I have surprised myself in trying to express the most difficult part of my trip. The feelings it invokes brings tears...even just to type about it. As Jill points out to me..."maybe this is a place you need to heal!" Of all the harder moments of the trip, the thing that got to me the most was how it felt to be the only single person in a group of eight. All the others on my team are married, though they all came on the trip without spouses. I have to say that a few of them must have saints for spouses: they would be a pain to be married to. Yet, every one of them have a spouse that they were in constant contact with, spoke of with great affection. And it near killed me.
You see, for the last four years or so, I don't hang out much with married people (there are a few special exceptions). My new tribe is mostly made up of single women. And we are here because being alone is better than being married to whom we were married to. I am not yet in a place where I think being with someone would be better than being alone. Or so I think. In fact, just the thought of having "that kind of relationship" with a man gives me high anxiety, of the heeby-jeeby variety. So when I found myself suddenly smothered with sadness by the fact of being surrounded by people who are happily married it really took me by surprise. I'm not sure what it means, or what I'm supposed to do with it, but it is a palatable response and I feel like I've gotta get to the bottom of it. In Sudan, I found myself quietly removing myself from the scene when they got to talking about their spouses. In the mornings I'd awaken to find tears on my face realizing they were from my comparative singleness. When responding to questions about my own marital history I fought my throat tightening up and a constriction in my lungs. That doesn't normally happen here.
Over time, since the big break, I have gone through a thawing out process and am learning to pay attention to what stirs me, good or bad. This thing definately got my attention. But what does it mean? What am I to do with it?