There is the part where Frodo finally goes back to the Shire in Lord of the Rings. Sam gets married and has kiddies. Frodo gets on a boat and sails off into white light. I cant remember exactly how he put it, when he finished writing about his tale, but it mirrors how I feel right now.
Sunday has just slipped into Monday and I leave Wednesday morning for Egypt. I have mixed feelings about it. I feel good about this new step, this new possibility. I am mourning spending another 10 months away from people I care about. Missing Christmas. Burkina sinks into the murky background of the mess of life only I dont want to forget it... Before it was hard for me to put into terms for people in the states, but now, as my perspective shifts, it is getting hard for me to put it into terms for myself. I really wanted a career in international development. I really wanted to work on the hardest problems the earth knows concerning the human race. I wanted to be able to apply my very best skills to the very most dire issue. I know it sounds extreme, but this is what I wanted, to offer my life for this purpose. I still feel like I dont really deserve most of the things I have in this world, though most Americans dont, and some days I can reconcile that with myself and some days I cannot.
Work cant be my life, when it does I turn into a flaming car wreck. I felt like I had more control over my career than my love life though. Id deeply accepted for a while that I was merely hopeless about relationships but Ive changed my mind about that too. Ive become a lot more frightened of intimacy in the last few years, I know that much. Ive wondered to myself periodically if I was even capable of it recently. Ive been broken.
Maybe Ive been broken of career intent recently too. Reality has to creep in, and I need to ask myself just how much Im really willing to sacrifice. The price seems extraordinarily high at the moment. Or to be with an average lover in an average job in average America. People seem content this way often enough. Really I dont know how much Im willing to pay for the things Ive wanted. A lot of days the Peace Corps doesnt feel like much of an accomplishment. I sacrificed an incredible amount during my service, and in the past few months being in the states I have sacrificed a lot as well. Only they were completely different sacrifices. And a lot of lost diginity over not having a purpose... In the states I sacrificed my happiness more than I did in Burkina.
Lately I havent felt like I had any control over where my career goes. I see the difference in the way I approach the field, wonder if I want to be pulling teeth like that my whole life. I need to wonder if it is even worth it. Im not positive it is worth it to travel like I do. I know that I cant seem to live in the states. I feel dejected from this culture. I feel like I can't live on my own terms in this country, because my terms have been shaped by a completely different way of life anymore and maybe (consumerism and amassed material wealth, and complication of system, and fear of things that arent real)are not things that can ultimately be defied in a personal way. If the water is yellow, you will see yellow. Does knowing the water is yellow in the states make it possible to live as though the water were red?
I dont know anymore. I was flung back into a lifestyle I was born into and didnt choose with my parents, and their lifestyle at this point represents a whole lot I dont want for myself. Yet I live it here, and wonder if I will be able to take care of myself. All this while, I know I can, its just not the way other people define it. I would love to buy a little scooter and ride the subway to get around and then have the states magically have trains that go everywhere. And boats that go along the rivers I could ride. I would love to go buy vegetables from farmers and come home to cook it. Id love a place to live with big windows and lots of light and a good big front porch. Id go out there and write with a cup of tea and maybe a cigar. I think Id wear flip flops everywhere.
I could go on. I have these ideals in my head about work and love I suppose. Maybe its not reasonable to think one will construct or assemble career path. I dont know how to balance professional and personal happiness. And here I am leaving for Egypt, and wondering if maybe in so doing I am giving up on a dream, and maybe being average and being talk. I feel like Im not doing enough good by teaching English. I know that sounds terrible. I probably should explore this more, particularly so I dont sound like an asshole, but Im falling asleep...
At the moment, I have an opportunity lined up with an NGO in Nigeria after I finish in Egypt in June. I guess what it comes down to is, I dont know if it will be worth the sacrifice to me, because it will be two years away from home and is this really the direction I want to be taking? Do I really want things to be this hard, and potentially this incompatible with what I think I want in my personal life. Chris flat out told me he didnt want to go there with me because I was leaving, and yesterday I had another conversation in the ongoing series of conversations with an old friend who seems to want to date me and it seems we keep returning to the subject and between being terrified Ill lose him as a friend and me country hopping, I just keep saying no. And in general it just sucks. Its really really sucked saying goodbye to friends and knowing I wont see them. My human relationships are really important to me. And that too is not compatible with my behavior.
Alright, I really need to go to sleep.