So, today I got into a total, "Get stuff done" mode. I got things cleaned up in my office, plans made for the next week, some fairly important tasks done. It's been a pretty good day, even with having to sit at the high school desk for two hours and get my flower interrupted, with a deadline to meet for a wiring project, with no kids for elementary basketball because I didn't get my note to parents sent home. I got a ton of work done, I needed a day like this.
Then, after work, I went out to eat with a group of folks. It was nice because it wasn't really my 'usual' group. I'm getting better and better about making an effort to interact with the new people. We had a good time, the director went with us which is pretty cool.
It's cool because as you may remember, he had a massive heart attack while we were hiking at the end of the year last year, and almost died. There were times we weren't sure he was going to come back, but he did. He's an awesome guy, and it's great to have him back.
The end of our trip was a little exciting, as I got to figure out how to change a tire on a Land Rover. It was an ideal situation for tire changing, though, so life is OK. I got back and walked and talked with some friends for a while, now I'm telling you about my day.
I've been reminded again that my attitude, especially about my job, is key to my life here. When I have the attitude that I am going to get stuff done, I get stuff done pretty well. When I don't have that attitude, I'm not as good at it.
No more noose, no more surrender to the things that hold me down. Today, I surrender to one thing only, the One that holds me up.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
So, today I got into a total, "Get stuff done" mode. I got things cleaned up in my office, plans made for the next week, some fairly important tasks done. It's been a pretty good day, even with having to sit at the high school desk for two hours and get my flower interrupted, with a deadline to meet for a wiring project, with no kids for elementary basketball because I didn't get my note to parents sent home. I got a ton of work done, I needed a day like this.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
I don't always get everything that I want. I get everything that I need.
The dawn breaks with ever-increasing reluctance as this year winds its way along.
I have so much more and so much less than I deserve.
If I didn't have my friends, I wouldn't be where I am.
There is no other name.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/30/2008 01:07:00 PM
Friday, August 29, 2008
... and who are you now?
I've realized that I am still trying, too much, to hold on to who I used to be. Instead of letting go and embracing the changes that are occurring in me and in my life, I am trying to exact and extract a measure of control over my life, over circumstances, over what people think of me. I try to be who I think I want to be, instead of being who I should be. And the profound thing that struck me today while I was in meeting is that there may be nothing wrong with who I want to be, but its not who I should be. I guess to clarify, when I say nothing wrong with it, what I mean is that there is no inherent problem with the idea of someone being like that. Rather, this is not what I am meant to be. So therefore, my attitude needs to change, and I need to surrender this attempt to control my life. I need to discover how I am supposed to be what I am supposed to be.
I also know that following through on this will be difficult for me. But I do what I have to do. Poorly sometimes, but I do it.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/29/2008 12:58:00 PM
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Yesterday, I played basketball. We had a legendary game of horse going that involved shooting 70 foot shots, shooting from the street and over the wall, shooting from balconies, alleyoops from behind the wall. They we played 2-2 for an hour and a half. Good times.
I goofed off a lot of the day. Did some work, mostly relaxed. I guess I'm getting behind, but I've got time to catch up.
I had an experience yesterday that almost made me realize why it is that I am here.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/28/2008 10:53:00 PM
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Well. It's been another day.
I subbed for Spanish today. Why do I keep having to sub for foreign languages? Why couldn't I sub for something easy like Math or Geography, things I could actually almost wing? No, I have to wing 45 minutes of 6th grade Spanish.
Then, I had to sit up front, wear a tie, and talk during parent orientation. About something that won't even be my job on Saturday! WAHOO!
Then I went to the coffee shop and they were out of ice cream, so no shake.
So, in retaliation, I am going to play video games tonight.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/27/2008 10:11:00 AM
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
So, we didn't get to play frisbee tonight. I am really bummed out about this. We came back and played volleyball, but that's not the same: you don't get to run. I've acted way too hyper and dumb the rest of the evening because of this.
Work is going. I need to get some things done, and I'm not being as productive as I need to be. Which is frustrating, and even more frustrating because some of the things that I need to be productive on, I feel like I can't do right, a.k.a. how I want to do them.
Did I mention no Frisbee?
Did I mention that I'm a little kid?
Did I mention that I have randomness issues?
DID I MENTION THAT NOTHING IS SANE ANYMORE?
Sigh. I need to go to sleep for a while.
Did I mention that this place drives me nuts and is apparently supposed to?
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/26/2008 11:07:00 AM
Monday, August 25, 2008
I've been having these moments recently where I find myself looking around the cor-
Midway point of the second week. Monday nights mean guys group. Tonight, one of the ideas we talked about was serving, and being a bondservant. It's a harder thing than one might originally think of, because being a bondservant means to consider first the wishes of the master, his over anything else. I don't do that as well as I should.
