The photos, the stories dropped me into a depression that was hard to surface from, one I might have had an easier time shaking off if we’d been in California and I’d been surrounding by family, by distractions. Here I wallowed. I sank to the bottom of the murk and I stayed there for days, not doing much but breathing. It’s hard to move forward after a darkness like that. It’s hard to, it’s terrifying to know it might happen again, it will happen again. With me, the darkness hovers, much like the migraines, just on the edges, not actually causing the pain but letting me know it could. I look backwards often, just to check it is still in it’s place behind me, measuring the distance away I saw it last, worrying it might be closer, hoping it hasn’t crept closer and knowing some day it might.
This week, the typhoon in the Philippines happened and I had to decide - spend my time pouring over ever picture, every bit of news or hide and pretend that it hasn't happened. Spend my time watching silly shows and concentrating on the happy endings of pretend people to keep the darkness away or actively participate in watching something I can fix, I can't change.
We were in the Philippines last year for Husband’s work. I had quit my awful job with the world’s evilest person and was free to go with him when he asked me to come with him. It was adventure we never thought we'd have, one we never thought would lead us to Nashville, that would show us we could function out of our tiny part of the world, an adventure that changed our lives. A bit dramatic, I know, but it did, thankfully, it did.
We had no idea what the Philippines would be like. Folks at work warned Husband about kidnappings. We were warned to never go anywhere alone. We all teased Husband about his food issues and what that would mean to his diet in a place without the FDA, sure that he’d be unable to eat a thing. He joked, quite seriously, that I was going to be his food taster. The doctor gave us shots for all sorts of scary diseases that might kill us quickly and pills for ones that might kill us slowly. We packed for weather that might include typhoons or heat and high humidity with the added bonus of large killer mosquitos and we set off for an adventure that was nothing like we expected.
Sure, we were met at the hotel with heavily armed guards; bomb sniffing dogs and were searched before entering the lobby. Sure, there was a guard with a big scary machine gun at the entrance to the Starbucks and the mall and Husband’s work. Sure, the food was surprising and husband limited himself to burgers and pizza and we both actually gained weight. Sure, there was no toilet paper in public bathrooms, and more people than seats on every Jeepney, and the scariest driving I’ve every been part of but, it was a beautiful place with absolutely beautiful people and I am so heartsick at the devastation from Typhoon Haiyan, I cannot watch the news or look at pictures. So, keeping the darkness at bay and I’m sharing a few pictures - and only a few I promise - from our trip, our grand adventure that let us see that life was possible outside our bubble.