Tuesday, July 25, 2006

indecision insanity

hey dudes..... i´ve been doing some thinking lately. well, not just some....let´s say A LOT. and despite all of that thinking, even away from all the distractions living in the states can present, i still feel like i´m no closer to making any decisions about what i want to do ¨with the rest of my life¨ after the peace corps. seriously. i´ve been undecided for pretty much all of my life (except for those few years in jr. high and high school where my best friend and i SWORE we were gonna meet professional baseball players and marry them and live these ridiculous lives....). yes, despite that little deviation from uncertainty, i, at 33 years of age, still have not found any one thing that i feel is my calling. it´s not a lack of things i´m interested in, or have strong feelings about. it´s not that at all. if anything, it´s that there are too many things that i want to do. and being 33 and not having a husband or kids, most of those things that i want to do are certainly within my ability.

what frustrates me the most is the fact that i can change my mind in a day. one day i´m certain that upon my return to the states, i´m gonna go to graduate school, study anthropology and latin american history. then the very next day, it´s a 6-month viaje to south america that is calling my name. then the next day i´ll be working on environmental stuff and think that i could get a job working with some rainforest action group (seriously, we are for real fucking up the environment) or something like that for the rest of my life. or some kind of humanitarian work - amnesty international or something similar. but then i´ll be working at the school with the kids and some mom will show up at the school to pick up one of her kids, or to make refrigerio, and she´ll have her little baby with her and i´m like ¨awww, maybe i should just forget all this nonsense about traveling the world and get that family started.¨ ugh, it pains me just to write that - get that family started. that and phrases like ¨it´s time to settle down...¨ or ¨my biological clock is ticking.¨ that´s just bullshit. my biological clock has never been ticking. i love kids, and i do think i want to have one someday, or adopt one, or whatever road i go down. but the problem is the ¨some day¨ part of that. i don´t feel like that ¨some day¨ really is here yet. but i´m 33. not an old lady (well, in el salvador i pretty much am b/c of the no kids, no husband thing..) but let´s face it, ¨some day¨ is only getting closer. let me just say this - having a family is one of the above things i´ve mentioned that crosses my mind as an option upon my completion of time in the peace corps.

am i ever going to be able to escape the persuasion of travel? as most of you (who know me well) are aware, travel is like a lifeline to me. i´m not just talking world travel, but next-door cities and towns in the states as well. there isn´t a place in the world i don´t want to visit, and if i wanted to do that with the rest of my life, well it´s an option. i could make it happen. but what about all that other stuff?

this morning, i awoke to the sound of somebody knocking on my door. i was like ¨sí?¨ and because my fan was on i couldn´t hear what they were saying, but i could tell it was a guy´s voice. i threw on a sweatshirt and opened the door to find this australian guy that i had talked to the night before for a couple of seconds. he was staying at the hostal with his girlfriend - the typical backpackers i see come through apaneca every now and again. anyways, he´s like ¨i´m so sorry to wake you up, but i need your help. is your spanish any good?¨ and i say, half-questioning, ¨well, i guess it is?¨ he goes on to tell me that his girlfriend lost her passport on the bus from guatemala city to san salvador. they had no idea where she lost it, they got off the bus in ahuachapan and took a microbus to apaneca and she didn´t realize she didn´t have it until this a.m. on top of this, there is no australian embassy in el salvador. or in guatemala. or honduras. or nicaragua. the only one is in mexico city, but since the girlfriend - her name´s aileen - didn´t have a passport, they couldn´t just go to mexico city. so we three sat outside on the back porch of the hostal thinking of what they should do. they wanted me to call the bus company and ask to see if anyone found the passport. i told them that it was highly unlikely as passports for america, canada, europe and australia are like gold to people here. it´s basically a free ticket out of el salvador. anyway, i called and of course, nobody had turned it in. finally i just told them they should probably go to san salvador because it was likely they were gonna have to go there anyways to work things out...plus it´d be a lot easier than trying to figure it out in apaneca. plus i thought they should call the australian embassy in mexico city, or even go to the mexican embassy here to see about getting to mexico city. whatever. anyway, they decided to do that. (i know, this all sounds like something that would happen to me....losing my passport, being stuck in some faraway place..)

anyway, we sat out back talking for a while and they talked about how they had lived in london for a bit and the boyfriend - his name´s tristan - had sent his passport to the british gov´t for a visa to czechoslavakia and they sent it back to him, but he never got it. and he and aileen had this weekend trip to prague all set and didn´t know if they should risk going with just a new passport and no visa or what. anyway, my point of this whole story - other than it being a little story about the kind of random day i´m likely to have living here in el salvador and at a backpacker´s hostal - is that hearing them talk about living in london and making a weekend trip to prague is just the kind of diversion i´m talking about when it comes to making any real plans for the future in my life. before i quit my job at the law firm (seems like years and years ago) to finish my last semester of school and get ready for the peace corps, i kept annoying the hell out of my friend brandy with my bright idea to use my peace corps readjustment allowance to fly to europe and rent an apartment in paris for like 3 months. i´d travel all over europe, but always have paris to come back to, right? how friggin´ awesome would that be. i know, i don´t speak french, but i could learn. what with all the time i have on my hands here.

see what i´m talking about? i believe it was in my last post that i was talking about ¨how cool it would be¨ to live in monterico, guatemala. that should be my parting words...you know how some people always put ¨peace¨ or ¨take care¨ or have some kind of witty quote in their e-mails? mine should be ¨how cool would THAT be?¨ that paris idea would work in any european city...possibly spain, but i think spain´s too far away from eastern europe so maybe spain wouldn´t work. plus i just love paris so much. or i could go to australia and new zealand. when tristan and aileen and i parted ways at the esquina after my bus came, tristan says ¨thanks heaps!¨ and i was like ¨man, i want to go to australia!¨ tomorrow it´ll probably be china. i could teach english in chile for a year. or anywhere, really.

anyway, this is just a glimpse into my crazy mind, and probably the reason i have such a hard time falling asleep every night. i don´t know. what worries me is that i´ll never get my head out of this mode. i´ll be this batty 65 year old woman who´s trying to walk the great wall of china and thinking to herself the whole time ¨i wonder if NOW´s the time to decide on a career.....¨

seriously though, is there a problem with never getting my head out of this mode? it´s all about making decisions, right? what do i love most? living in ohio? the idea of having a family? a boyfriend? traveling? what? and so begins the cycle of insanity that has overtaken my thoughts this past month.

at least i don´t have parasites anymore......