Its hard to pin down a memory when there is so much of nothing to do that you just don’t have time. You know what I mean? And sure, I did say I’d write a memory a day but sometimes I just stare at the moleskine diary and wish it would fill itself up. Or just … disappear. I even started getting panic attacks and the insomnia came on full force – what am I going to write? what am I going to say.
Performance anxiety. We meet again.
But then, because of that stress to make each day memorable, I’m starting to notice the little things. Like how my grandmother sometimes giggles in her sleep, how my dad listens to the carpenters at 5 in the morning and dances around the house in a bid to get to work (which is a room 5 feet from his bedroom by the way). And then there’s my mum with her “Close the curtains, the neighbours are watching” warning everytime dad tries to hug or kiss her and my dear brother making a brownie with cornflour and how out of breath my sister is when she calls at odd hours of the day (she lives in England) while walking to some place of importance.
I’ve realized how my life is a series of check marks on a massive things to do list. Have you smiled at a stranger today? Have you done something totally eccentric and dangerous? Have you said something clever on facebook? Have you left everything just to start all over again somewhere else? It has been a series of challenges but things are not always as exciting or as fast paced. In between Europe and Africa, I have had my share of doing absolutely nothing but dragging myself around the house in my PJs.
And that’s when you know you’re avoiding the “What next” question – which I’m an expert at. It’s been 7 months. But then all these things catch up with you and suddenly I’m in the “lets review” section of my lesson plan.
1) Africa changed me. I’m too afraid of losing my shit in the Social Sector to even put a whole-hearted effort into finding another job there. Its too emotionally draining and I’m still recovering or scarred or wounded badly. Either way, in India, the NGO work leaves you jaded.
2) Taking care of grammie sometimes has the same effect on me. I’m hoping that I can shift to the creative side – make something, write something, read something or teach something. Just to get some balance, you know? Something that cuts me off emotionally but still thrills me like only creating something can.
3) I can’t imagine not working with children, even if only on a voluntary basis.
4) Early and special education has suddenly been grabbing my attention. That and mental health. Maybe it’s both take care of grammie and those infants at Africa that’s done this to me but the idea is blu tacked in my subconscious.
5) Sometimes I think I should give up everything and just be a kindergarten teacher who travels the world and writes in her free time- it’d be like those Disney movies – a very interesting turn of events but highly unlikely?
Is it a sign that I’m growing up when I let go of my lists in that moment when my nephew comes up to me with a huge smile on his face and tells me how he’s the captain of his football team? We made noodle soup together and put on cartoon network and giggled ourselves silly when this came on and he said, “Anju, it’s a sign”
I want a turtle. Now, please go away.