Going up got me down this morning

Maybe it’s the fact that my Wellbutrin prescription ran out and I’ve not gotten around to refilling it. Or could it be that after two-plus weeks in a foreign country  and close to six weeks on the road prior to that, I am terribly homesick. Most likely it’s the realization that the Nancy that left the USA is the same now lives in Ecuador. Warts and all.Weight and all. And that is not easy to bear climbing around the city built on hills.

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 14.52.14My personal waterworks have been working full tilt the past day or so.

This morning, as Katherine and I trod up the side of the mountain to meet David in El Centro, I suddenly felt overwhelmed.

The traipsing up and down the side of the Andes is simply too hard for my out-of-shape body. The negative talk in my head grew louder and louder with each step. I broke down half way and, I admit it, tears and sweat flow mingled down.

Large gringa cries in the middle of a busy street. No one notices. Life goes on.

At that moment everything seemed too much. What am I doing here? What was I thinking? I cannot do this.

Right now I’m living in that space between the dreaming and the coming true. The space that (for me, right now)  involves a lot of angry muscles, tired feet, hurting joints and tremendous self-doubt.

Katherine paused with me for a while. Offered to go back home if I wanted. But we pressed on. At the top, all got better.

We sat in Parque Calderon and people watched for about 20 minutes, then walked across the cobblestone street to a wonderful little cafe next to the old cathedral. Stone walls, rough timber beams. A colonial-period-meets-21st-century-artist  kind of public house.  Warm atmosphere. Cheerful, attentive waiters. Terrific house salad, warm croissant and aqua mineral para mi.  Para David y Katherine,  crepes with fruta y helado (ice cream).

Oh, yes, we’ll certainly be back.

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Doors to the old cathedral in el centro

Later we wandered in and out of shops around Parque Calderon searching for umbrellas (paraquas) We found them right after the rain ended. At least, we’ll be ready for the downpour tomorrow. Three for $14. We saw no sense in bartering. That’s not our thing. Yet.

Returning to the apartment, we chose the path without steps, just one long steep slope. I slipped on the wet bricks and banged my knee pretty bad. Which of course brought back another wave of self-criticism and doubt. $%#! those personal demons. They slipped into my suitcase and moved to this beautiful city with me. They’ve got to go.

I’m back at my window now. Watching people tackle the steps across the way.  There’s the perky petite beauty who takes the 84 steps in heels with perfect ease. A young man takes them two by two. Occasionally I see someone pause, inhale,  and then lumber on.  But not often. These Cuencans have the steps and mountains mastered. I’m genuinely in awe. One of these days…

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my photos don’t do the stone work justice

Tonight is the beginning of the International Writer’s Conference here in Cuenca. I’ll go register but skip the tapas and wine tasting party. The introvert in me hates mingling type of things. I find it easier to meet people in or between sessions.

My spirits have lifted. The sun is shining again. The breeze blows and the Tomebamba River flows, making the most soothing sounds.

All is well.  All will be well. I’m not sure which early church mystic wrote that but I find great comfort in her words.

The demons will roar from time to time and I will once again succumb to doubt and tears and self-chastisement. But for now, it is well with my soul.

 

 

12 thoughts on “Going up got me down this morning

  1. Hang in there. A gym instructor once told me 6 weeks and things will get better fitness wise. She was right. Moving is a big stress point. I enjoy your posts.

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  2. Nancy, when the military sent me to a far away land, at the age of seventeen, I thought great ! Then I arrived in Okinawa for 18 months, no visits home. Home sick, confusion set in. It was really so foreign . Then things began to settle down , and then I lean to relax . I started to lean my surroundings and the people and I found my place.
    You and David can do this, I am sure. Take a deep breath and try to learn everything. This is an adventure, and God will guide your steps. Cathy and I are on your side, go for it. Little Ronnie

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    1. Thanks Ron. Your words, your experience mean a lot. And I value that you took the time to write. You’re the best! I’m feeling better today…know it’s support of you and others that is helping. How are you feeling? You are in my thoughts and prayer as well. Love you guys. Come see us!

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    1. First night turned out to be very nice. Met an interesting couple of people and nice conversation. Home by 7. Back at it tomorrow a.m. Man I had the grasp of Spanish like armies does!!!! Love you. Did you know Paul fell, broke ribs, and is in rehab facility. He’s on the mend but was pretty bummed up.

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  3. Nancy, your words are an inspiration to me. It’s been said too many times, “We are our worst enemies”! Profoundly speaking, that is not true. We are not our own enemies, it just seems that way.

    No person has ever hated his own self!

    There is a devil, and there is Satan.

    The devil is a personality like God. Satan is a communication set-up between man and the devil, very much like man and God via the Holy Spirit.

    God bless you in your trip of a lifetime.

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    1. thanks RoyZed (I assume it’s roy?)..i value your input! i looked at your blog and like your writing. the content and the style will be following you. yes, this is a trip of a lifetime, isn’t it? today is a great day! i’m attending a writers conference here in Cuenca Ecuador and have been delighted with the material. yesterday a refreshing discussion on spiritual writing. God is good! have a blessed day.

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      1. Thank you Nancy. It is Roy. I’m enjoying writing because it disciplines me to express myself in a way that’s different than speaking. God is good! Amen.

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  4. it was Julian of Norwich who left us with those words. She,too, had her moments. Well, don’t we all? That place you hurt your knee? I avoid it at all costs after almost sliding uncontrollably into the street a couple month’s ago. I love this city. A few days ago I was thinking of a plane ticket back to N.A. So, yes, ups and downs all around. I remind myself to breathe, to just simply breathe.

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    1. Ah…Julian of Norwich. Of course. Thank you! Glad you understand! Hope we meet up one of these days. I will avoid that place. And to think some women walk that street in heels! I am loving this place too. Just the adjustment. Again thank you for reading!

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  5. Nancy, thank you for your honestly. It can be hard to admit that the wonderful opportunities travel provides also come with difficulties. I try to remind myself that, whether I am moving to a new town in Canada or a new spot in a different country, transitions are difficult. They take time and they can bring us down.

    On the plus side, after only one month in Spain, I can notice my strengthened leg muscles. I’m going home to Canada today, so I’ll go back to being a flat-lander without daily hikes up steep streets and countless flights of stairs. Keep at it (and when you can’t, take it easy on yourself).

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    1. what nice words. thank you for the encouragement. hope you had a good time in Spain. My good friends walked the El Camino…spent 6 weeks in Spain. would love to visit there sometime. But need to conquer Ecuador first! Thanks again.

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