The past two weeks have been a freaking whirlwind. So much so that when I got two whole days off in a row this weekend I decided I was going to do nothing responsible except for rest. Even though because of the whirlwind of the past two weeks I have plenty of other responsibility-type things I should be doing.
Part of the whirlwind was some YouthWorks training last weekend! Which meant flying to the States and seeing Catherine and eating Chipotle and worshipping in English with people who are going to be serving all over the States this summer. It also meant training and binders and notes and Chik Fil A! Hooray!
Another part of the whilwind was coming back from YouthWorks and working three ten-hour days in a row. Ah! On Wednesday, about half way through the three day thirty-hour work week, I had a mini break down in the kitchen. I freaked out about how nobody ever dries their dishes and puts them away even though there is a sign in front of their faces asking them to do so. So the clean dishes pile up and I get overwhelmed because clutter overwhelms me.
So I was crying while drying and putting away dishes and straight up venting. And Carolina, the precious angel from above that she is, was nodding and “mmhmm”ing. She finally said, “You need to leave this place right now.” I listed all the reasons why I couldn’t leave, which weren’t actually super convincing when I said them out loud (cut to the session at training last weekend where we broke up into groups based on our personality/work style and I was totally and completely understood by two boss ladies who totally get what it is to want to do everything because we don’t trust anybody else to do it right). She just looked at me like, “Suzanne, we got this.”
It turns out I just needed permission to rest. Permission to take a break. Permission to not be in charge of everything all the time. So, with Carolina’s blessing, I took a break. I walked down to the colmado.
The sausage salesmen was there making a delivery. He said, “We haven’t seen you here in a while!” I said, “Yeah I was in the States for a few days.” He said, “Plus you moved, right?” (I used to live right down the street from this particular colmado.) I affirmed that yes, I did move. He asked, “How’s work?” I said, “Terrible.” He said, “Wanna sell sausage?” I laughed and joked with the incredibly handsome guy who works at the hostel. (I know I have an “I have a crush on every boy” vibe, but this guy is seriously handsome). In that little interaction, I felt valued and seen and known. Which has been a theme for me the past couple of days – the importance of being valued and seen and known. Praise God for two minute colmado conversations.
Upon leaving the colmado I saw my friend David. At first I walked right past his car because he just got a new one, but he yelled, “Rubia!” (Spanish for “blondie”) out the window and so I stopped to yell at him. “I’m mad at you!” I shouted! And then I translated it and explained myself and why I was mad. It doesn’t matter now, and it didn’t really matter then. After telling him why I was mad, even after hearing his lameo excuse, I was over it. I carried on my way.
I caught a free ride with someone on a motorcycle heading the same way as me. I love my neighborhood. When I got home Candida’s granddaughter was playing outside with the puppies and her daughter was cleaning the whole house. Because I think every Dominican woman’s love languages are acts of service and physical touch. (Physical touch doesn’t have anything to do with the scene I briefly described, but you can’t note Dominican’s love languages without noting physical touch. Personal space is not a thing here.)
After doing my laundry and reading for an hour I walked back to work. I met a couple really great families who were staying with us and I made a fancy coffee drink topped off with whipped cream someone left in the fridge.
I sat at my desk sipping my chocolate milk and coffee out of a fancy wine glass and thought about how full my life is. This past year has been freaking hard. I’ve worked a crap ton, cried a lot, and taken on too much at times. But praise the good, great Lord, He always gives us what we need. And this year what I needed was apparently to struggle. I needed to continue to learn how to ask for help. I needed to continue to learn the balance between sacrifice and self care. I needed to remember that I am in charge of my life and that I don’t have to be a part of something I don’t want to be a part of.
I’m grateful this week for the guys at the colmado, friends that let me yell at them in words they don’t understand and who are quick to forgive. I’m grateful for helpful neighbors who don’t even know my name, but who think nothing of giving me a ride. I’m grateful, probably most of all, for friends who give me permission to rest, for friends who know and give me exactly what I need.