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More down than counting

My time in Cayman is coming to an end — and I am all but physically crawling to the finish line.

Though the transition here was quite seamless, time has shown me something different. And even if I wanted to convince myself to stick it out another year, every thing in me knows it would be to my detriment.

The island is far from beautiful. I’d never use that word to describe it. The beach? Yes. And that has been my saving grace here. If not for scuba diving, (and travel) I am not sure how I would have survived this last year. And as the time winds down, it seems to get that much more difficult for me to get through the days. On many occasions, I’ve had to force myself to find things to be grateful for when I wake up in the morning. I make myself say it out loud. Sometimes it may only be for waking up. Sometimes not even that.

I keep trying and keep pushing anyway. But my spirit has been broken.

When I find more in a reserve, it gets broken again. Every day is a battle, a rage against the machine. In the morning, I go in with a full cup. By lunch time, it’s usually empty. I come home and re-up for lunch, and it’s gone again by evening. This is the seesaw I am on every day. One that continues to surprise me. I’ve never had this happen when working with children. That was the whole reason why I changed my career. Lack of fulfilment.

How did I get here again?

Still, I’ve managed to do very well for myself financially, and somehow despite all odds, I met my person here as well. But when he’s gone, as he is now, the finances aren’t always a strong enough crutch to pull me up. Especially on days when I come home from work with absolutely nothing left in my tank — which is more often than not.

No matter what time I go to sleep, I can’t seem to wake up in time to meditate. I am endlessly exhausted. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally.

This has led me to make the choice to step away from schools for a bit. I don’t even have a plan for what I will do next or where I will go, and it doesn’t even worry me as much as it would have at any other time in my life. Of course, this is partially only possible because of my financial gains, but I wouldn’t have endured what I have without at least that to show for it.

So each day, I try to find some kind of light. Lately, it’s been the fact that I finally figured out how to work the convertible top on my car, which I thought all this time had been broken. I spent an evening last week taking a drive out to a farm, where I collected some seeds for the butterfly pea plant that I will leave as part of my legacy in our school garden. On the way back, I stopped at my friend’s house for a pee—and ended up having to climb through her window because she wasn’t there. Then, I grabbed my swim clothes and went to the beach to catch the sunset. I did a few laps there and then I went to visit my coworker/friend (rare for me to mix the two, I know!). We spent a good evening talking together, and she really helped me feel less alone here, even asking me to spend the night. After that, I went for some coconut ceviche and enjoyed it at my house.

I will keep encouraging myself to take advantage of the 5-minute walk from my house to the beach more often. And I will try to socialise outside of work as much as possible. I will go to play kalooki or ludo at my friend’s house. I will go watch my children play baseball on the weekends. I will drive my car more and feel the wind through my hair with the open sky above me. I will scuba dive all the sites I haven’t been to before. I will watch movies on a projector with my coworker and her family. I will sign up for one week of free yoga at a new studio. I will go to the medicine circle after work on Thursdays. I will eat mangoes and papaya and ackee off my tree until I’m tired of them. I will take care of the garden and watch my plants grow. I will get hugs from my children. I will keep adding to the list of things I can do when this is over and I finally have freedom of time.

Whatever it takes.

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