I’ve been in a major funk. Lets just get that out of the way. Generally I am able to make the decision to be happy even when things are tough but recently I wake up every morning and can’t help taking my thoughts to a highway of pessemism. “It’s still October.” “How many days until June?” “My students don’t need me here.” “I am not making any progress.” “I am exhausted with basic daily interactions.”
And the biggest one: “I’m lonely.”
And it’s easy to get stuck here. I live on a compound located in the center of a jungle that is surrounded by one of the world’s largest palm plantations. Distractions are pretty much limited to reading, going to the gym and watching way too much television. This leaves a lot of time to think about things and sometimes it can get pretty exhausting.
But then there are those days when you remember that it isn’t all bad. That you’re giving into too much doom and gloom and that there are good things here too.
Like today—A morning of “good things” that helped my loneliness disperse for a few hours and restored a little of, well, me.
Today my students visited a school for children with various handicaps both physical and mental. Some students are blind, some are deaf, some are autistic or have Down’s Syndrome and some have spasticity and other central nervous disorders. I’ll be volunteering at the school for an hour every Tuesday, hopefully sharing a little English with the students. But today was about the students interacting with each other and seeing the lives of people who have different needs and abilities.
We played games together. We sang songs together and we simply spent time together. I was met with excited eyes, hugs and even got a special visit from my “boyfriend,” a young boy (about 5 years old) who had taken a liking to me when we visited a few weeks ago.
It was a morning of joy. A morning of restoration. A morning to help me after two days that were intensely low. Low enough that I had actually started to think I needed to go home at Christmas and never come back. Like I have said so many times before—the jungle is a mental rollercoaster: some days you’re climbing an exciting hill, while others you’re careening full tilt down a plunging dip that seems like it might never end. Right now I’m just learning how to hold on tight enough to make it through to the end of the ride, because I really do want to make it to the end instead of calling for an emergency stop before the ride is over.