I was staring at a text message screen, at a phone that wasnt mine. He was lying next to me asleep and half naked. We had just spent the night together and five minutes before I had arrived he messaged her “i miss you” when I called to tell him I was downstairs she responded “I miss you too”. …I quietly put the phone back on the bedstand, gathered my things whispered “you never loved me” looked at him long and hard, and held on to the turning of my stomach which was finally cutting off all interference my heart had been making with my brain for the past six months.. I allowed that feeling to follow me back home to shut out any connection I could make with him via mobile or social media, and those blocks remain till this day.
This scenario was a reoccuring incidence for over a month before I left. If it wasnt him hurting me it was me throwing things in his face. That aspect had been occuring for a year. Maybe it was the dirty wood floors, unfinshed paintings, and half unpacked clothes, alongside a body of someone who I knew no longer existed. I looked around and could only think about how much I didn’t want to be there or anywhere near that apartment, situations, or him again. It took alot of experiences of wrong, to push me towards the right.
“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. “-The author of Eat,Pray, Love
Its now 1 45 am three months later, im sitting at a wooden table chatting with my roomate as she delves into a can of corn trying to eat herself to sleep. We humoursly account the past seven days random bump-ins and encoutners of people forgotten, left behind, or outgrown.
It’s been a short and intense summer full of stories that I shall divulge to you in the up and coming weeks, yet somehow this discussion seems to be the best way for me to introduce how I was the only person with nothing to go back to in Guatemala..
Two weeks before I left for Guatemala, The final push I needed to say shut down a chapter in my life and myself was a series of reoccurences of a relationship that shouldve ended before it started.
When I met my peers at the airport at 4 am on our way to Guatemala, I was empty. I had said goodbye to alot of unhealthy habits, people, and things. Self preservation was the theme of my Spring semester, and going down any road other than that which lead to the utmost unhealthy comfort seemed like a good idea, and did a number of things to my spirituailuty and self esteem. When I had thought of going to Guatemala it seemed like the kick in the ass I really needed to jumpstart the person I knew still existed somewhere inside me. The thought of Ava Stone, Creative co founder of R.A.I.N the fashion organization building stoves and studying socioeconomic devleopment in indigienous communities could come to a shock to many who know me. However, the few who understand me didn’t see it as a surpise at all. Im alot of things, but the person I want to become belonged in Guatemala, she didnt need to be in Richmond pushing a hobby, I needed to prove I had what it takes to be in the field of something far more worthwhile.
The person, who brought me to understand this about myself, to really come to attention about how far off my own personal course I strayed Is someone I spent this entire summer trying to forgive. You know those relationships that start in the movies, the people are in some sexy college party, they stare at eachother and its supposed to explain it all… the thing about those movies, is it really understates wants going on visually and mentally for the two individuals. When your around a massive group of drunk college kids, and someone from across the room is the only thing you can see and the only thing that matters from that moment on, you are in trouble.
I inspired him and he inspired me, however in the end we ruined eachother. I learned alot about myself in that relationship, alot of things were brought to the surface about myself that I didnt want to face, but I lived with my demons when it came to dealing with the remnants of its failure.
In all honesty, when i imagined what the title of this chapter would be the only thing that came to mind was “Ben”
In order for me to move on, not just from my longing for companionship, but the idea that I needed someone else to validate my existance, the pain, and the anger, I needed to find something in myself which could build ontop of something new. I as simply “Ava” when it came to myself and the group of seven individuals that would be the first to witness me at my most humble existence. I was quirky, wierd, and experiencing something completly outside of my comfort zone, in a place where R.A.I.N, my past relationship, and others didnt matter.
When we came out of the Airport in Guatemala city we hopped into a van taking us to Queztltango. We stopped by a roadside market, where stuffed muscrats and mayan idols were being sold. I looked out over the moutain view, breathed in the air so far away from everything I had just left behind and promised myself from there on, anything I am this summer is nothing I was in the past.