Why do I feel as if nothing profound or interesting can come from my pen anymore? I’ve been avoiding the blog for that reason. In fact, I’ve been avoiding a lot lately.
There’s always misplaced emotions when I anticipate big changes in my life. I tend to dramatize, to minimize, to fixate, and of course, to cry. A lot. The latter is primarily how I’ve been dealing with the change of leaving this island after over two years, the longest period I’ve ever spent in any one place abroad.
I won’t say that this has been the best experience of my life. If best means the easiest and the happiest. Because, if you have been reading my posts, Madagascar has not always been particularly easy or happy. But yes, it has been an experience to remember. Challenging. Revealing. Bruising. Redemptive.
A few weeks ago, I went on my last work trip to the coast. There was a week-long quarterly meeting with all the field agents in our department, and I found myself getting upset by small things—the way someone spoke to me, being the butt yet again of a joke whose punchline I didn’t get. I was sick of not getting the punchline, always being on the receiving end of laughter. I could feel myself becoming overly sensitive and preemptively defensive about everything. A look, a comment, a tone of voice.
But it is absolutely inexcusable for me to treat others badly because I feel stressed, anxious, nervous, unsettled, or emotional. I am perpetuating negativity. My negative thoughts breed negative actions which multiply and infect myself and those around me, ultimately returning those feelings I want so badly to avoid straight back to where they started. Within me.
So I am changing my attitude. I am choosing to enjoy these last weeks here in this country, to look back on the time I spent here with gratitude and optimism, because that is the only option I am allowing myself. I am imperfect, there is so much that I need to work on still, but I will not let my spirit feel defeated by disappointment or rejection. I will not feel guilt or despair any longer. I choose not to.