Sunday, September 8, 2013

Note to Self: At 6 months.

It's September, which means that it has been 6 months since I moved to D.C. and over a year since I left Cambodia.  How do I feel? 

The city doesn't feel as alien to me as it did those first cold months, when I was easily unsettled by the darkness of the Metro and the tired faces commuting in the evenings.  I guess you could say I'm more accustomed to the lay of the land, including what is expected of me at work.  Also, now (most days) I can stare at the gigantic world map situated on the one blue wall in my office, stare at the little spot of the Mekong region, and not cry.  During my first three months, that was not the case.

I say this to Ethan and to any friends or colleagues who listen to my circular rants:  It's incredible what an emotional tie I have to that region.  Fine, I was born in Southeast Asia and lived in that corner of the world for a few years of my life.  But I never thought I'd want to live there, work there, and miss doing so.

Cambodia holds a special place in my heart, despite my struggles there.  Thailand-and the awesome concrete jungle of Bangkok - also hosts fond memories.

This week, I shared a drink with a woman who works at a certain human rights organization.  We met in Manila last year, during one of my meetings at the Asian Development Bank.  She flies around the world - all over Europe, Asia, South America, Africa - and advocates on  behalf of communities suffering human rights abuses. (She intimidates me a little.)

She asked me if I ever cried during a meeting, and we started talking about dealing with the stresses of this work. And I was brought back to this conversation and this one. It's not so different, is it?  Amazing people in a different city, in a different country, in a different phase of my life.

In other words, I'm starting to realize this work in the District is a continuation of those experiences.  It's connected, and hopefully that will help me push through.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...