6:30- alarm rings. Ugh… snooze

6:39- alarm rings again. Seriously. My eyes burn due to a combination of sleep deprivation and sheer laziness. I try to take in a deep breath and it feels like a softball fills the space between my throat and my lungs. Snooze.

6:43- alarm. O dear god why… message Spencer. ‘Hey is this a half day or a full day thing? Now feeling 100.’ Call Spencer. No answer.

6:47- alarm. Shit. It’s time.

6:49- message Spencer. “Hey I’m sorry I don’t think I’ll be down for a long viaje today given how I am feeling. Sorry I was really looking forward to it.”

6:51- Missed call from Spencer.

6:55- 4 min 1 sec Facebook messenger chat.

7:41- message Spencer. “Hey I’m on a bench outside the fruit stand”. Ready for the long day ahead of me.

So all it took was a 4 minute and 1 second chat to drag your ass out of bed? Well sort of… when I receive the call from Spencer I already had many questions swirling around in my sleepy brain.

  • What would I do if I didn’t go on this trip?
  • Will I have the opportunity to go to Tak’alik Ab’aj in the future?
  • How would it feel for Spencer and his family if I bailed?
  • Could going on this trip be a part of my self-care/healing process?

Some random and other not so random thoughts buzzed around.

Some random thoughts

  • I would need to wear sunscreen on this trip wouldn’t I? Yes I would. Do I really want to put sunscreen on today?
  • This blankie is sooo soft.
  • I’m really glad that I met so many nice people this week.
  • Those dumplings from Chinese New Year were amazing! If I could have those for breakfast I would spring out of bed right now. That’s what I need to get out of bed- dumplings. Well.., that’s not possible so I’ll just stay here a bit longer.

Not so random thoughts

  • Nooo… I forgot to tell my Xela family that I was planning on going on this trip. Can I leave a note? How can I write this note so that it doesn’t come off as me running off to the coast with an amigo for the day? Will my mom think I’m a hussy? Don’t be silly. No.
  • I’ve only had 7 hours of sleep in the last 2 nights. Even if I wanted to go could I have the stamina to make the 5-hour round trip journey?

The predominant thought was: being around a friend right now and having the opportunity to get out of Xela will be positive for my mental and physical health.

Maybe one day I’ll write a book about my ridiculous and messy existence here in Xela. But this is exactly what I signed up for. I knew whole-heartedly that I was going into unmarked territory. I expected things to get a little messy but I feel like I’ve stepped foot into my own telenovela series. Página en Guatemala. Tune in for more chisme. Some days I feel stable in my job, in learning a new language, in building a Guatemalan family. Other days I feel like a messy telenovela star.

But even when things are ridiculous, messy, unstable or out of control I continue to ask myself one question: What would benefit my mental and physical health in this moment? On Sunday January 29th 2017 the answer to that question was to open my sleepy eyes and take the first step out of bed. And I’m really glad that I did because that trip ended up being exactly what I needed.

Here are some pictures from my time at Tak’alik Ab’aj National Archeological Site


The Archeological Site Guide




Mayan Calendar


statues of pregnant women



Road to Takalik


The Church at Takalik


The beautiful women in Spencer’s family eating cacao










4 thoughts on “Drag Your Ass Out of Bed- A Moment of Self Reflection and My Trip to Tak’alik Ab’aj

  1. Wow Paige I am glad you went, those are amazing pictures! I remember being in Uganda and having days like that where it was just exhausting existing much less dragging yourself to get out and do something. Love your writing as well!


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