The waters around me often bring me out to ask, "Where is my mind?" Is there anything in it?
Student activities and basketball start next week. I'm pretty pumped.
You know you're in Kabul when...
- The maintenance staff dusts the trees by hosing them down.
- You switch from generator to city power, blow a light bulb, and then talk about how many times a bulb has blown in that room.
- You begin to seriously plan how you could get the school to buy an ice cream maker as a morale booster.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/25/2008 12:44:00 PM
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Looping verses, and the secondary traction.
I just got interrupted by a phone call, asking how to change light bulbs.
Anyway, life has been going pretty good.
I've got some randomness stored up, so here it goes.
The tired flagging elephant left itself around the surfer, and regrew a heap of the finest Mexican tequila. Slamming of directives and the placement of tweeters happened to find the kit wherewithal reluctantly planning a new episode of the tinniest yellow bears. The roses protruded into the finest lavender window panes, and the ice cream sea. A Caribbean finding was black as the choicest cut of a fresh carpet paver. Way down yonder to the fluoride apoplexy, a guacamole-covered decrepit played a sorrowful lunch-time mush. Support pillars, a fortification of unprecedented nucleonics, played themselves out in a real-time field of intrinsically northwest propellers. Led by a courageous sidereal port, meat shorn by long ages of inconsolable Wheatabix.
Where is my mind?
I find an incomparable solace in the knowledge that people are actually listening to what I say every once in a while.
I find an incomparable solace in the knowledge that what I say has no meaning, at the same time that I know what I say can change things forever.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/24/2008 10:08:00 AM
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Before the rest of the days peter out, I just need to use the evidence that I have. And I use it pretty poorly most of the time. Maybe every once in a while I hit the right notes. I'm not sure any more.
It's frustrating to be underestimated or pigeon-holed. I think people don't exactly realize, no matter how many times I tell them, that the job I'm doing now is not exactly what I'm trained at or really good at. And I admit that sometimes, well, most of the time, I am a goofball. But when I do get going on the time that I actually can do, systems design, it seems to surprise people. Which frustrates me, because I feel like I do try to not expect people to always act a certain way according to some preconception that I have, and of course, everyone should be like me.
It's frustrating to be overestimated or have irrational things expected of me. One of my friends discusses his personal problems with me. I basically have no idea why. I have little advice or encouragement to give him, I have little help that is actually viable to share. I just listen most of the time, and don't do a great job of that. Still, he talks to me. I don't get it.
There are times that I have no idea why I was sent to this place. There are times that I think it's because I'm doing a good job, there are times that I think it is because I'm here to be a relief for people, a support for people. There are times when I think it's about my growth, there are times when I think it's about me seeing the growth of others. There are times when I think it's just so I can hang out with a six year old. Whatever the real reason is, I doubt I'll ever know it.
There are times that I think my life here is in someways the breakdown, or pause, or whatever you want to call it in a rock song. The intro is finished, and then there's a quick pause before they power into the verse. It's like the intro to my life is done, and this is the pause before I get thrust into the meaning that I was made for. If that's true, I have nothing to fear.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/23/2008 10:27:00 AM
Friday, August 22, 2008
Other towns, exterior construction projects involve building benches or nice Zen Buddhist rock gardens that important conversations happen in (Jonathan, you have to get this joke.). In my current city of residence, they tend to mean something different. I helped my buddy with one today. Need to bribe someone who can sew now. It's all a-ok, they're not sewing me up.
I've waited here for you, and all this time while I was searching for something, you really were, are right there waiting.
Week two starts tomorrow. I did very little work this weekend. I did solve problems. I did help people. I did listen to way too many Foo Fighters songs. I did watch a couple of movies with my buddies.
I played Volleyball for two and a half hours today. I really need to get someone to show or explain proper form to me, because I still can't hit or serve consistently. And I set terribly. But my team won a couple times, so I wasn't totally incompetent, I guess.
I am so glad for all different kinds of friends that I can hangout with, and so many different people that I can grow to appreciate here.
After this morning's meeting, I was beginning to feel inadequate and unprepared to spend another year in this place, as I, with all of my failings, struggles, life, differences in personality from others, with all this self-centered baggage, began to compare myself to some people here whom I really admire, and only see myself in light of my deficiencies. Now, I know this mode is one of particular temptation for myself, for reasons that I unfortunately have never broken free from. And as I compare myself, a thought grows in my mind that all of the things about me that I thought I could fix by coming here, they aren't fixed, because I thought I could fix them. So I will try to surrender this urge, and instead let them be fixed by another. Because I can't make it on my own.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/22/2008 12:37:00 PM
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Yesterday, I did minimal work, and goofed off most of the day. I played some one-on-one in the morning, then read, played computer games, read news online... then had supper and followed that up by playing golf (cards) with 4 friends. It was a good game, I was last the whole game until the last hand where I got second, the guy I was tied with for last won, and the guy who had been first the whole game (literally, hands 1-8) got last, because we stuck him with almost 40 points the last two hands.
