Sometimes I think I have gone crazy because I am just so damn happy with life right now. I remember how low I was last year and think: has it already and only been that long? How was I so utterly miserable a year ago and just so ridiculously is-there-something (other than giardia)- in-the-water happy now?
At the moment, life and Paraguay are so good and right. I am on top of the roller coaster and don’t ever want it to go down again (oh, but it will).
I have had a major change in perspective since last year in LIFE really, as corny as that sounds. I was writing an email to my stepmom the other day and this came out:
“I feel really grateful for and humbled by this whole experience. It’s given me a whole other perspective on life and happiness and sadness and success and failure.”
Maybe I am just happier because I am more realistic, value small things more than a year ago? Who knows? I am just trying to figure it out so I can bottle this for the rest of my life!
In a regular week, my mood cycles through the emotions RAGE, RAGE & SADNESS in that order.
- I am angry about things here, discrimination, or the world not being right.
- I read the mantra on my fridge that is borrowed from a friend: “BE KIND – for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
- I realize there is always almost a reason for people being assholes.
- Then I am depressed about the reasons that cause them to be assholes.
These last 3 weeks I have just had some good stuff happen at the end of that cycle. Some results! And some feedback! And progress! Here is a list of things that have made my life awesome these past few weeks:
- Change/proud/love/friendship. Made an impact in a close friend’s personal life. Enough said. I love being part of the process of empowerment. It is truly the best and most rewarding part of my job here.
- Feedback. Hearing feedback from the preschool moms and realizing that my health talks with their kids are making it back home in practice in the cutest/funniest ways.
- Feeling beautiful and liberated. After feeling so body conscious last year, it’s just so great to feel comfortable and good. I smile more. Thank you to the people who make me feel beautiful inside and out.
- Teaching kids to teach each other. I have started sex ed talks at a local health high school. The goal is to give these students the tools to teach their peers in the other high schools about sex, so it’s not coming directly from me, creepy, weird, crazy-liberal foreign person. I’m just being sneaky about it, really.
- Humor. This week, instead of telling my kids today that some STDs could be transmitted via “agujas e instrumentos contaminadas” I said “instrumentos condimentadas.” That’s seasoned/spicy instruments instead of contaminated instruments. Obviously I’ve been thinking about cooking too much! I looked at them, they looked at me, and then we all started cracking up. Tear-causing, bending-over-in-two, unstoppable laughter. I haven’t laughed that much at myself with other people in a long time. I love those moments when the crowd you are giving a presentation to realizes you are human being too. It makes everyone comfortable, and that is helpful especially when the talks have to do with sex.
- Book love. I’ve started creating small classroom libraries out of printable leveled readers with the teachers at my new school. I provided the original readers, but this project is mainly Paraguayan-contact cheerleader-ed. Yes! Sustainability! The kids helped put them together and bring them home to read with parents and color. More on this when it gets off the ground.
I really hope real life is like this, because this is fantastic… Actually I take that back, I hope this IS real life. I never want to go back to feeling like I am just “trying to get by” day by day and numb, like I was in Dallas. That can’t happen. This feels more real and it’s got to be the life to live.
How am I going to go back?
Do I sound crazy? I am more than a little concerned about this. After re-reading this for typos, I think I sound like I’m on some serious endorphin causing drugs.
I promise guys, I’m just high on life.