I made a plan. A good Plan. An exciting Plan. All there was to do now was tell mum the plan …..
I am all for signs, I think the universe always throws little hints our way. This time was no different. Back when I was still married, I was home alone (my favourite time) and I chucked on the T.V midday movie to pass the time. This movie was the start of something and my first sign from the universe. The Way. (If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favour and check it out. Plus it has Martin Sheen in it, the man does no wrong ). I loved the movie so much so I went hunting online for a copy to buy.
The movie is based on the Camino De Santiago (for us English folks The Way of St James), a pilgrimage that starts in France and takes you across Spain to the shrine of Saint James The Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. I fell in love. Real love. I had never heard of it before, so I read up. It sounded AMAZING. A walk that took you through mountains, farm land, forests, cities it had it all, but it was also just a dream at this stage. Then the signs keep coming.
Months later one of my dearest childhood friends posted a Facebook message of support to her mum who was about to jump off the plane in France and begin the Camino. (Sign 2.) I tracked (aka Stalked) her whole trip, the photos were amazing, her stories were even better. Again I was back to reading all I could. Slowly though life took over again, my marriage broke down, and my obsession with the Camino was pushed to the back of my mind. Until Signs 3,4,5,6…. came along.
Before I watched THE WAY, I had never heard or seen a single thing about the Camino. Ever. The universe though had a plan, which I hadn’t been really listening to, so it decided to throw a few more hints my way. Within 2 days, I watched a travel programme (on SBS … no one watches SBS under the age of 55) that featured parts of the Camino, I got junk mail from the travel agents with cheap flights to France and fun facts about the walk. I had a patient come into work that was picking up his sister from the airport the next day after she’d just been in Spain and finished the walk. Then my boss called me randomly and said if I ever needed time off or a break from it all he was happy to cover me. Right Universe. I got it, I’m listening now. I’m going.
Telling Mum …
My mum is a worrier, she can’t help it she just is. She tries her hardest not to make it a big deal, but we all know she carries a level of panic around when it comes to her kids. Fair enough too. So telling mum I knew I was in for it. She never ceases to amaze me though, she was beyond supportive even offering to help pay for my hiking stuff as an early birthday present. This time it was dad who was the worrier. (Sorry old boy). I think mum could see just how much my mind needed a rest so she ignored all her usual stressors and threw her full support behind me. All dad could see was his 5 foot 2 daughter flying across the world ALONE to walk across 2 countries ALONE … he was not as calm.. but still supportive … (I taught him how to track me, I got myself a fitbit surge with the GPS tracker so he could literally log onto my fitbit app and watch me walk, this calmed the man down.. a lot )
The Money Man/Friend
As much as I wanted to wish time away (you should never ever wish for this by the way, time is a luxury some never get) and for my travel date to be here, life still had to carry on for a few more months, 7 or 8. This is when the Money Man makes his appearance.
Honesty is key here. I promised at the very start to tell it all, so the next part many people probably wont agree with my actions but it happened so here it is.
I’m not really sure how this came about but it did. What started off as just a drunk night with friends, turned into 12 months of back and forth with a guy I never expected. The Money Man, a friend, a joint friend with the ex. A bad move and a good move.
I had known the money man for years, he was in our shared friendship group. We both played at the same footy/netball club. We both went to the same parties, the same dinners, the same weddings, we had the same friends, we were friends. (Fun Fact: He even lent me his car for my own wedding). I knew him well. He knew me well. My ex knew us both really well.
Money man was another one of these late 20s males that is clueless with commitment. When we were alone it all made sense, we laughed and joked, we talked about everything, we become really close friends, sometimes it was more sometimes it wasn’t. When we were in public though, it was nothing more than just mates, it was confusing and hard.
We were on and off privately (secretly) for 12 months. Our friends around us slowly cotton on but I never actually wanted to confirm it because if the ex ever asked them about it , they were forced to do one of two thing. 1) Tell the truth and cause hell for me or 2) lie and cause hell for themselves on my behalf. Now don’t get me wrong I have zero guilt about hooking up with an “ex’s friend,” none, but this was my choice it wasn’t my friends they shouldn’t be forced to pick sides.
I could never really understand what was going on in The Money Man heads. His internal struggle about hooking up with a mates ex-wife was pretty strong (no struggle from my side.. none. I owed my ex zero respect) but he also really liked me, liked being around me, liked our time together …but he also really liked being single aka lack of commitment. (What does commitment issues look like you ask? Well I have a perfect example for you. On THREE separate occasions he told me he loved me, on THREE separate occasions the next day he panicked and took it back.) Every single time we would call it off, a few weeks later we would find ourselves drawn back to each other. I think it was a comfort thing. He needed me as much as I needed him. It was becoming unhealthy, for both of us. So by the time my trip finally came around, the need to go had intensified. Not only did I need this time to clear my head from my ex, I needed the distance from The Money Man. I needed to stop needing him
The Night Before
Everything was packed, I was ready, I was awake early again the excitement was almost too much. I only had one more shift of work to get through and then the next day I would be flying out to start the adventure of a lifetime. I was legit counting the hours. I was blissfully happy … buttttttt I should have known better. It was me we are talking about. The universe loves throwing me a challenge. Challenge it did.
(Technology is amazing, I’m not being a smart arse I really think it is.) I had survived my last shift at work, pulled up in my parents driveway, had my last home cooked dinner with them, was sitting watching tv and chatting with my dad. When my phone sent me a notification from Facebook. *An unrecognised device recently attempted to access your account, let us know if it was you.* I’d never seen one of these before so I clicked on the link. (Cue the vomit rising into my mouth and the sweat pouring down my forehead.)
*Your account was recently logged into from a computer, mobile device or other location never used before. Your account was accessed from a new location: Near Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.* There was only one person I knew who lived near Brisbane Queensland Australia. Only one person I knew that had moved there only weeks ago. Only one person I knew who would hack into my account. The SOON TO BE EX HUSBAND.
Only he could time an attack this perfectly … literally 14 hours before I was to fly out of the country for 12 weeks.