Romantic visions leading the way

Lyon Keating:

I came her to find out something and I’ve found it out.  I am not a person who can live nomadically, venturing from culture to culture being a sort of Indiana Jones/wandering wise man.  I miss my culture and home too much, miss doing the things I’ve enjoyed and am good at and love being around people I know.

I’ve always had a rather romantic vision of traveling and going to various places in the world and whenever I have put myself in positions to do that it’s led to way more discomfort and unhappiness than anything else.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gotten A LOT out of the experiences I’ve had but I have to realize that when I envision traveling it’s more like a romantic fairy tale that can’t come true for me.  I feel naked and very lonely in other cultures and have grown to know why cultures stick together in their respective China towns and whatnot vs. venturing outward and assimilating into communities.  People ultimately want to feel comfortable and you can’t blame anyone for that.  I want to feel comfortable, I want to be around people who have come from the same place as me and have more or less similar things in their life.  Granted, I’ve met a lot of people here but most of the men are intent in fulfilling their chauvinistic desires by spreading their seed and sleeping with as many women as possible and most of the women just want to have babies while others just want to sleep with and be taken care of by white men for whatever reason.  People are still nice despite this, but I need more than nice.  It’s not like everyone here are complete deutschbags but I just don’t relate and it leads to being very lonely.

Like it or not I’m such a pack animal dog. People motivate me to do things.  Yes, they can annoy me at times, like anything else, but one of the reasons I wake up day after day is to hang around with great people and relate to them.  I love being alone to but am not the type of person who IS ALONE all the time.  Also, with my roommates here I’ve gotten into some similar habits as I have at home that overall are negative for me.  I have a hard time saying no to hanging out with people and doing whatever they want to do.  I often feel rude not hanging out with people that are around me because they want and enjoy my company.  As time passes, though, this behavior is sort of expected and I have an even harder time saying no which eventually breeds resentment within me for myself, not having the proper alone time for me, and for the other people.  It’s a lose lose situation and being here and feeling the same exact way as I did at home makes me understand that the problem is me and I need to do something within me if I really want to fix it.  I need to be very aware when I need to chill out and when I need to say no to my friends.  This will probably result in being much more chilled out and cutting down the large number of people I try to stay BEST friends with.  As much as I love people they can be very stressful and when I worry about what others think of me, how I need to be a better friend, and having a meaningful time with everyone, I lose a lot of what makes me tick and am stressed out.  My time just needs to be divided more equally to allow me to breathe easier.

I miss home, I miss being around the people that know me and being around my family.  I feel my grandparents need me in their old age and I not only feel a yearning but a need to try and take care of them at least a bit more as it gives me meaning.  I’m an iatrical part in the life of the Keating’s and me being away forms a serious void in my family.  I feel I’ve improved the relationship of my parents and grandparents to talk more in recent years and had a hand in getting my sis to bring her kids around my grandparents.  Not that I directly caused these things but I had a big hand in helping these situations form over time.  I know the role I play in my family and generally in my life and when I can’t fulfill it like I know I can with important things it makes me feel like I’m not doing I was meant to do.

With feeling better about the positive roles I play in my life and that I seem to bring good energy into the world, I’ve been able to let go of a lot of guilt issues I’ve had.  Maybe it was because I was raised Catholic, as they profess it’s okay and admirable to do things in your life because you feel guilty to do them, but I’ve learned to turn those feelings and beliefs on their head.  I’ve always felt guilty about living in the society I live in and how my habits living in the lavish U.S. and having cheap things, clothes, oil, etc. more or less contributes to SO many other people’s misery in the world.  When I went to Asia last year the guilt came on even stronger.  How dare I live my life and do things like fall in love, do jobs I love to do, take on boat parties, drugs, have fun with friends, etc. when so much could be done in the world to improve the lives of other people.  I lived in a closet for nine months and felt guilty a lot of the time for having “good” things in my life when so many people in Asia bathe in shit and eat nothing having no choice or opportunity.  I felt I had to live way under my comfort zone to sort of balance out the fortunate life I’ve been allowed to live in order to feel good about myself; be like a little social martyr (which is also another Catholic virtue, Damn).  Upon moving to a third world country for the second time I’ve learned that I had nothing to do with where I was born and the luck of my opportunities in my life.  I can’t change the direction the world is moving but I can affect small change while living comfortably and nothing wrong’s with living within yourself and being comfortable.  I was very unhappy living and catering to my guilt issues and, what, am I going to live an unhappy life because I feel guilty?  No.  Honestly, I feel if people lived more within their limits and sort of how I do then the world would be a better place.  That’s part of my contribution and I feel it’s a fair one because I just can’t live for the third world cause in how I was doing it because it was having too much of a negative affect on me.  Thank god that’s over; it was taking me to a weird place.

