Week 8 of pre-service training is here. Cue strange emotions. I’ll keep it short because I like to reserve my hearty complaints for my close friends and family. During one of our first weeks of community-based training back in Hellshire, we received a document detailing the rise and falls of culture shock and adjustment. I remember looking at it and knowing what was to come.
Historically, I’m fairly prone to wallowing. Thankfully, because I’ve experienced these emotions in the past, I know what kinds of things help me to feel better. But, as I struggle with the total loss of control over things like making myself breakfast, laying around indoors (it’s way too hot for that here), and simply going for a walk without having to say “good afternoon” to all passersby, I must admit that the loss of identity is real, too. I know that I’m not alone in trying to retain and regain bits and pieces of who I claim to be.
Thankfully, we are exactly two weeks away from Site Orientation Week. This means that we are also two weeks away from learning our assignments. I couldn’t be more elated.
I’ve been away for almost two months now. 51 days since I flew away from my life as I knew it. It’s certainly taken a toll on my personal relationships. Not being able to be present in the lives of those for whom I care so much has been incredibly difficult. If only I could be in two places at once! I am doing my best to try to bring the comforts provided those at home into my life here. I am so grateful for the fact that I have a decent internet connection, but it is tough to share warmth of heart over Skype or Facebook. Perhaps the largest hurdle so far is coming to terms with the fact that while I feel I am strong enough to thrive in this major life change, not all those who I care about will be capable of the same. Some of my friendships will fade, no doubt. Some losses will be more painful than others.
And so I press on. Head held high, working furiously, and taking plenty of mental breaks.