Lately I have been reflecting a lot on life and death. It seems like with every year of life, the certainty of both life and death become more real. With every year, life becomes more fragile. As a child you can understand life and death on a tangible level; babies are born and now they’re here and people die and now they’re gone, but the reality, the finality, is not understood. Eric and I have been relatively lucky with having healthy families and friends. We haven’t had to experience much death. But as we are getting older, people we are close to are beginning to get sick but on the other end more friends and family are having babies. I am beginning to really understand that from here out, death will become more prevalent. This part of life is kind of sad; thinking about what the world loses. Well, if we’re being serious it’s sad because of what I am losing. I guess it is better not to think of it as an end and also to focus on what the world and I are gaining with new life. With us about to start a family, I have been thinking about all of these things but especially evaluating how I have lived.
Reflecting on the last two years of my life feels like forever and no time at all. It was such a challenge that at the beginning, I wasn’t sure if I could make it. I take that back. I knew I could make it, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to. I remember our first months in site being so difficult. I had sticky notes on our wall with the months left of our service. With every month that passed I took down another note. There was something about completing another month that gave me a sense of accomplishment. It was as if 2 years seemed like too much to handle, but months went by fast enough for it not to feel like forever but also not too fast to be insignificant.
But along the way something changed. I soon found myself counting the months I had left to travel and see the country. I remember planning out our trips with Eric and thinking, “There’s not enough time.” This was when I had finally adjusted to life in Ecuador. Even then, there were still plenty of challenges, but by this time I had found a way to be comfortable living here. Now that I am looking back I am sort of amazed at all we have done. Throughout the two years it often felt like we were so bored and we never had anything to do but I realize now that just isn’t true.
Recently I was watching Kevin Spacey give an acceptance speech for some award he won. He talked about how he would never understand why he was so fortunate in life. Though at the time I felt myself comparing my achievements to his and thinking about how fortunate he was, I didn’t really begin to think about how fortunate I am. I am incredibly lucky and I like Kevin Spacey, won’t ever begin to understand why. I am so happy that Eric and I have been able to have this experience together and I can’t wait to see what the next adventure has in store.
With all of this reflecting on the past two years, I present to you a short video that sums up how we lived in Ecuador.