This morning, I woke up, had to force myself to go work out, and now I'm awake but not awake.
It's going to be a good day today. I know it, because I'm going to be joyful today.
The candle burns alone.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/21/2008 09:05:00 PM
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
The first week is done. I have mixed feelings about it.
I need to be different by now, and I'm just not willing to give in to it.
I realize that this blog has sounded really whiny, really meaningless, mostly worthless over the last month or so. I just don't know how to describe things anymore. There's not the time nor the inclination to begin to really understand or explain what's going on with me. I guess I'm not letting anyone get the best of me. I need to let go at the same time that I grab hold.
So, I'm going to tell you some things that I am thankful for.
- I am thankful for a cook that likes me and makes me special versions of meals sometimes.
- I am thankful for friends who invite me to go out to eat with them and their kids.
- I am thankful for power and internet.
- I am thankful for friends who know what I need to be encouraged when I whine to them.
- I am thankful for the ability to forget about stress for a while.
- I am thankful for friends who just talk.
In addition to what I am thankful for, I'll tell you what I hope you'll Remember.
- My grandmother, whose pacemaker implant seems to have gone well, and who should get released today.
- My best friend and his family, as they continue to deal with the death of a beloved mother and grandmother.
- One of my friends here who is dealing with stress and sickness.
- Friends I made this summer who teach at one of my organization's sister schools in Brazil and who are having to learn lessons in patience while they wait for their visas to get approved.
- My attitude, because it's been pretty poor lately.
- This land, because we've got some instability to deal with.
Take the best from me. There's not much here, but what there is, I will give.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/20/2008 01:06:00 PM
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I wanted to tell you that I listened, but it would have been a lie. I was thinking of what I would do or say next.
I wanted to tell you that I had a home once, but I gave it away, I lost it, I left it behind, and something tells me that I won't miss it. It wouldn't have lasted anyway, and I'm exactly sure you would understand that.
I wanted to tell you that I just had to turn the corner, and all this darkness would run away forever, but for every corner I conquer, there's another one to be faced.
I wanted to tell you that this dream you seem to be putting me into is going to fade like everything else that I touch, but I got so enamored with the scenery that I let you down.
I wanted to tell you that I missed you, but I don't think this feeling takes the form for me that it does for you, and so I think if I said I would be misleading you.
I wanted to tell you that I'm not who I used to be, and I'm failing at who I'm supposed to be.
I wanted to tell you that this is the last time I do anything like this, but I can't say it with any assurance that it is true.
I wanted to tell you that I love you, but I don't know what that really means.
I wanted to tell you that I say these things, and they're not all to one person, but then you'd just try to figure out who you are in this list.
I wanted to tell you that I'll let you down someday.
I wanted to tell you that I know someone who is not me, and who is who I want to be.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/19/2008 12:22:00 PM
Monday, August 18, 2008
I am surrounded by heroes, by men who give without thought of reward, by men who surrender that which others would hold as important, by men who are just as human as I, by men who follow, by men who lead.
Would that I be worthy of such company. Would that I had a servant's heart, and a tongue to obey.
Who am I? I know who I am.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/18/2008 12:28:00 PM
Thoughts from a day off where I haven't gotten as much done as I should have.
- Drying clothes actually smell kind of nice.
- When the cooks don't cook, I usually just eat junk food all day (chocolate muffin for breakfast, ramen for lunch, probably ramen for supper.
- I need to interact with people more, but I don't exactly want to for reasons that are less complicated than you might imagine - namely, people expect too much.
- I bought speakers off of a departing teacher at the end of last year. Sound quality is so much better on speakers than on just the laptop.
- I need to get more done, but I don't have any real need to get more done, if that makes sense.
- I played basketball for two+ hours this morning. I need to drive with my head up more.
- I also need to work on defending the drive.
- Oceans are really far away from here.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/18/2008 08:07:00 AM
Sunday, August 17, 2008
My best friend's grandma passed away Sunday.
She was a faithful woman, who I know loved much and was loved much in return. Please remember her family during this time.
And we long for the day when the sting will be felt no more, when the curse is lifted.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/17/2008 09:43:00 PM
My phone rang 10 more times before 11:00 A.M.
Silence just keeps on working.
I hate staff meetings.
I guess it sometimes doesn't pay to not say no to people.
One day, we'll never have to say good bye ever again. One day, the purpose of all the little things that happen in our days, the troubles, the struggles, the successes, the happiness, it will all come together. How I long for that day.
I wish I could say no sometimes. And I wish I was less whiny.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/17/2008 07:39:00 AM
Saturday, August 16, 2008
The 400th post (that'd be this one) on this iteration of the blog contains thoughts from the end of the first day of school.
