Before coming here, I was worried that I would be forgotten. It sounds crazy, I know, but this is what I thought. I was convinced that I would leave my work and friends and that would be the end of it. Now, I realise that this worry was pointless because my friends do miss me. In fact, some miss more then I thought. I had this idea that I could or would be replaced and thankfully it’s not true. I don’t know where this fear comes from but I’ve come to finally accept that I’m irreplaceable which is great. This fear that I will be forgotten is also disappearing.
We have fears and many of us work on trying to overcome them. I find the more I do things that I’m afraid, I expand my comfort zone. Now, of course, it’s not always pleasant but on the whole it leaves me wanting to try something else that’s new. I didn’t see myself as a teacher, never had and never thought I would. But then I applied for this voluntary programme and it all changed. I was very anxious the first day but as the weeks went on, my fear disappeared. In fact, I look forward to teaching the children here and it made me realise how much I love working with children. I may not teach once I’m back but perhaps I will continue working with children.
I love food, I may not eat a lot but I love food. I was raised predominantly eating Indian food, whether it was Indian sweets, curry and rice or savoury food. I was a little bored, fed-up even of eating this and before I came, I pretty much lost my appetite. Having been here for over a month, I recognized that perhaps I had taken Indian food for granted. I miss my mum’s homemade curry! I miss the savoury food. I miss listening to music every hour of the day and I miss having my own space.
Do I want to run home? Am I homesick? No, is the honest answer. It took me a while to adapt and get used to various ideas here but I really like it here. I love volunteering at the projects – I have a total of five different projects now and they are all great. I love the children here, their eagerness to learn and determination to win games. I love the afternoon naps people take here. I’m getting used to hopping on and off buses. I’m even getting better at crossing the roads!
The more I do what I want, the more I manage to live my dream, the more I feel this sense of guilt. I know I shouldn’t feel guilty and thinking rationally, sure I have nothing to feel guilty about. But then there are days where I know that me living my life how I want isn’t acceptable for some. A lot of what I do or want to do is an alien concept or goes against the traditional norm. Now if I was a sheep, accepted that I shouldn’t do certain things, my life would be easier. But, I wouldn’t be happy.
I believe in reincarnation but I also believe that we have one life and we should live it as we want. I may not know many things about my life but one thing that I’m sure about is I want to live my life to the max. I want to try as many things as possible and visit as many places as I can. I don’t want to regret not having done something. I would rather look back knowing I tried to make something happen then sit and blame someone for not letting me chase my dreams.
I don’t hold anyone responsible, other then myself, for what happens or doesn’t happen in my life. I made a decision to come here and even if this turned out to be a bad decision or the wrong decision, it would be on me. It’s all fair and well taking ownership but it can also lead to us being too hard on ourselves. I’m no perfectionist but yes I’m hard on myself. I know many people who are and it’s very difficult to break free from this.
If we could just accept that we are good enough, no that we are more then good enough – wouldn’t that be great. I feel that most of our life, we either push ourselves or are pushed to reach this level of excellence. Now for some, yes they reach this point and it’s not a problem. But for others, like me, no matter how hard I tried, I wasn’t good enough at certain things. If this was acceptable or made acceptable, it would be great. We are not the same, we all have different talents/skills/experience yet, we have these standards that we must all meet else society wouldn’t function?
I feel that we all have a calling in life. Some of us see or figure this out sooner rather than later. We all have an element but we just need to find it. Some of us have more then one talent so it leaves us with a choice. Difference should be celebrated more than it is. Those of us that go against the norm and stand up to things should be accepted and understood. I value all those people who have an open mind, the ability to accept people/things regardless of what society or culture says.
For most people, swimming was normal, you get taught in school and there you have it, you swim for the rest of your life. Riding a bike is another normal, fun, acceptable activity. I don’t know either – I never learnt how to swim and I have yet to learn how to ride a bike. Does it bother me? Not particularly. I understand that perhaps it’s unheard of not to swim but I took part in many other normal activities.
It doesn’t really matter if you go swimming or jogging, if you’re Greek or Irish, because underneath it all, we are all the same. The more I get to know people from different countries, different culture backgrounds, their stories interest me and I love listening to their experiences. But behind all of this, we all have the same issues, whether its unemployment, family matters or money problems. So, we have more in common then we think sometimes.
We have problems, we all have shit days and sometimes when the shit hits the fan we just want to scream. My threshold for shit is pretty high but of course there are things that annoy me. I don’t get angry so easily or frequently but I get annoyed. Something has to be pretty bad for me to lose it though. My philosophy recently is – it could have been worse. So when something happens, that isn’t expected or as pleasant as I hoped, I think it could have been a lot worse then this. And hey shit happens right?