Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow In Negotino!

So I have a serious problem with future-think.  My entire life, I’ve had a plan. Never a detailed plan, but at least the outline of the next step.  I’ve had the next thing on the checklist of life and worked on it in the background while I was accomplishing whatever it was that I was at the moment.  Move out of Libby, intern, work, finish college, volunteer, finish grad school, study/work abroad, work some more, join the Peace Corps, etc.  Now that I’m in the Peace Corps, I’m thinking about my friends and family greeting me at the airport when I get back to the states, my best friend’s wedding, my wedding, where we’re going to live when I get back to the states, where I want to work and who I want to work for or whether I want to work for myself, whether I’m going to start on a second masters degree right away or not, etc.  What I SHOULD be thinking about is continuing to learn more Macedonian, putting together the art curriculum for my secondary project, what other projects I can be working on at work, and focusing on being in the Peace Corps, as this is what I have wanted for so many years.  It has nothing to do with my desire to be here, I most definitely want to be here and I am beyond thrilled to be involved already with as much as I am here.  And this definitely doesn’t mean that I want to go home sooner than planned.  My brain is just constantly running a million miles an hour and I have a hard time controlling it when I’m not in a situation where I can put myself into a meditative state.  So it ends up trying to hammer 3 years forward without my actual permission.  I’m not sure what it is.  I’ve always been a planner because I’m an organizational freakshow, but at the same time I’m not the kind of person that needs to stick to any kind of life plan to feel secure or comforted or anything like that.  Everything happens for a reason, and I embrace the spontaneity of life and the beauty it brings in unexpected ways, watching it unfold and being able to reflect on the entire process of connections as we grow older.  I think having a clear and strong picture in my mind pushes my dreams to manifest, though in the way that they are supposed to rather than in the way I think they might.  Perhaps that is the interest for me, to see how the path actually ends up looking to get to the end goal that I envision.  I’m hoping that by writing this down that it will help me to focus on the here and now more than the ‘next thing’.
Also, I’m making a very strong effort to stop decimating my fingernails.  I’ve always hated fingernails; I think they are a pain in the ass. I think it’s pointless to paint them or get fake ones. It’s not functional or practical and it is high maintenance.  But I go to the other extreme and rip them off whenever they show the slightest bit of length.  My Gram would not approve, and she always has nicely taken care of nails and doesn’t feel the need to paint them or do anything ridiculously vain to them.  Now that she is so shaky, I would trim and file them for her whenever I was home.  So my effort is for her, because I know she would think it was lady-like that I stop ripping my fingernails off like they are some enemy of mine.  I miss her terribly and I think seeing nice fingernails on myself would make me feel like I’m not so far away from her.  Random I know.  But it makes me feel better. And I also think by publicly verbalizing this it will hold me accountable and I may actually be able to do it. 
*Note: Between the time I wrote the beginning of this blog and the when I was able to access internet in order to post it, I plotted the beginning outline and intention for the art class as well as did a full review of all the Macedonian I have learned in the past three + months.  I feel much better, and am currently back in the moment.  I’m beyond excited to begin my secondary project, and very excited about the cross-border tourism project that we’re working on at my site as well.  Not to mention that I haven’t ripped off a single fingernail.  Woohoo!
My internet at my apartment still isn’t hooked up, and it’s starting to stress me out a bit.  If I can’t talk to my friends and family by Christmas Eve I’m going to lose my mind.  El Capitan continues to entertain… recently he has taken to conducting his own version of the Indy 500 around the apartment, sometimes using my actual head as a springboard when I am still in bed in the morning. It’s pleasant. He also enjoys hanging out in the kitchen staring at me making sad half-mewing noises while I cook food or make noise like I could potentially be making food, even going so far as to put his little paws up on the cupboard doors and beg like a dog trapped in a tiny cat’s body.  Meanwhile, his food bowl is heaping, though I don’t blame him for craving some variety in his life.  You may think it’s odd that I talk about this lovely little creature all the time now, but you should see how much I actually talk TO him, as though he is going to talk back.  I live by myself in a country where people don’t understand much of what I say anyway, so I suppose it seems normal to me at this point.  Did I mention that he likes to suck on his own arm? My landlords love him too luckily, just one more factor of their awesomeness.  In fact, the wife came to my apartment the other night and whirled in with two massive plates of food and a giant cube of chocolate cake, grabbed me and kissed my cheek with amazing gusto and whirled right out the door again.  A few nights before that, the husband hauled my washing machine up the stairs to my third floor apartment on his back with a friend balancing it from behind. Seriously. I heart them. 
Apparently a cold front came into the Balkans, and the last couple days have been ridiculously colder than previous weeks.  I have busted out the Smartwool again and the wonderful investment that is my Northface down coat.  This weekend Austin and I went exploring and found the train station and the monastery. He took beautiful pictures, and I made friends with the monastery’s dog.  It was blue-skied and sunny, but the wind was so cold that I was slurring for lack of feeling in my nose and lips.  I would consider getting a ski mask but people already look at us like we’re strange anyway so I don’t think I need to compound the issue. 
Another thing… I’ve had more and more people in the last couple of years tell me that I should write a book.  I think about this often, and would really love to, but I think that those people have more confidence in my writing than I do.  I just write what I think (with a bit -sometimes a lot- of censorship of course), and would have no idea how to organize any of my thoughts into something that would appear to be succinct and readable.  There is a ridiculous amount of thought and philosophy swimming in my brain at all moments of the day, and so much that I would love to tell whoever reads it about how they can maximize their potential and contribute positively to humanity in order to make the world a better place but I wouldn’t even know where to begin as far as a book goes.  So this is me, putting that thought out there in hopes for your thoughts back.  Because this blog is mostly focused on my traveling and now Peace Corps, I don’t know if it is a good representation of what a book would say if I were to take on that task, but knowing me at whatever level that you do, would you be interested in reading it? What could you see it being about or like?  What would you like to see it being about or like? Any other ideas? If you don’t want to post comments on here, send them to my Facebook or my email address at  I’m really interested in hearing more thoughts on this. Thank you in advance :)

p.s. There is snow in Negotino! I was so excited this morning… 

Peace and love,