- I need to do laundry.
- Power Converters here that want to have 'Indoor Use Only' make me laugh. We're in Kabul, I don't think anything on this campus qualifies as most people's definition of 'indoor.'
- As I walk down the uneven stairs in a dark school building, long after hours (yeah, I'm working late. Too much to get done.), I wonder for not the first time, "What would the thoughts be of the first person to find me, lying here in a heap at the bottom of the stairs tomorrow morning?"
- I'm being a hermit and I don't care.
- I am such a waste of space here.
- I want a Ballpark Frank smothered in Ketchup.
- I am a weakling who just wants to cry sometimes.
- I hope someone else has a plan for me here, because I have no idea what I am doing here.
- I wish I could change.
- There are so many new kids here, I wonder how long it will take me to learn their names?
- Why do I have to be the person who has this dual relationship between getting stuff done and not wanting to step on anyone's toes?
- If this was over, I would be happy.
- Peace and knees belong on the same place.
- I have more and less than I ever thought possible.
- I wish people would invite me to do something, but I don't want to watch a movie.
- I want to know where home is.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/16/2008 11:39:00 AM
Through all the ignorance and lies.
Today was the first day of school. The first day of school is always long. My lack of planning was more evident today than normal, and there were lots of things that I should have gotten done earlier that I either didn't get done, forgot about, or came up. The thing about my job that frustrates me, which is probably the reason I have it, is that I feel like I have to handle it gracefully when someone else's lack of planning becomes my emergency. Of course, I do this to other people as well, so it is kind of hypocritical for me to complain, but I do it anyway.
Anyway, stuff went well today, stuff broke today, I was frustrated, I didn't get stuff done, I made some people's day better, and in all, I just am here. I'm happy that I can make stuff work for people. I'm happy that I can figure things out. I'm unhappy that I have to explain procedures to people whose title would indicate that they should know the procedures. I'm unhappy that I tell people I will get something done, and then I don't manage to. I'm just fine with the fact that I'm here at work at 6:30 after I tried to chase other people out of their offices saying, they needed to go home so they didn't burn out. (Again, I am a hypocrite.)
OK, another thing that happened today, that I feel awkward about talking about, but I have to process it somehow, and I figure, what the hey, I'll talk about it here. (I made a deal with myself a couple months ago to try to treat people the same way in public as I do in private, and the related thing with that is talk about people in public and in private the same way. So I try not to say things away from people that I wouldn't say to them, and now I'm digressing.
We got an e-mail from the school director saying we were going to get a pay increase, all of us across the board. I read this, and promptly forgot about it. Someone mentioned it to me later as a good thing, and I remembered it, made some nice noises, and forgot again. Someone said something else to me, and I commented that I really didn't care. I don't care. It's this relationship that I have with money - I don't care. Part of it is that I have always had enough money for what I wanted. The other part of it is that I have never regarded money as something important. Again, maybe it's because I have always had enough money. But I didn't take this job to make bank - I didn't take this job to become rich. Being paid was a nice perk when I took the job, but I would have taken it if I didn't get compensated. Maybe part of it is that I have no debt, no real expenses, no reason to have money.
I don't know what this nonchalance about money, or my ready revealing of my financial state says about me. I don't know why I even care enough to post this, but I do. I don't exactly think that it's me trying to brag, I think maybe it's me just not comprehending all of this. When you've never wanted for anything, it's hard to imagine doing so. When you're not who they thought you were, it's hard to be anything else.
Well, since I started this post, it's been an hour and a half, I've unjammed the copier twice, gotten a wireless router working again, and done half a dozen other unimpressive things. Yay for me.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/16/2008 08:42:00 AM
Friday, August 15, 2008
So, yesterday, I defeated the copier problems, won and lost at volleyball, watched a funny movie, got to hang with my friends, was a problem solver, and just basically, I was me and pretty awesome at it.
School starts tomorrow. I'm ready for it and not at the same time.
Here we go again.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/15/2008 09:02:00 PM
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I got to go running this morning. I'm finding more and more out about myself all the time. Just because they don't means I don't have to.
This discovery keeps bringing itself back to me... I am my own agent for chaos, agent for growth, agent for change. I have this battling sense, however, that I must surrender these desires to be my own initiator, my own reason for doing what it is that I do. It is as though I must choose to not choose, to choose to give up my right to choose. I wonder about things - how much can I have career goals, or career plans when I am trying to follow the lead? How can I break away from this sense of immobility, because I'm trying to be mobile? How can I defeat this feeling of control when in truth, I need to be powerless?
How can I be more, when I feel like less? How can I be less, when I feel like more? How can I see, when I need to be blind? How can I be blind, when I need to see?
