#Weekend Coffee Share–Keeping Busy, Looking to the Future

If we were having coffee, I’d start off with asking how YOU are, since it’s been so long since I’ve joined the coffee share. I’d pry a little bit into your life and we might exchange a hug, if you’re the type of person who likes to exchange hugs.

If we were having coffee, I’d talk about how good it feels to be home, how I miss Thailand dearly, but how I know I made the right choice in coming back to the States earlier than anticipated. I’ve spent the last few weeks spending time with family and friends and catching up on some much needed sleep, which was very much lacking in my life during the month that I was traveling in Europe and Thailand.

If we were having coffee, I’d talking about how I’ve spent much of this week checking job postings and writing cover letters and updating my resume. It’s been nice to have this time back at home with my family. It’s been nice to relax and not having to worry about much in terms of responsibility…but I’d also talk about how ready I am to move on with my life. Continue reading “#Weekend Coffee Share–Keeping Busy, Looking to the Future”

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My Pursuit of Happiness

A handful of days ago, I was sitting in my friend Mo’s Bangkok apartment in tears. I had come to Bangkok for the weekend to celebrate the birthday of one of my TESOL friends; I had been so excited before leaving Nakhon Pathom for Bangkok–I was convinced the weekend would be fabulous. I recall thinking it might the first weekend in a long time that I’d be excited to go out with friends…

Well. It wasn’t.

Instead?

Instead, I spent the whole weekend feeling incredibly sad. Incredibly homesick. Incredibly lost. While I watched all of my friends have an amazing time, I felt like I was only half there. I wasn’t enjoying myself and all I wanted in the world was to go home…and not home to Nakhon Pathom, mind you–but home to the United States, to Minnesota.

It was only when I broke down at the end of the weekend in Mo’s apartment that the clarity I had needed all weekend came to the surface. “I just want to go home.” I blubbered to my friends. “I don’t know what’s happening to me…but I feel so lost and sad and just want to go home.”

It was in that moment that my friend Sarah looked me right in the eye and said something I knew instinctively to be true: “Britta, you’re not happy here. You’re not even happy with us.”

Her words rang in my head: You’re not happy here. In a matter of moments, the state of mind that had made up my whole semester made sense. Truthfully, in the last few weeks, I had come to realize this. Deep down, I had known that I wasn’t happy in my current situation. I was afraid to admit it to myself, though, because I was so determined to stay in Thailand and live my life as an expat.

Sarah was right, though. She is right. I love teaching and I love my students, but I haven’t experienced a true and lasting feeling of contentedness in Thailand since leaving the emotional high of Chiang Mai. I come home from school at the end of the day and don’t know what to do with myself. I haven’t been successful at meeting Thai people here and more so, I’m finding that I don’t want to. When I do meet up with my TESOL friends, I find myself not wanting to do anything. I wouldn’t consider myself a hardcore partier in the slightest, but I do like to go out on occasion–and I have had absolutely no desire to do that at all here. I feel uninspired and lost and although I’ve learned so much and tested myself in many ways in these past few months in Thailand, my life has felt more lifeless than anything. There have been moments, yes–mostly while traveling with TESOL friends, but also instances at school when I had a really successful class or after I’ve had a great interaction with a local in my town–but they have been far and few Continue reading “My Pursuit of Happiness”

What are You Doing in this Room. Right Here. Right Now.

I’ve spent so much of my life afraid.

Afraid of everything–anything that was different, anything outside my comfort zone, new people and ideas.

Perhaps it came from my own social anxiety and perhaps there was something more….but if there’s anything, I’m a pro at being uncomfortable.

I always felt like there was something inherently different about myself. Not in the “you’re special” type of way but more that I didn’t connect with anyone. I still struggle to build meaningful relationships with people today.

I’ve always been exceptionally independent, but for some reason, growing up, I thought that was weird. I thought being an introvert was weird.

I couldn’t accept myself so I looked for someone else to latch on to.

Enter sexually and emotionally abusive ex-boyfriend of almost two years.

I had never been in a relationship before and I felt like I needed one more than anything in the world. I had my first kiss at 18, and I was kind of ashamed of that. I desired a reationship in high school and there were some potential suitors. But I was sooooo shy it just never happened.

So, when I saw ex-boyfriend in my orientation group at college in the fall of 2011, I decided to pursue him. He was attractive. Quiet. But I was curious.

I don’t regret my relationship with him. I wouldn’t be the person I am without it. He never meant to hurt me. We recently chatted after graduation and he told he felt terrible for what he Continue reading “What are You Doing in this Room. Right Here. Right Now.”

A Not So Conventional Post About Today’s Election

It’s story time, everyone!

The Setting:  The Congressional Baseball Game, Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.

The Players: Myself and three of my roommates, two who identify as Democrats and one who identifies as a Republican

It is hot and sticky at the Congressional Baseball Game and I am sweating. I am also bored to tears because, although I thought it would be cool to watch congressmen play baseball, nobody from Minnesota is playing; naturally, being the individual that I am who doesn’t pay a whole lot of attention to politics, I don’t know who anybody is.

The roomies and I are sitting in the Democrat section. This is funny because my Republican roommate is the one who chose the spot, unaware that she chose to sit with the opposing team. The Democrats are winning and the people around me are going crazy. My Republican roommate makes squeals of disappointment  every once in a while and is the lone enthusiast for the conservative team’s success in a sea full of liberals.

At one point, one of my Democrat roommates makes a comment about how “the two Republicans over there are are probably disappointed” or something to that extent; she is referring to my roommate and myself. My Republican roommate and I are sitting in front of her and I turn back and say, “I’m not a Republican.” She shockingly says, “well, what are you?” “I consider myself to me an independent. I Continue reading “A Not So Conventional Post About Today’s Election”