The Adjustment Continues…

November 10, 2012 at 2:16 am 3 comments

Things that have been driving me absolutely insane:

  • When people react to each other with mean tones of voice or exaggerated annoyance/impatience. E’rybody just CHILL.
  • Facebook. I’m still overwhelmed at having access to it all the time, and react by feeling like I need to use it all the time.
  • The election. I can’t even go there.
  • Clutter. Every day I clean/throw out a little bit more.
  • The invisible pressure that I need to figure out what I’m going to do next and stop being a bum.
  • My hair. I can *almost* sit on it now. But it’s getting cut in 3 days.
  • The runaround of the healthcare system.
  • Social conservatism and/or intolerance.

Okay a little bit on that one: Peace Corps Volunteers are a very special breed of people. We’re not all ultra-liberal hippies, like the general public thinks. There are quite a lot of moderate and conservative PCVs. Some PCVs are religious, some aren’t. So if there are liberals and conservatives, religious and non-religious, how is this any different than the American public? Because PCVs (generally speaking) are the most open-minded and accepting people you will meet in your life. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but we, as social human beings, choose our own social circles to an extent. We can fill our circles and surround ourselves with people who think like us, or people we just like a lot and get along with well. So for the past two years, my circle (while small, and changing every time I went to town), was generally full of people who either thought like me, or thought differently but understood where I was coming from and would never challenge or question it. If they disagreed with me, they accepted me for me anyway. And vice versa. This also allowed me to continue thinking in the way that I wished, and to develop my own ideas without being reined in by mainstream thought. Naively, I let myself get used to this and forgot that “the American mainstream” is a totally different animal. I’m finding it very very difficult to locate people who even remotely understand what I’m thinking (much less think like me) to put into my social circle. I find myself turning to the library and Youtube to find people (/authors/bloggers) who don’t make me feel like an alien. And the media, especially the election, has only made all of this more difficult to deal with.

Things that are keeping me sane:

  • A good 50-60 minutes on a treadmill.
  • 5 minutes in the tanning booth, in combination with my daily Vitamin D gelcap. (Please no comments about skin cancer. That discussion goes in the “Things that drive me insane” category.)
  • Ellen Degeneres.
  • The little space-heater in my bedroom.
  • Meat. (No, seriously.)
  • My new car. Till it died. Then I fixed it! (Which made an almost-bad day awesome.)
  • Hot running water. Sorry, Mom, if your utilities bill increased dramatically this month.
  • My new RPCV friend who GETS IT. But kudos to everyone else who is trying their hardest to “get it.”
  • My amazing friend who will take a break from her CMU->Owosso commute to drive all the way to Midland to visit me when she knows I’ve had a bad day the day before.

Things that remind me that I’m still kind of Man Bush:

  • I still shake the powder coffee creamer to loosen up the clumps. There are still no clumps. And the salt comes out of the shaker, WHAAAT?
  • The dishwasher, the washing machine, and the dryer.
  • When I use the stove to cook, things don’t burn within thirty seconds. They cook slowly.
  • I practiced walking in high heels the other day. I can almost do it.

In summary: I’m adjusting. Not necessarily well, but I’m making a valid attempt.

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Just an FYI… Reactions

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. christina curell  |  November 10, 2012 at 2:29 am

    loved this post and am both comforted and terrified! We can have lunch rants when I get back. I haven’t been able to face los estados unidos yet, but my visa ends in March, so hopefully we can see each other then! or if you want to get out of there, Ecuador is a wonderful, wonderful destination! My hammock is empty- you’re welcome any time!

    Reply
  • 2. Maggie Hess  |  November 10, 2012 at 9:14 am

    You are awesome! And I am SO attempted to do this in my old age…I know they life we old folks….what do you think about retirees becoming a PCV. Would love to hear a perspective….Maggie :)

    Reply
  • 3. amandabuchert  |  November 10, 2012 at 9:18 am

    There were several retirees in my group!! If you find Jane Strong in my list of Facebook friends, I’m sure she would love to talk about it.

    Reply

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The ideas and opinions in this blog are MINE and do NOT reflect any position of the U.S. Government or the Peace Corps.

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