Some things I’ve learned lately:
1. It’s good for me to create mini-goals/competitions for myself.
Like today, I allowed myself one hour online after lunch until I’d get off the computer and get back to reading Jesus Feminist. I was one minute late to my deadline, but no big deal. The point was that I’ve been unhappy and disappointed with the amount of time I waste on the Internet during my free time at work…when I could be reading!
2. I am an introvert.
I’m not going to go down the line with the “this may not come as a shock to some of you” business, and yada yada, but I will say that before coming to Thailand, I thought I was a mix of introvert and extrovert. But now that I’m here, in the wilderness, living the hard knocks, I’ve either reverted back to introversion or I’ve figured out more of who I really am. I’m thinking it’s the second one. Do I turn off like a switch when I’ve been socializing for “too long?” Yes. Do I prefer a hot mug of tea, a blanket, and a book to staying out late with friends? Yes. Am I grateful that I don’t have an international phone because that way it doesn’t ring, shock me out of my I’m-in-my-own-head stupor, and disgruntle me? Yes, absolutely. Do I sometimes feel that I’ve chosen the wrong profession (teaching) because it means being surrounded by people all day long? Uh-huh. I’ve read some great articles lately about introversion, articles that have made me feel affirmed and part of something (by that I mean, part of a large community of introverts). Here’s a quote from one: “Introversion is a basic temperament, so the social aspect — which is what people focus on — is really a small part of being an introvert,” says Dr. Marti Olsen Laney. Yes! Woohoo! So introversion does not necessarily define my social skills, my level of shyness, or my number of friends? Truth score.
3. Life is hard.
Apparently life has really hard phases. Like the wilderness, I’m supposing, because I know that I’m in the wilderness right now. You have days when you feel completely unaffirmed, insignificant, and bothersome. You have days when you feel like you’re running on empty and have nothing left to give. In just one day, you might feel like all of humanity is insufferable and terrible, and then you might listen to Jonathan Martin’s sermon “The Beauty in the Chaos” and feel full again, feel hopeful again, feel sturdy. Oy vey.
4. I shouldn’t need to buy something in order to feel happy, but sometimes I just need to spend 300 baht on Aveeno body wash because it’s FIG-scented, for crying out loud, and I just found AVEENO in Thailand.
(For the record, 300 baht = $9.33. Which is, uh, expensive here, considering that I can buy a small bottle of Dove body wash for under 100B at the convenience store. But, AVEENO. And FIG.)
Okay, for real now, I’m closing my computer and opening my Kindle. Cheers, online world.
(But wait . . . What have YOU been learning lately?)