Days I feel like this, I am reminded that I live on tension, that we all should. When one walks a tightrope, one wants tension. One wants to know that the rope is stretched as far as it can go, for in that tension, there is safety and security, if one submits to the tension, feels the tension, uses the tension. So alive...
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/14/2008 11:18:00 PM
I've got the lab back together. I reflected on who I really am, and what things really mean to me. I made the most of who I have been placed here to be. I made my own task list smaller.
The ice is melting again. I can't hide it or fight it.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/14/2008 12:23:00 PM
So, we're having a moderate dust storm here - the first since I've been back (we've had little ones, this is bigger). Whenever these happen, it always makes me wonder :
Are we being attacked by aliens who made their first strike a kinetic energy weapon from a high orbital, and this is the shockwave of some major city nearby being destroyed?
Wouldn't you worry?
Busy crazy day. Which is why making a post like this is vital, VITAL for my sanity.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/14/2008 05:50:00 AM
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Ah, being me. I went with the science teacher and his family to the coffee shop for supper tonight. I tried to teach the six year-old to count in his second numbering system (binary. [But I was doing it on my fingers, so it was kind of hard.]), and then we worked on counting in Dari and Spanish. He also decided he wanted to come with me on my million dollar trip (we decided if I got a million dollars, we would get a ride on the weightless drop airplane, BASE Jumping with the squirrel suits, and parachuting onto every continent.) Then, when we were walking home, the two year old wanted me to carry her, and refused to go to her mom when we got almost to their house. I love kids. Especially when they aren't mine.
I helped sort out our shipment of stuff tonight. We have a lot of stuff shipped over to us every year, because it's hard to get teacher supplies here. And I don't think our shipping system is overly efficient, and it takes more time than it should. I have wild ideas to improve it.
And, today was all staff meetings today. Then I did work in the afternoon. Did pretty well in a couple games of knockout we played, and won a game of 3-on-3.
School starts soon. Therefore thinking that this thrust 'tis temporary, I inquired.... well, that alliteration failed, so I think I'm done with this blog post.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/13/2008 01:08:00 PM
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Frisbee tonight. I love Frisbee. My team ended up doing decently. It's just great to get out and run.
All-staff meetings today. Some of you may remember the trials and tribulations that I described last year about one facet of the early meetings, which was telling our life story. So this year, we had ten minutes or so to plan, and five to present. And like usual, I struggle with how to describe myself to people... I'm so inconsistent and intransigent that it makes describing the most important things to me difficult. I think it doesn't help that I am a weirdo. For example, I was running out of time at the end, so I wrote down that I wanted to be Batman. This was after several other random things that I said. The principal also followed up my comments about myself by saying that anyone else who wanted more of the same could read my blog. I perceive that if the principal readds my blog, and I haven't gotten fired yet, I'm doing fine.
This video is one of the awesomest, saddest, and all around nerdiest things I have seen in a long time.
I am so.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/12/2008 11:56:00 AM
Sunday, August 10, 2008
I sleep with the window right above my bed open. When I wake up in the morning, I can tell how windy it was last night by how dusty my mouth tastes.
Today is the last day before my official duties really start. Not that I haven't been working the last week, but tomorrow it starts again for real. I've got so much that still needs to get done...
Jetlag is still hanging around. I fell asleep watching olympics last night around 9:45, then woke up at midnight, was wide awake until 1:15ish, then woke back up around 5:21 a.m. However, this is the first time I've not been awake for the 3:10-3:20 call, so I'm counting that as an improvement.
I can't complain.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/10/2008 08:16:00 PM
Plane tickets back to the 'Stan - ~$2000
1.5 liters of Sprite - 35 afs
Macbook - ~$1200
Realizing that you could have been the same, but chose to change, and realizing that you could have changed but chose to stay the same. - Priceless.
I wish I could see. Instead, I trust that I won't fall so far.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/10/2008 12:23:00 PM
"Why do I get the sudden urge to put you back in that medical center?"
There are days when I wish I weren't a neophile who didn't want change instead of stability, and who, paradoxically, thinks things are going to stay the same forever.
I so want to be more and less of who I am, and I so want to be more towards what I was Made to be. The only problem is finding out what I really was Made for, and getting rid of those things that I think I was made for.
Hope you find what you were meant for. Stay sharp.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/10/2008 10:56:00 AM
Well, only one more set of people in, and the returns will be complete. I've been so happy to see my friends.
I need to get more work done.
It feels like a question less of irrelevance and more of ignoble provocation.
I've got to keep my head above the water again.
I think school starts in about a week.
Bot, I'm instable and all over the place tonight.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/10/2008 09:47:00 AM
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Today, I am a bipolar, isolationist, wanderlusting twelve year old with a Walter Mitty complex who doesn't handle complements well, can't get his work done, and has only one person who he will probably agree to interact with tonight, if he calls.
