23 hour time differences are inconvenient, especially when it’s your best friend that you want to reach.
I’m a pretty open person, I think, when it comes many things except negative emotions or conflict.
I’d rather let the stress eat me alive than to tell a living soul–face the real threat of rejection or judgement? No, thanks.
However, behind a set of keys or in the arms of a pen I feel safe, like I can really set myself free. Will you, person staring at these words right now, be my friend for this moment until I can get a hold of my friend 1,000,000 miles away?
These past three weeks have been intense, annoying, and tiring. On top of teaching for 9 hours and learning Thai for another hour, I picked up extra volunteer teaching for two hours.
Here’s how my schedule looked:
5:30 AM Wake up
7:00 AM Arrive at school
3:30 PM School day is finished
3:30 PM Go to Thai class
4:30 PM Rush home to rest and get lunch
5:00 PM Finally make it home
6:00 PM Start extra teaching
8:15 PM Finish extra teaching
8:30 PM Try to rest my brain for a while
9:30 PM Thai homework/lesson planning/grading
2:00 AM After several attempts, fall asleep
And if you did your calculations right you will see that on average I got 3 hours of sleep. THREE.
My mood was funky. My room was funky. My eating habits were funky.
I was a funky, hot mess.
You can imagine my delight when I finished my last day of extra teaching. Even though I didn’t have to teach today I still decided to stop by and say hello. Instead of it being a nice visit it turned into a horrible meeting.
I was asked if I would be open to teaching again and I quickly answered NO. I love the students and I LOVE teaching English, but I also love my health and state of mind. There was no way that I could handle that type of schedule again.
It didn’t end there, then I got the news that I had to move out of my cozy home soon. It’s okay, I understood that. I’m no longer helping out there full-term so another volunteer needs this space. What I didn’t understand was the timeline I had to work with. I feel pressure to comply with a decision that I don’t believe is best for me.
I complied to extra teaching, and teaching extra days of the extra teaching because of guilt and feeling pressured, but I’m not going to allow myself to fall into that trap again.
I’m not being selfish. I’m being a friend to my own well being.
When I left the place it felt like I was the only friend I had. I literally wanted to break down into tears, but how? What shoulder do I have to lean on? What ears where there to lend themselves? To what arms was I able to sob in? To whom could I confide in?
No one. My best friend is 1,000,000 miles away.
My Thai is good, but not good enough to talk through my problems; my closest English speaking friend wasn’t picking up the phone; and I’d never dare open up myself to just anyone–risk rejection or judgement? No, thanks.
But open up myself to a set of keys or the arms of a pen, that I can do.