why I am going on this trip. I bought the ticket back in December, surprise... on a whim. I got to school one day and I said, 'that's it, I'm buying a ticket to El Salvador' and I marched to the travel office and purchased one. I've regretted the decision several times since, but there is something in me, and I don't think it's just stubbornness, that tells me I need to go and I need to live my life, no matter how irrational or crazy such an adventure makes me feel.

For those of you who don't know the background of the story of how I got to such a point in my life, here are some wee details (i'm sorry if I seem totally self-indulgent all the time, if you're annoyed you may stop reading) if not, wee details: back in 2004 i spent the summer in El Salvador, I met a boy, I saw him and I knew we would cross paths, and we did, we were fast friends, spent three weeks talking (though looking back on it, i'm not sure how, we didn't really speak the same language), he decided to take the missionary discussions one last time and was baptized right before I left on my mission, I went on my mission to Uruguay and the last transfer of my mission he left on his mission to honduras (don't worry, he wasn't 19, he is my age) and now, 4 years later he is getting home. I don't know why I need to see him again, i really don't, I'm so happy here. But God works in ways we cannot understand until later, and in the vaguest sense of it, that's my only explanation for going. it's been a great trial of faith that I don't know I've passed and i am nervous as hell, but I suppose you've got to put everything on the line to get things of worth.

So off I go, with a backpack and a map, (if I remember to buy one tomorrow). My good friend Chris Rees and i will be traveling through el salvador, guatemala, belize and i don't really know where else for a couple weeks, then I will stay and visit with mario's family for a couple weeks and then i get home and two days later my brother gets married! I don't know how much I will be able to update the travels, but (and I feel silly sending such a message out into the cyber space) but i do love and appreciate my friends and family SOOOO much. They are the world to me. When you think of me feel free to say a little prayer that i will remain intact while tromping about a country or future i know little of.

this is signing off. ashmae.


Sofia said...

I often feel prisoner to the way that I am. If you don't have means to do a journal via blog, you should keep a paper and pen journal and write down everything.

In a silly movie, Stranger Than Fiction, I remember he tallies up points in every social interaction with the baker-girl he is so fond of, if his life is a drama, comedy or tragedy.

Pack light, soak up the art culture of each place you encounter and be well. (Carl says that you and your El Salvadorean friend have kept enthusiastic penmanship while away... ) I would be so nervous if I were you to meet again, as most times when you meet after a period of not being together things have changed.

Embrace yourself and love the brain you were born with.

j cubed said...

Oh Ash we will pray for you. I'm glad you are going, you must go. I had an old man that I had never met before talk to me one day in the Church Office Building cafeteria and he told me that he knew I was concerned about love and who I should marry. He said, "You have to put it all out on the line, either you'll get him or you won't." So I listened to this old man (didn't even get his name) and now I am married to Josh :) I love you and I hope you will be able to blog every now and then. Be safe and we love you just the way you are, the best sister and friend you could ever imagine.

Brooke & Max Stoneman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brooke & Max Stoneman said...

My dearest ash! I echo your wise friend Sofia - embrace yourself and the love the brain you were born with. Good words. You are the dearest person I know and I wouldn't have you any other way. I am so excited and nervous for your trip! Keep me posted if you can - reading your blog is such a joyful part of my day.

I bought that Annie Dillard book you like(the title of which escapes me right now) and I can't wait to start it.

Lindsey P said...

I just read my sisters blog and got teary because my nephew finally pooped in the toilet, then I read your blog and got teary eyed because you are doing a brave and scary thing. I feel like everyone is doing brave things but me. And that's my bad habit, to be passive and not deliberate.
I hope you have fun, and I hope you get all the things out of this trip that you need. Love you!

PS. They sell toothbrushes in El Salvador.

shelly said...

You know the "impulsive, scatter-brained, losing things" stuff? I remember telling your mom you could have been mine -- this convinces me! Ashley -- some auntly wisdom... just enjoy this and think of it as another adventure -- or another cool journal entry to look back on! Just enjoy it for whatever it it brings, be yourself - Ashley Mae Christensen -- and come back and have a blast at your brother's wedding, enjoying the togetherness of friends and family that will have MISSED you intensely! Be safe and have lots of fun!