Today is my twenty-third birthday.
Today is my twenty-third birthday and I am not in Bali celebrating with TESOL friends as I had planned; I am not off having wonderful travel adventures after the close of a semester of teaching English, as most of my TESOL friends are by this point.
No. Today is my twenty-third birthday and I am in Nakhon Chaisi, my Thailand home, very much alone…taking time for myself.
Really taking time for myself.
Not thinking about classes or school–school finished last week; not worrying about the future–that will come in time; not investing so much time in what other people think of me and how I’m spending my time–because I’m so tired of that; not expecting so much of
myself–because I keep pushing myself to do things that won’t serve me…and that needs to stop.
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Last week, I was crying in a Thai hospital after a doctor had just diagnosed me with the early stages of pneumonia. I was crying because of the inconvenient timing–how I was supposed to administer exams the next day and how I was supposed to fly out of Bangkok to Bali on Monday. The doctor told me I could still go to Bali–as long as I didn’t spend any time in the water on beaches–but traveling is exhausting and I didn’t feel comfortable exerting myself in that way while sick (not to mention that spending time in the water on beaches was something I wanted to do…and I didn’t want to travel all the way to Bali if I couldn’t make the most of my experience because of illness). I was crying in this hospital because this was only the latest in what seemed to be a continuing list of physical maladies that have been plaguing me in Thailand and I was crying because I was angry at Thailand for doing this to me; more than being angry at Thailand, I was angry at my body for not holding up in the way I wanted it to in the face of adversity. I was crying because, dammit, life has been really hard these past couple months; when I’ve just wanted to make the most of my time here in Thailand–both on my own and with my TESOL friends and new friends along the way–my body and soul have consistently been telling me Continue reading “Twenty-Three”