The tiny frustrations have percolated into one big giant realization: It just never works out the way you want it to.
That old, cliché saying— Expect the worse, hope for the best—its been ringing in my ears this past week.
I am eerily American in the fact that I subconsciously acknowledge that productiveness is key and that “time is money” and the best bet at success or happiness comes from action. My background in journalism led me to understand that I have to work all the time. I feel like a flustered pigeon that accidentally flew into a room after starting school at the beginning of this month. I’m not always exactly sure what I should be doing to pass the hours.
The frustration is the fact that I don’t know. I never know—the obvious manifestation of that idea is the ability to grasp the language. Every action is fleeting: I have the concrete basis of what I want to say or do, but if I can get maybe 30% of that idea expressed, its basically a success. I was given a vague job description and a desk, and the rest lies on the Peace Corps’ confidence in me.
I’m not sure if I should feel like I should trust my old instincts in understanding what’s fairs fair, because in all developing countries, nothing’s “fair” whatever the fuck that means. I haven’t been physically or emotionally comfortable in the last three months, and I work on my personal happiness daily to keep myself balanced. I supposedly suffer because the obvious is apparent: I’m going without a lot of aesthetic, material things that contributed to my security in who I am as it pertains to both my work and my identity.
During Pre Service Training, I was disgruntled, angry even, at the Peace Corps’ approach when it came to scheduling. I enjoyed waking up without an alarm, lazily wincing into the day’s first hours of sun. I felt like I was being realigned, being forced into adulthood by showing up everyday at 9 a.m. and wearing clothes that covered my tattoos, knees, and elbows. The anger boiled up after I had a heat stroke, and I showed up to training the next week with my tattoos bared unabashed with a scowl on my face. Take that. But that was petty.
My suffering, as maybe others would perceive it, is not really suffering. I used to tell myself over and over again while I lived in my hometown that comfort is dangerous, that if I let it get the best of me, I’d succumb to the secretary’s ass of personal integrity. I’m knee deep in puzzle pieces I’m trying to put together, and its not always pretty. There’s a developed and tasteful beauty in finding peace in accepting our world’s harsh realities.
I’ve just made acquaintance with that peace.