I try to live my life as truthful as possible. (I said try, there is still one semi-major truth I am working on.) That means living authentically in public and in private. I cheated on a test once-freshman year Spanish final exam and although literally the whole class cheated as well, I still wish I didn’t cheat (I got a D in Spanish 1 anyway). I make sure I ring up all the items at the self-checkout. Even though I have friend who say the point of self checkout is to take things. With that being said- I lied. Not to a family member or a friend, but to the United States Government. I should probably not admit to this, but I am trying to get back on the road to living an authentic life.
Two years ago I applied for and received a United States passport. While living in Philadelphia I misplaced my Florida driver license and had the great idea to use my passport as ID so I could get into a club or 2. While out one night my passport fell from my back pocket never to be seen again. I reported the passport lost, I didn’t have the money to apply for another one at the time. Flash forward to April 2010, I finally went to get a new passport. (I would have applied sooner but I had to get a new birth certificate since I lost my copy- See a pattern here?) I had another great idea when applying for my passport, use the leftover passport pictures from 2008. The lady asked me were the pictures older than 6 months- my response “No” became a very costly and annoying lie. As I drove away from the Post Office, I thought “Dang, I should have gotten new picture, they are going to know they are the same pictures from before since they have access to you old passport”. I shook it off because hey what’s the worst that can happen. Three weeks before my trip to Guatemala I received a letter from the Passport Agency, to notify me there was a problem with my pictures and to submit new pictures. Right away I went to Wal-Greens got new pictures and sent them to the appropriate agency.
The next two and half weeks I was in constant contact with the Passport, who after changing my application to expidiated assure me that there would be no problems with me receiving my passport in time. The situation begin to look bleak when my passport was not complete the Friday before my trip, which happen to fall on a holiday weekend. Preventing me from speaking to anyone or have anyone work on my application until June 1st, the day before my trip. During this time Guatemala experienced both a tropical storm and a volcano eruption (Pacaya- a volcano that I WAS thinking of climbing.) The news of the death and devastiation that some parts of the country expierenced, conbined with my passport issues made many of my friends and family believe it was a sign that I shouldn’t go. I am from Florida so tropical storm’s don’t scare me, however volcanoes and the ground opening up tend to make me nervous.
My concerns all change from would I have a passport to would the airport even be open. Fortunally none of the places I had plan to stay were really affected and the airport reopen at noon on Tuesday. I spent all day Tuesday checking online and by phone for the status of my passport. I was told by a supervisor that the last Fedex pick up was at 5:50. At 5:30, the woman I talked to told me that my passport was not only not completed but she didn’t see anything in my file about expedited or next day delivery. At this point my was pretty much non-existant and I was going to accept that I would have to change my flight. The pretty pretty gurl spirits were down. At 7:00pm, I called again to see the chances it would be done the next day, when the woman who answered the phone told me that it was completed and did I have a paper and pencil to take down the Fedex tracking number. Hung up, Thanked my Creator and Savior, then called Fedex to have them hold the package for me at the desk in the morning. The man told there was no record of that tracking number in the system, about 50 min later I found out it was just not entered yet.
I finally received my passport at 8:40 am, 2 hours and 20 minutes before my flight. I rushed from Riveria Beach to the Fort Lauderdale airport with 1 hour 20 minutes to go before my plane departed. Once I landed, I was informed that my flight was the only plane from the US to land in Guatemala City Airport today, glad I choose Spirit Air who always choose money over safety.
My theme song for this month is “Don’t Lie” by the Black Eye Peas
I learn my lesson. I will not lie any more- or lose any more important documents.
Off to find an adventure…Just Tab!