Bipolar, because today has been alternatively good and bad. Isolationist because it's the first week, it is 6:00 P.M. and I don't want to do anything with anybody already, except for one friend who I will hang out with if he is feeling better enough to. Wanderlusting because even though I know I'm supposed to be here, I love the people here, I can handle my job here, I'm wondering if I should have used my adaptability and gone somewhere else. Twelve year old, because I feel especially like a immature little kid today for a lot of reasons, Walter Mitty because of all that I dream about myself becoming. Complements because one of the new folks told me today that when I said I was 24, they were surprised because I displayed maturity and wisdom of someone far older. (I didn't laugh at this person. Aren't all of you who tell me I need to accept praise better, aren't you all proud?) Can't get work done because, well, people call and I get distracted, and because I am lazy.
I'm struck by the fact that I never change, whilst I concordantly never stay the same. I've been trying to be social, be friendly, be welcoming to new people, and I think I've overdone it. I don't want to really talk to them tonight. However, at the same time, I'm entirely willing to spend the evening with my buddy. This is me and how I always have been, minimal friendships, but good ones when I can really form them.
A Day Late.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/09/2008 08:29:00 AM
Friday, August 08, 2008
We had Meeting recently, and I remembered again how much I love this place and the people who I know here. There are so many amazing people that I have met, so many amazing people that I know now that I am humbled to be here, to be in their company.
I am not anything without... well, you know the bloom.
All the new people are here, all of the rest of the returnees will get here tomorrow or Monday. It's funny how it feels like it's all slowly starting to come together, and how it's the same but not. You keep expecting to see last year's folks that left, and they're not coming back.
But life is change, change is good, and I need to start work, because I haven't been getting enough done. I slept for 3 hours last night, and then kind of went in and out for three and a half. So more improvement, I guess.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/08/2008 09:40:00 PM
When I was a kid ("Back when I was a little kid..."), I think my absolute favorite breakfast was honeycomb or life cereal and grape juice. I had grape juice this morning. It made me miss the cereal.
And I wouldn't trade it for the world. I guess I won't give up.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/08/2008 12:14:00 AM
Thursday, August 07, 2008
I got five hours of fairly normal, regularly timed sleep, from 11:00 PM to 4:12 A.M. this morning. I am pretty excited about this.
So far this morning, I have worked in my office for a half hour, finishing some states-related e-mails that I am hoping to get situations resolved before their weekend, turned the generator in my building on, thrown rocks at cats (do you know what they do in my backyard at all hours of the night??? You'd throw rocks at them to. Don't worry, I don't actually try to hit them, just scare them off), read and responded to e-mails, listened to He Is Legend on my speakers, and now I am thinking I am going to start Crusade, since I have a big screen in my room right now.
Speaking of my room, I need to figure out some good place for my computer bag and my shoes, because I there's not a good place in the closet for the bag, but I just realized I could put my shoes in there... yay! One step closer to the ideal spartan room.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/07/2008 10:09:00 PM
I got some more done today. Still lots to do, still more I keep seeing that I need to do, and still struggling to focus enough to get it done.
My best Kabul buddy and I went out for supper tonight. I'm truly Grateful for a friend like him here, because we can just talk, we can support each other, we can Talk about each other, and keep each other going during tough times. I'm glad he's here for this time.
Shot baskets. Decided that the only way I can possibly dance is alone, on a basketball court, with a ball.
Trying to stay up later tonight in hopes that I can translate the five hours of sleep into five hours of sleep at a time that is helpful and normal for me.
Listening to older music. I still enjoy Beloved and some old school 5IF (WHEN I GO OUT....!)
So, convinced that I'm where I need to be, I just need to do a better job of being here.
*edit* It is the 7th of august, and I have posted 17 entries on my blog. Clearly, I need to slow down.
p.s. Why is a raven like a writing desk?
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/07/2008 12:23:00 PM
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
I got some more stuff done yesterday. Not lots but some. We went to the coffee shop, which has moved. It's pretty nice in the new location. Then, after supper, I decided I was going to watch a movie. So I got speakers, hauled over one of the 24' apple screens the school got second hand, and hooked it into my computer. I decided to watch Children of Men, which is one of my favorite movies. I was not tired at all. I started to fall asleep right away. I saw bits and pieces of the movie, but mostly slept. Woke up at 1:00. So I got about six hours of sleep, but just not at the best time, because then I laid awake from 1:00 to 6:00, when I got up to go exercise. I hate jetlag. And I need to do better at having good sleep hygiene.
I've got a lot to do, and I really have to work to push myself to get it done. It is still weird here with everyone who is/isn't here.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/06/2008 09:18:00 PM
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
I am tired, sore, busy, and really unmotivated this morning. I'm two steps away from making a list of things I need to do today, and then giving it to someone so they can harp on me at the end of the day if I didn't get the stuff done.
