We argue for our limitations, and they become our limitations.
Every night I tell myself that I am going to take time to write, and I never do. I’m just too damn tired. If only I were an ageless vampire that never had to sleep. Or a mutant superhero with the ability to stop time. Then maybe I’d be able to put something together without sacrificing too many much needed minutes before bed.
It just takes me so much time these days to come up with something, anything to write about.
My mind has become increasingly harder to unravel. It seems almost like the bubbling spring of words that I once had coming out of me has run dry. There is just nothing to say. And yet, I want to continue trying. Writing is a form of communication that I think only becomes better with practice and so, in the spirit of honing my blade in both times of peace and of war, here I go:
At the moment, I am tired and happy.
Tired because there are so many demands being placed on me as a person and individual of peculiar importance.
Happy because I’ve figured out that I have everything I need to be so.
Peculiar in the sense that I am something of a name and a face in my village. Everyone seems to know who I am, which is odd and wonderful, like so many things here. Being an Asian person in a land full of Asian people. Every day I get the same confused stare. Yes, I am American. But then, “Why do you look so much like a Thai person?”
Residing in the peaceful joy of being accepted as someone who is other.
Working hard to become someone who can be respected as an equal in the community.
Not always understanding what people are saying and yet nodding my head and following along. Talking back and recognizing my face as though looking in a mirror. Seeing myself in others – friends, family, and familiar places that feel like home.
One of the reasons why I came here was to escape the familiar, which is why this shift has brought with it a certain degree of fatigue. All the baggage that I thought I left back in the States, every fear, every weakness, and every piece of insecurity that I had hoped had been lost in the ocean over which I flew on my way here, is coming back to be claimed.
Only now I think I am more aware of how it can all be sorted. There are more pieces that “fit” and make sense to me. I’m starting to get a clearer picture of the puzzle and my place in it.
I’m happier than I’ve ever been, regardless of the fact that I have so much less.
Less time, less space, less money, less access to material goods, less water, less language ability, less mobility, less freedom, you name it and I have less of it here than I ever have in my life.
And with this decrease has come an increase in exposure to myself and my problems.
All the things I have been struggling with my whole life are coming to the surface and showing their ugly faces, hoping to catch me in a moment of weakness.
This is the part of my journey as a Peace Corps Volunteer that I wanted but did not quite expect.
Finding myself in a place very much like that in which I once was.
Tired, and struggling to stay afloat. Caring so much about what other people think and thinking too much about what it is that I need to do. What it is that I should have done. What I need to be doing. Stuck in a never-ending cycle of work, progress, and achievement. Forgetting to stop and appreciate the beauty of the moment. The novelty of everything around as it unfolds for the first time in full bloom. To be caught once and lost forever. Living in the moment and being grateful for all that you have.
To be tired and happy, but happy nonetheless.