Two weeks into Lent and so far, mostly good on the no wine/fries/chocolate thing. I believe in the Lent where you get one day off a week (if you want) because there are technically 46 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter, PLUS it’s a Leap Year, which is like, just magical. I confess have taken two cheats….but one was Valentine’s Day and when you are single and in your thirties you are not responsible for your actions on that day.
I also accidentally bought a package of M&Ms and got all the way home before I realized I am not supposed to eat them, but when in a moment of weakness I tested the strength of the package, God was like “I CAN SEE YOU” and it was too difficult to open, so it sits on my shelf, mocking me. Also I bought what was supposed to be a lovely lemon-scented air freshener for the bathroom, and it smells exactly like a margarita. I am clearly being tested.
All I’ve wanted for the last few days was a glass of wine and a box of Mac and Cheese. Maybe some ranch dressing and a package of double stuff oreos and the expensive Ben and Jerry’s ice cream that comes out of that special freezer that says “moo” when you open it. I don’t know. I’m just
fantasizing brainstorming. I’ve told myself “no” to these things, which makes it my heart’s desire, because I am contrary, even to myself.
I’m having a tiny life crisis, just wondering what I’m doing with it. With this life. Do I really want to be in Rio another year, nearly going into debt just being here, in an apartment that’s constantly falling apart, in never-ending humidity, getting used to brand new people while nearly all my friends leave, in a career I’m not even sure I want to do for the rest of my life?
I don’t have a church, a car, a phone plan, a tv, a bike, air conditioning, or an oven. I’m almost 32 and single and sleeping on a twin bed and have no savings. I feel like I don’t have a plan and I’m behind whatever schedule everyone on my Facebook feed seems to be on with their engagements and marriages and babies and house-purchasing. And I’m very discouraged by the lack of bilingual bearded Brazilians for me to fall in love with.
And so I spent an hour lying on the floor (it started as yoga….I have so many good intentions), alternating my focus between my ceiling, which held no answers, and my phone, which went off intermittently with texts from a good friend who was trying to talk me off the ledge. In lieu of clear answers, my knee-jerk reaction is to decompress with cabernet and cupcakes, but Lent has me on lockdown. It’s been interesting to note how many times a day I think I deserve a snack or exactly what kind of day makes me want a glass of wine, and then have to try to come up with something else to do.
It can be easy to divert myself. We’ve been life-ing pretty hard since getting back into the swing of things at work. In just these last two weeks, I have ridden the tram, visited a Cathedral shaped liked a militaristic beehive, went to a treehouse restaurant, watched an international diving competition at an Olympic site, read 18 chapters of Leviticus (which is climbing the ranks in my “top 10 least fav Bible books”), and started figuring out my taxes. I bought RADISHES for the first time in my life, I’m walking about 6 miles a day, reading more books, journaling daily, sleeping more, and trying to be more present and feel feelings and think about them, instead of trying to eat them.
Mon-Fri I’ve been testing new students, working on the reading curriculum, refining our admissions process, and finally getting to see my students this week. It’s amazing how much progress they have made in their English since the first time I saw them. And it’s rewarding and its frustrating…I think the parts of teaching that are most frustrating are hardly ever your students. Its parents, admins, unanswered emails, events and meetings and all the behind the scenes work. My kids are hilarious. I taught one of them the verb “wipe” today, as in “wipe up a mess” and he goes “ah, this. All off the time I am doing this because all of the time I can make a mess.” And he shook his head and gave the deepest sigh as he started to draw his picture to go in his vocabulary section, and I cracked up.
Today I tested a potential new student, 6, and I asked him about his parents.
“So, what’s your dad like?”
He looked at me very seriously and said “Bald.”
Then he drew a line on the paper, handed me the pencil, and said “Do you like bald people? Write yes or no.”
Maybe it’s the super unsatisfying end to the Xfiles season that has me feeling so defeated. Or that I’ve fallen hard twice in the last week, once after our kitchen flooded again. Or getting my tooth drilled without anesthesia and I still can’t eat on the right side of my mouth, going on three weeks now.
Oh, also, I saw a man pull down his pants and poop on the sidewalk outside my condo the other day. He was walking right in front of me and then just veered to the right and squatted between two cars and went for it. In Honduras I saw a giant crab fight a cat. And those two things rank as the strangest things I have ever seen.
Anyway. I think I’m in a bit of a funk. So if you have any good vibes to share, any wisdom, tricks for making vegetables taste like Rainbow Chip frosting, you pass it all on down to me.
There are those who spend their whole lives searching for happiness, and then there are those who find happiness within their lives. Don’t waste your time being the first person. Find the happy things in your life right now. – lesbellesmarguerites , Notes to self
That’s my challenge to me tomorrow. Tune in. I’m going to get my first haircut in eight months because it’s guaranteed to make my head feel lighter.