The last month has been a bit of a blur with lots of traveling, visitors and all sorts of other things breaking up our normal routine. It’s been great and I love interrupting my routine every now and then to reflect (or just totally escape) and come back feeling nice and refreshed. Although I’ve enjoyed getting back into our "normal" here, it’s been somewhat of a mental challenge. I’m nearing the end of my time teaching in Chile and we will soon be on the road for three weeks before heading back to the States. In a lot of ways I’m really looking forward to it all, on the other hand it’s left me feeling a bit in limbo, totally uprooted, just floating around with no direction. You might think, isn’t that kind of what you’re going for when you choose to live in three different countries in three years? It is. I mean, when I look into the future and can see it from the other side, I look at these stages as fruitful learning and growing opportunities, but then every time I’m right in the middle of them I feel the same way. My mind races, I question everything, and am just grasping for something to anchor on to. I try to come up with something to tell people when they ask what I’m going to do next. Something that sounds credible, instead of the million different, off the wall ideas that are floating around my head. And I move back and forth between accepting this stage for what it is and panicking about the future.
One thing that I keep relating to lately is the process of learning a language. It can be the most frustrating thing, one in which I feel that I’ll never get to where I want to be. And then there’s the times where I feel super confident and motivated by all the progress I’ve made. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions. There’s been many times that I’ve let my emotions get the better of me and have made the decision to put language learning on the back burner. My logic (though not very logical) being that if I just stop trying maybe I won’t care about it anymore and then all that frustration will just go away. Turns out it doesn’t work like that because weeks, months, or sometimes even years later, that desire comes back and I reprimand myself for giving up and wasting all that time. Though I clearly don’t have it all figured out (very much still stuck in the intermediate stage) I know that the only way to the other side is to keep moving forward. Those uncomfortable, lost, defeated feelings are only temporary. I have to stop giving them so much value if I want to find myself closer to my goals rather than back where I started.
This is all to say that I still feel like a balloon in a wind storm, but I’m going to try to find the little joys in this period resting assured that eventually the ferocious winds will weaken and we'll all sink back down to earth.