FINDING THE SILVER, NAY...GOLD...LININGS
Let me tell you about this time I thought my life was over. #dramaqueen
...and then I'll tell you about the time I decided to stop being a drama queen.
As you know, my husband and I were supposed to be in Europe for most of the month of April. Well, let's take this reaaaaaalllyyyy long story and sum it up in one sentence: Chevy Chase's National Lampoon vacations ain't got nothin' on ours!
For those who don't know, we ended up coming home 10 days earlier than we planned due to a SEVERE bacteria infection that we likely acquired from the food or water. Chris and I both got hit bad, but I got hit way worse. I was sick for a total of about 3 weeks. Three awful, awful weeks. What started out as a high fever and abdominal pain, turned into a real-life nightmare. But, that's not what this post is about.
I've been holding off on blogging about our "Trip, Interrupted" because I really wanted to take time to process everything that happened. I needed to heal - not just physically, but emotionally. This was supposed to be our "trip of a lifetime" before we start thinking about making babies (don't worry, that's still a few years away...Dad!!) and settling down into our grown-up lives. As we all know, life doesn't always go as we plan.
I think I'd have a pretty sizable group of people who would agree with me when I say I'm generally a very positive person. I once scared a sales girl at Sephora with my perkiness. I introduced myself to a stranger and her reply was "Wow, you're happy." And I've had friends threaten to bottle my energy and sell it on the black market. Needless to say, it takes a lot to get me down.
But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't down on this trip. I was in a very very low place. Blame the overnight stay in an Italian hospital (that story will inspire a horror movie for sure!), the antibiotics, the Imodium, the insane amount of acetaminophen...or maybe it was just the result of being a girl in a foreign land having her dreams crushed.
I came home a wreck. I didn't want to talk to anyone or even move a muscle. So I didn't. I turned to Netflix, Hulu+, and Amazon Prime to sooth my pain. I cried over Sorrento cheese commercials, travel commercials, and even when Chuck went to Paris because he ate croissants with nutella (our morning ritual while in Paris). I didn't shower for like a week, and I lived in my pajamas. I was pitiful.
After a few successful days of wallowing, I realized my life was, in fact, NOT over and that I needed to get over myself. I was slowly coming back to reality, and while I was still battling some demons, I was able to start thinking big picture again. While one half of me lived in self-pity, the other half of me remembered that there are people in the world who can't even dream of vacations because they are too busy dreaming of clean water, or safety, or freedom. I know we are all born into different places in this world, so I won't get into that battle, but thinking big picture allows me to start finding the silver linings...NAY!...the gold linings because everything in Paris & Italy is lined with gold! When bad things happen, I think it's very important to try to find the good. Sometimes it's not easy, and sometimes it takes time...but there will always be good again, always.
OUR GOLD LININGS
- We're alive!
- We have trip insurance!
- We had an amazing time in Paris!
- We were not sick for our photo session with Emm Photography in Paris!
- We WILL go back to Italy someday!
- We were able to see prayers answered, specifically for (1) miraculous, though temporary, healing so I could still honor both photo sessions I had planned in Venice and Florence and (2) a comfortable and uneventful flight back home - I was able to sleep almost the whole time!
- Our illness was diagnosed a little over a week ago, we are taking the right meds, and we were 100% back on our feet in time for our first wedding of the season last weekend!
- We have a roof over our heads, food in our fridge, and fantastic family and friends!
- We still had the vacation of a lifetime (albeit a short version) and I crossed one of my biggest dreams off my bucket list - seeing the Eiffel Tower!
- And lastly...YOU! Yes, you are one of our gold linings! I'm so thankful for all of the concerned messages, posts, comments, emails, and texts we received from our friends. Some of you we've known for years, others we just met, and even more of you I haven't even met in person yet. Of all the things on this list, your love means the most to us. I was falling and you all caught me. During my Netflix-binge days, your sweet notes are what reminded me that there is a world outside of my living room and it's full of AMAZING people!
Thank you for reading this crazy long novel! Feel free to leave some of your gold linings in the comments section! I'd love to hear what you are grateful for in life right now! Maybe I can steal borrow it for my list! :)