Sunday, July 7, 2013

Battling the chaos within.

Indecision and uncertainty have surrounded the last several weeks. While I adore the spontaneity of life, occasionally I long for plans that stick and days that are straightforward. Waking up in a new emotional state every day has its' drawbacks; not quite sure where my heart will be I have to adapt a level of patience for myself that I am unaccustomed to. I miss 'handling' 14 hour days and changes with grace, instead of the distinct possibility that I may be too tapped out to roll with today's punches. It's not in my personality to say no, choose solitude or rest; however, my body has given me no alternatives. I take care of others and dislike the humbling experience where the tables are turned. It's hard to admit failure, heartbreak and exhaustion when you are accustomed to the security and control of your own two feet. Cher put it best, "I felt impotent and out of control, which I really hate."

Today's lengthy bike ride in the Prater was the first since my post-Zambian sojourn three years ago. The circumstances feel familiar: chronic fatigue from time in the developing world, badly in need of pad thai and a figurative hole in my heart. The medicine? Consistent sleep, nutritious food, exercise, hugs and the passage of time. As a constant self-examiner I can't resist the temptation to think about how things have changed in the past three years. Are the circumstances so different? Have I learned from my mistakes? Am I going in the direction of my dreams? Have the sacrifices actually been worth it?

Growing up can be a dirty business. Choices are made, people are left behind and dangerous roads are crossed. I will be the first to admit that there are days when I long to be thirteen. When times get hard, I want to curl up on the couch with a soft blanket and have my mother tell me that things will be alright. A typical youngest child, I want someone else to take care of this grime since my hands are filthy enough.

Perhaps I should stop looking at the similarities between my mid-Morocco vacation and post-Zambian rehab summer. There still may be tears, an escapist desire and the uncomfortable feeling that I've been here before, but that doesn't mean they are equal, or that I am unchanged. With familiarity brings strength - I take my medicine even when it's hard to swallow, put one foot in front of the other and remind myself that through these challenges and sacrifices I've discovered my titanium will power. I've been changed for the better and tomorrow's cycle will be that much smoother.

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