Friday, May 2, 2014

90 Days and Airbags

I always thought starting something would be the hardest part.  Finishing should easy, right?  It's kind of like when you're on a bike; the initial force you put into the bike will transfer into inertia and carry you across the finish.  You'll look back on that start and laugh a little.  At the finish, you'll be laughing at the amount of sweat resting on your brow and drenching your socks.  Fun, sweaty, and a hell of a ride.  Similar to other activities.  [That's what she said.]

Well.  Peace Corps must be like trying to stop a moving bike going 100 miles per hour down a hill.

I can not imagine being paid for work anymore.  I can't imagine getting a "real job", 9-5, grinding away for GDP/capita stats.  I can't imagine scarfing down a Chick Fil A sandwich in Denver when I land.  I am scared of Americans joking about my eyebrows when they fly upwards to answer a "yes/no" question.  I abhor the thought of finding myself drowning in a sea of Iphones.  Nightmares of paying sales taxes swim in and out of my daydreams.  Food choices, in their multitude of options, I feel, will cause me to clam up in grocery stores.  My volunteer spirit is flying at 100 mph through multiple projects trying to find somewhere of meaning to stick to before I leave.  These things, and many more, are officially starting to cause excrement to end up in my hypothetical pants.

I'm starting to send the signal to my hands to slam on the brakes, but I somewhat feel it might be better to fly over the handle bars and back broken, a new man, into the non-Peace Corps life. 


I've been attempting to find ways to brace for the crash coming on July 31st.  I've come up with some air bags to cushion my fall.

1. Detachment - I'm hesitant to say I want to detach, because seriously, what empathetic person wants to detach from others?  Well, here's my logic: the more attached I am to my life and locals here the more it's going to hurt when I leave.  My strategy: slowly ease my way down to less social activities as my plane flight gets closer.  It's partially a stupid plan, but I think it's a partially necessary one.

2. Goodbyes - I plan to save these for the last two days.  Avoiding awkward quadruple goodbyes has always been a high priority in my life.  Two, maximum.  Anymore and I feel like I'm saving coupons for food I'm never going to purchase.  <- see #3

3. Failing to use sarcasm again - Sarcasm is the language of love.  I miss that shit.  Being here in Pohnpei has caused my vocabulary, and hence my plethora of puns, to fade into the void between the couch cushions.  They're hard to find, especially when you've had some nasty guests siting on and stinking up the fabric.   So, as to not be hitting a handicap when I tee off at the American Sarcasm Open, I'm trying to work that sense of humor back into my everyday life.  This post is not an exception.  If you look hard, and trust me I know you will, you'll find a heaping pus load of literary Easter eggs.

4. Using Pohnpeian as if it were a Digipet in 2001 - I'm trying to make sure I've got this language down.  My hope one day, if possible, is to have a secret language with my children.  Advantages: I can scold them in public with little social consequence.  Disadvantages: children screaming "OHSA" down the cereal isle.  Meh... I can deal with cereal killers.  Also I believe that once my beautiful children have become trilingual by the time they're 10, learned all of Mozart's concertos on the recorder by heart, successfully contemplated the Iraq War, and found Carmin Sandiego (take a breath here, there's more sentence to come) they will truly be ready for a more globalized world.  And, maybe, just maybe, I'll have a beautiful personal connection with my children that only we will share.  :)

5. Slowly deploying for employment - China is a freshly plucked chicken waiting to be cooked.  I intend to woo the chicken into the pot, make it give me approximately $1200/month (plus apartment), teach me Chinese, and not scream too much in the process.  It will be a wonderful relationship, chicken and I. Reference - Chinese Chicken song.  Go ahead.  Have a drumstick and your brain starts __________.

6. Tickling my students vocal chords - It's not what you think.  I promise!  But seriously, and slightly connected to this subtitle, I have been teaching my students how to stumble through Disney songs.  I just made the boys and girls do a duet to "Whole New World".  Let's just say my life has taken on a new fantastic point of view listening to my students rock these songs.

7. Enjoying every sunrise, every sunset, and every moment.

90 days.  Wasn't there a movie about changing your life or something in 90 days? 

Well.  Here's to making sure this life, this awesome volunteering life I'm cherishing right now, will never escape the cytoplasm of my cerebellum. 

Life is good.

Enjoy the pictures.

 Movie night with the fam.  Happiness included.

 Our group was not complete without the wooden shark on the airplane.

 Ran Annim (Hello)

 You're not official til' you're got shirts.

 Receiving my COS certificate.
 The track seems ready for the Microgames in 80 days, right?  Socchi anyone?