For the past month or so, I’ve fallen prey to a feeling that isn’t homesickness, so much as it is fatigue. I’m tired and want to retreat, to hide away from the seemingly simple things I can’t understand and the basic, easy concepts that I just can’t explain. I’m tired of fighting to find the words, and hearing ones I don’t recognize. No matter how quickly I learn, there’s always more, and the better I get at speaking Thai, paradoxically, the more impatience I meet when there is something I don’t understand. I hate seeing that look, the one that says they’re mistaking a lack of language for a lack of general mental capacity. And I think that, maybe I did that too: that, in impatience, maybe I treated someone as though their inability to express themselves in English meant they had little inside to express at all.
Long time readers will know about the struggle I had getting my ID card here, and then our battle for T’s visa renewal, and now my American passport needs to be renewed from abroad. These all seem like basic things, but then, each time, it’s never nearly as easy as these things should be. Where once it was an adventure and a story to tell, it’s now beginning to feel like we’re under constant attack, fighting a never ending fight for the right to simply be.
In my fatigue, there are times I know I’ve stopped dancing the dance of social niceties and gone straight to honesty, because I just don’t have it in me to dance. My feet hurt, and I’m going to sit this one out simply because I can.
I feel compelled to wrap this up in a tidy bow, to find the sparkle in the ordinary glass of water, and to say something like, “it’s a journey, and maybe the soul just needs a rest,” or maybe “I think I expected to find home, and it turns out I’m still traveling,” or that I need to “buck up, sistah, because there’s lots who’ve got it worse than you.” There’s good. Lots of good, and hopefully my regular readers will know that I see the good too, and feel it in my bones. But right now, at this moment, this is my truth. I’m stripped to essentials, futilely trying to cover the exposed parts with my too-small hands.
…and admitting all that, it feels better already. Saying all that, I think, is exactly what I needed to do to cast off the burden making it too difficult to take the next step.
And so, the next step, I now take. And maybe I found that sparkle after all.
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