Jetlag, I hate you. I hate you so much. Because you make me wake up tired, make it hard to exercise, then let me feel fine, then tired again, then you make my emotions incomprehensible, and then I just want to put on my headphones and yell for a while. I really, really hate you, jetlag.
I wish I could get this all figured out, and then I could have a different set of challenges.
I got to play Frisbee last night. Even though I was basically terrible and the altitude was affecting me way too much, it was fun. This is part of why I am sore.
I really like listening to StarFlyer when I am jetlagged. I am the portugese blues. And so it begins, once again. Pretty soon I'm going to be randomly telling people, "So I went to Japan" all of the time. And then I'll start singing My Island songs all of the time. And then, I'll just have to go to sleep.
I hate jetlag. Because now I want to go to bed, and I have all this work to do. Why couldn't I have been sleepy at 1:30 A.M. this morning, jet lag? I hate you so much.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/05/2008 10:58:00 PM
So, part of my jetlag is that I don't get tired at night. Which kind of stinks, because not only do I have to lay around to get to sleep, but I have to lay awake after I wake back up. I should be tired, I was in the heat all day, and I played Ultimate for an hour and a half. But I'm not really tired. I need more self-discipline.
Anyway, I find that I fall into the same cycles over and over again, and I just need to get out of the rut. Maybe. Maybe not. But at least I recognize it? I suppose there's no profit in that if I don't do anything about that.
Today, while I was working, I...
What was that?
Ok, I guess no funny story in this blog entry. Oh, well. Maybe you'll still read me later? I guess I'm still kind of jetlagged.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/05/2008 01:00:00 PM
So far today, I have - Upgraded the grading system to the new version. Emailed back and forth with one of our new staff guys because he missed his flight into Kabul so I've been trying to help him get a new flight and find a place to stay in Dubai. Counted the money in the safe for the business folks. Got the copier sent away to be repaired. Unlocked three different buildings for people. Helped the principal move chairs in her office. Moved printers. Found equipment that I had let the staff borrow over the summer. Got the other copier sent away to be repaired. Worked on a computer. Tried to make a schedule for all the things I need to get done before school starts. Agreed to watch 140 elementary kids in car line (think:dismissal time) for 20 minutes every day. And it's only just lunch!
I love my job so much. I really do.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/05/2008 03:45:00 AM
Monday, August 04, 2008
So, the office officially opens today, and I have to start being productive. We'll see how well this actually ends up working out.
I am so glad I am back here. I don't want to make is sound like I hate it in the States, which I definitely don't hate most of it, but I am just glad to be back here, to be back in the place I feel like I'm supposed to be.
I slept for over 3 hours last night! Maybe I'm finally beating this jetlag thing.
I wish I had more space to run in the morning instead of just around the campus... 175 meters, over and over and over and over again.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/04/2008 10:24:00 PM
Whilst in Dubai on Saturday morning, waiting to fly over, I was describing to a friend something that my sister and I had done Wednesday before I left, and I said, "Yesterday,..." then realized that it only seemed like yesterday.
I decided to shave. I'll probably grow the beard in October.
Jetlag, my good and faithful friend, I hate you. Go away.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/04/2008 02:06:00 AM
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Minimal sleep again. More people arriving. My phone has started ringing. I suppose it was bound to happen.
It's like we never had wings.
Between the call to prayer, the roosters, the dogs, and the donkey, there was probably no way I should have expected to sleep past 4:30 anyway.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/03/2008 07:08:00 PM
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Well. I'm still jetlaggy, still don't want to work, still have so much to do. Still have a portrait or two of what I expected everything to be like that needs to be dissolved. I refuse to be the empty-headed, narcissistic reprobate that I used to be. I embrace the new and probably broken me.
Yeah, I'm tired, maybe it doesn't all make sense, but whatever. Life here is familiar, comfortable, in so many ways easy, that I wonder if I need to go somewhere else so I can really suffer, really grow. Life here isn't going to be a cake-walk, isn't going to be like it was last year, isn't... sometimes I want to go somewhere else so I don't have to deal with all of the things I thought I had worked out.
And once again, I find myself in the same place that I just can't seem to escape from, the place where all I do is sit in thought as the plot of my days commences and I'm left with fences. I'm trying to decide if I should shave or not, and I see this deep metaphor in this decision that thirty seconds later, I'm kicking myself for thinking was anything special. I'm walking around in this trip that feels like it's not the same that I thought I should take part in. I find myself back in the same situations, back in the same patterns, back in the same old same old. And I've only been here two days. Jetlag, I hate you.
