When I started this adventure just about 100 days ago, it was hard to contain my excitement. I had no idea what people I would meet, what things I would see, what kind of projects I would work on or how I would live. Lurking under the surface were the memories of some emotional nights I spent in Africa and some of the disappointments that came out of those four weeks in Uganda. Was this trip destined to be the same? Had I bitten off more than I could chew signing a contract to spend four months away from life as I knew it?
The timing of the trip came at an interesting point in my life. I was still finding myself after floundering for a few years and as far as I had come, the chance to step away from it all and spend some quality time with myself was as big a draw as the actual trip itself. I knew no matter what, I had family and friends to back me up, keep pushing me, and be there to welcome me home.
As much as I didn’t want to think about it, I knew there would will bad days along the way. The first big one hit this past week and I am quite surprised it took this long in the trip to slip up… but hey, we are all works in progress right? Luckily I was able to track down Mom through the internet and a phone call Arin was will to place. I guess all I needed was a familiar face, voice, and some stories from home so I could feel connected again. An hour later we signed off and I got back to life in Bhutan.
Still in a dismal mood Friday evening and Saturday, I stayed in the apartment and slept most of the time. Once in college on a particularly crappy day I had called the house to vent to Mom, but she wasn’t home and Dad asked if everything was okay. During that conversation he said something I have never forgotten, and if you know my Dad you know how perfectly it fits his personality… its a lesson, but its going to make you chuckle. He told me, “Scratch your butt and get glad!” I found myself saying those words Sunday morning and pulled myself into action.
I can’t tell you how much better I felt after getting out, walking to town, finding grapes (no idea where they grow them) and feeling the wind blow against my face on the bridge over the river. It was like those flapping prayer flags took the demons and scattered on the breeze.
Another lesson learned: There are always going to be the bad days, it’s the price you pay for the good. The thing that’s the true test of self is how you get through them and if you can come out better off on the other side.