(To continue on with the Lyon hour) Another odd thing about me that I’ve come to understand more is that for some reason I’ve always put off things in my life that have made me happy knowing I could go back to them at anytime and, instead, gone towards things that I was halfway confident about.  For example, that one year of real job teaching I had was awesome!  I loved the classroom, I loved the kids, I loved everything about being a teacher and when I was done teaching I thought, “hey since I love this I’ll come back to it later because I know I love it.  Let’s see what else I could love.”  The same thing happened with my girlfriend Jessica.  I knew I loved her so much and she always scared me at how comfortable and at peace I was with her, but instead of endorsing that, I thought, “hey since I know I love this, I can come back to it later.  Let’s see what else I can love.”  Obviously this was not fair to her but I thought that since I had found love and career in my life, which is something a lot of people have a hard time ever finding, I felt overconfident and wanted to take on the world.  Sounds like your classic young person, but, yep that’s what I thought, so I ventured to Asia to see if I could put it in check and also fall in love with it, and the same with Spanish and communicating with more of the world, thus having more of an effect on it. In the end, I was overambitious and it didn’t prove to work out the way I planned.  I never really was that confident in these pursuits and now that I think back, I feel pretty stupid that I let things slide by I was incredibly confident in and good at vs. going for things I halfway was confident in and not good at.  Teaching obviously can be recovered but Jessica is another story.

As much as I have stressed that I needed to go through these things and glad I did I’m a little embarrassed that I had to go through them to, what seems like, figure out the obvious.  Things were happening in front of me for the past two, three years and I chose to look elsewhere and now that I’m elsewhere, for the second time, I realize what the fuck really makes me tick.  It’s not the romanticized traveling notions I’ve always had, it’s the culture I’m from, the friends I’ve made, the jobs I like, and most importantly the love that someone like Jessica has shown me for some time.  Without these, I feel like I’m just wandering around aimlessly buzzing like a mosquito, and I’ve noticed this makes me feel depressed; and as you’ve just been exposed to pretty seriously, never underestimate depression.  It’s serious and I hate feeling depressed.  I understand it’s a necessary feeling sometimes, but when you can be in control of it you got to do something about it and rid it from your life.  When your life has consistent depression in it, as mine has had when I’ve been traveling, it now means to me that this isn’t a good life choice for me to keep doing.

So as a result of all the reasons stated above and the overall stress of being here I woke up the other day and said, “yeah know what, it’s time to start walking the walk with all of this and not just talking about it.”  My life here is not going anywhere and the sooner I make changes and go forth with what I want the better in every possible way. Right? Right!  So, I walked over to my favorite MacDonald’s that has free internet and bought a plane ticket home for the next week, the last week of August.  I didn’t even flinch or have an ounce of regret about this and was very happy when I pushed the purchase bottom.  My silly romantic adventures, where I push aside what makes me happy, are over and am now going to pursue what I’m confident in and what I can positively bring to the world.  I don’t belong in China, in Guatemala, etc.  When I come home my life is going to be much different.  I’ll be at much more of a mental peace now that I found out what I wanted and needed to find out.  I’m not going to live in any more stupid closets, and am actually going to try and find my own place in the mission.  As my adventures didn’t go as long as I thought, I have a lot more money to spend in the short term on housing then I’ve ever had before so why the fuck not.  I’ve dealt with a lot of uncomfortableness the past few years, and it’s nobody’s fault but myself, and even if it’s only for six months or so I want to be comfortable and have my own place.

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