17 May 2009

I'm Not Lost

So many people seem to think that I am here to "find myself". I don't know why. It seems that a lot of people say that maybe because they're not interested in leaving their homes or jobs or families or friendships for a year. They don't understand why someone would be interested in that.

But I'm not lost. I'm not looking for myself and I don't need to find the inner me. I've never really had a problem with knowing who I was or what I wanted in life. Sure there have been time when I haven't known what I was going to do next. I think that's kind of normal. But when I do know what I want I have never really had a problem is making myself go after it.

I don't think that I have left family, relationships, friends, a career or a home behind. My time here has allowed me to grow closer to some friends, learn more about other ones and learn more about myself. Just because I'm not lost doesn't mean that I can't grow and learn and change who I am.

At the moment this place is my home. My flat here doesn't smell like someone else's house that I'm living in, but mine. I know the back streets between here and work better than I did in Ballarat. Its normal to see live chickens and pig carcasses riding on the back of a motorbike. To see goats waiting to be slaughtered at the butcher on the way to work and not see them on the way home. Smiling protesters lighting fire to tyres is just another occurrence to me now.

I've learnt about communication. Not so much how to do it with people with different backgrounds, education and language to myself, but about how I communicate, and the faults in my methods of communication. That's not just at work, but in my personal life as well. In my year long-long distance relationship. With my close friends and my family.

I have been coerced into reading books that I wouldn't have previously looked at twice in a bookshop. They have taught me about Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, development, foreign aid, and what makes for some really horrible writing. I have had the time to do many of the things that I would love to do at home but never get around to because of work and life. I have been learning a new language that 2 years ago I didn't even know I wanted to learn and two years from now may only have uses as an ice breaker in a dinner conversation or as a tourist back here.

By living here I have learnt about Hinduism and Nepali culture, about India, about Tibet. I have made new friends, some that I normally would not have made the time to get to know. Immediately here, you have something in common with another ex-pat. I found about the gloriousness of Hashing. I have become a more interesting and interested person.

Nope, I'm not lost.


Tim said...

That's good - I won't bother looking for you while I'm there!!!!

Good to hear what you're aware you have learnt though - that's awesome bra!

Kez said...

Sounds like you're there for all the right reasons. I agree, you don't have to be lost just because you throw yourself into a new place filled with new experiences.
It's great that you know yourself so well.

po said...

You are just having an adventure!

Dash said...

unfortuantely, i don't think you guys are the ones i need to convince.

Isa said...

I think people who try to find their selves by moving their bodies never really succeed. Those are the ones that quit early. You definitely need a degree of self-knowledge to successfully make it through the living-and-working-in-a-developing-country adventure. Nope, you sure don't need to convince me!

Having said that - dude, you are in NEPAL, the place that hippies dream of as their lost soul-place!Though probably not worth quite as much hippie cred as Tibet, it's nevertheless a step up from India. I'm sure the backpacker bars are FULL of people trying to find themselves...it's no wonder that, as an expat, people sometimes get you confused with them!

Tamara said...

Great post. I think it's the people who don't have the longing to explore new places, people or experiences that are really lost.