Though I have been sending a lot angsty emails and writing blogs about being miserable... I just want to say that I'm still very optimistic. I mean, yes, it is a rough year but I am very diligently counting my blessings, as well. Though I complain about how disastrous the dating scene here is for someone like me, it is also good to have so much head space to do with as I see fit. I'm getting to know myself better and though that isn't always a happy thing... it's a good thing. And though the job continues to drive me crazy, my impossibly small desk is between two fantastically talented and supportive teachers who I learn a lot from. I haven't quit yet.
I am constantly torn between all my yoga classes and their philosophy of finding contentment in life and Buckminster Fuller's “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Or in other words, what do you just accept and what do you work to improve, change and strengthen? What do you fight for and what do you find grace to accept just as it comes?
A year I was here:
Sideways lightning brings mixed blessings like freezing rain and generous friends. Dressed in anything anyone had that was at least a little dry, we used our half day to climb up and see practically all of Bolivia from the power towers.
Two years ago, I was here:
Commuting 50km a day along the river on my lovable steel bike, teaching preschoolers, fighting to keep a relationship afloat, preparing for my first solo bike journey, equally restless and content.
Three years ago I was here:
In a little country school, saying goodbye after 10 weeks to some of the best coworkers I have ever had and some of my favorite students. Loving the constant stream of new faces, friends and adventures but leaving in tears, never feeling like anywhere was home.
Four years ago I was here:
A tiny island off the northeastern coast of Hokkaido, hiking through alpine flowers in July, watching the sunset and missing SeaDog so intently. Making friends in broken Japanese as if my life depended on it. Feeling alone but free.
Five years ago I was here:
In the states, saying goodbye to my darling cat, the career I was so sure I'd always wanted, my family, my friends. Saying goodbye to my mom. Leaping into the unknown, excited, scared.
There's a momentum to it. There's so much beauty in this. So many new friends, breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, poetry in learning the languages of these places, the comfort and pride of finding, building a little niche here and there. There is the intoxicating feeling of 'this is my briar patch,' I know this maze, this is home now. But there is also so much disappointment and sadness of the strings of goodbye parties and the rip-itwillneverbethesame-ness. The frustration of foreign bureaucracies kicking you when you are down, the never-quite-being-a-right-fit-ness.
I'm optimistic and I am so grateful. I'm also scared and not sure what is worth fighting for or worth walking away from.
The journeys continue, without and within.
The adventures as well.