I keep making these excuses for why I feel so useless, but there is another long shadow on my days, another failed tiding for my eyes. It feels like I'm just another one of those people that I always disparaged and despised, that I didn't want to have much to do with because of how they acted. And guess what, yeah, now I'm doing it. It's like a dream that fades away, that I would have been better than this. But there is a reminder that this isn't one of those things that I can just throw to the side since I've lost that ideal of perfection. Instead, I have to strive to be better, have to strive not to let the burial of misconceptions be the burial of potential. Unavoidable, every day a new day to die, and a new one awaits. In the distance I see a vision of perfection, say hello to the end. I pursue my faith with a new lack of remorse. A quick eclipse.
So, I guess the jet lag is going to wear off one of these days and I will be fine again. I guess I'll discover, maybe on my own, what the color is. Maybe I'll have some realization that I don't have to really be in this cycle, and I'll get out of it. Someday, I will be prepared. Someday, I will be late, and I'll be where I can get this through.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/02/2008 11:53:00 PM
The last post was #378. Does anyone know why that is significant?
Today is like some bizarre, otherworldly Thursday or Friday. Because I'm just back, but no one else is, except for people who present, in this case, are an OCP (outside context problem.)
It's got to be some interstellar Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays...
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/02/2008 10:52:00 AM
...But I made it to Kabul with minimal hassles. Went out for Afghan burgers for lunch, am trying to work but am starting to lag out, am going to push as long as I can to stay awake, which should be fairly late.
And, I got the internet working! I'm pretty cool.
Look, I'm so tired, I'm not even trying to suppress my ego.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/02/2008 05:57:00 AM
Friday, August 01, 2008
...as I am reminded while in Dubai and see a guy with a gray-streaked mullet walk by in shorts, a Jeff Gordon cut-off-sleeves t-shirt, and a faded Denver Broncos hat.
Then again, it could just be hallucinations. Nah, it's our world.
Whichever part of the body regulates the biological clock hates me now.
I'm off to terminal two! (the wonderful wizard of... oh, that doesn't work. I need a new brainstem.)
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/01/2008 05:22:00 PM
He's sitting in an airport, again. It becomes more familiar each and every time, like a pair of new pants, left to dry. It's been a long day, and he finds that he needs to focus to remember everything that he pondered while on the airplane, but it is not easily coming to him.
He thinks back to the situation and feelings that went down about this time last year. Anxiety, both immediate (is he actually going to get there?) and long term (am I going to make it OK? Am I going to die out there? [In multiple senses of the word.]) He ponders that right now, he has no such anxiety about the immediate events, none at all. However, nothing about the long term feels quite as resolved. He realizes that he put up a brave face while there about being here (or soon-to-be-here, he admits is more accurate.) that needs to be put away now because he is here. And here is where he was meant to be. Here is where all the short days of his life have prepared him.
Introspective, now. Remembering how the cloud-layer over Lake Michigan blended in with the horizon, leaving no terminator, no point of reference to the orientation of the plane. Thinking on the simple joy at getting upgraded to decent class or whatever it is called, with wider seats, more foot room, and (most happily) no seatmate on his flight to Dubai. Pondering the seeing of people that he knows or at least recognizes from shared activities, some half a world away, while on this journey. Recalling his awakening on the plane, jolted to awareness by something that he couldn't quite put his finger on. Brainstem aching, but he knows he's got to stay up for a while longer now.
Knowing he's doing pretty good with jetlag right now, but glad he saved the battery on his MP3 player so he can hammer himself awake later. Realizing that his personally preferred method of hammering himself awake on a regular morning, sticking his headphones in and listening to music that might be considered unacceptable in some of his old social circles, while running relatively alone through the quiet countryside to flush the fatigue and soreness from his system. Further realizing that he's driven his last automatic through small farm roads at high speeds with the windows down whilst yelling lyrics to his music for at least three months.
Excited, now, as the clock keeps ticking. He's going to be back soon. Back. And not back. Instinctively, he knows that it will feel familiar for a day or two. Then it won't, and then it will again. It's like a simple dental procedure. At first, the tooth missing is purposefully normalized inside one's conscious, thinking about how it's normal now. Then it does become normal, without one forcing one's self to accept it. Then it becomes abnormal again, and what does this cycle say about our failed internalizations?
He's in Dubai again. One more leg, and he's back to Kabul.
He can't express the gratitude for the opportunities he had this summer to be around his family and his friends. Part of him wants to deny that he wishes he could be back there, but the more honest part of him knows he should probably admit it so people don't get the wrong impression of him. It's not that he doesn't want to be there, it's just that he can't be tere now, and so he is trying to cope, probably in unhealthy ways.
He may write again in Dubai, but probably not. He's kinda wrote out right now.
He wonders if normal will ever be definable again. He realizes he doesn't care.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/01/2008 03:43:00 PM
Following the footsteps of heroes never led to the safe and grey roads.
Instantiated by Russ at or around 8/01/2008 12:25:00 AM