August 20th, 2011
Never in my life have I been on such an emotional rollercoaster. Not even middle school can compare to my ever-changing mood swings. One minute I have never felt happier and within 10 minutes I am having a quarter life crisis. I’ve become so manic that I feel like Dr. Jeckal and Mr. Hyde. One moment I am seriously breaking-down and the next I’m content. And to make it worse I have all the time in the world to sit and ponder those emotions.
It’s an awful feeling. Sitting with yourself, deeply analyzing your every trait to the point of self-destruction. Then you remember that everyone around you has troubles that are so heavy you can’t even think about what it would be like to hold them. In a blink of an eye your mental state whips into a downward spiral of self-doubt entwined with anger for even wasting the time on such a trouble as emotional happiness when you could be using your brain towards how to help others. You know you’re here to help but have no idea how and can’t find peace to sooth your worries. You hit rock bottom with a thud of guilt. Loneliness slaps you across the face and tells you, you deserve it. If you hadn’t spent so much time thinking about your emotional state maybe you would have a friend. Then thud you fall to the sub basement of rock bottom with another thud of guilt. Its dark down there. You lie there with only the sound of your own breath letting you know that you’re still alive. It’s hard to get up but you do with of the last ounce of self-respect you can find and the thin, thin hope that once you get up you will find something to lean against. Something that makes everything seem worthwhile.
Good news is there is a ying to that yang. Ying (said with a same positive flair as zing) is the opposite of that awful feeling. It that moment when life is so justified you could burst with happiness, self-worth, and warmth. This is the moment when everything is bathed in a golden ray of light and you notice just how beautiful the tiniest detail is. Those moments, here in Africa, when you make that connection with someone, you set a goal and accomplish it, you learn something new. During these moments the world is still and calm and thankfully so is your mind. Its like your brain puts its game face on and says bring it on world, I’m ready to deal with whatever you got. You find solutions to problems so fast you don’t have time to emotionally process that you had a problem. You have an armor of endorphins to back you up. And endorphins make people happy, and happy people don’t just shoot their husbands.
Its one extreme to the other. Its so back and forth it can make you nauseous… literally. Perhaps I have experienced these intense emotion before, but never this raw. Never have I ever not had something to cover them up with, never have I ever had to acknowledge their existence. Now, after the completion of a quarter century of life, I am listening to life itself.
I wonder if this is what ever single Peace Corps Volunteer feels. Sometimes it’s so hard to believe that it gets better. Everything seems impossible at this point. Everything is so foreign. You just want to run and honestly I can’t believe more people don’t. They say this is “the hardest job you’ll ever love.” It’s hard, that is the most honest statement I’ve ever made. But love. Where is it? When does it come? I was so confident that my global perspective, open-mindedness, and love of discovering new cultures would support me without a doubt through this. But it’s not. Is it the way PC is set up? Is it Swaziland? Is it just plain loneliness? Is it adjustment? Whatever it is it sucks. This feeling right now sucks. I hope, hope, hope, hope that it gets better. PC wouldn’t exist if it never got better right?
Hopefully I haven’t depressed all of you in my venting. As I hope all of you have seen in my previous posts I have felt the love here, I have just temporarily lost it. Like the loss of any love it takes an adjustment period to find your balance again. At least that’s what I am telling myself.