The Phase of Adjustment

I don’t feel all too well today.  The heat in the village is starting to weigh me down.  Its as if I’m carrying an extra 30 kilos of body weight.  The move I have made out to the village seems easy to me on the surface, but I’m starting to realise that adjusting to a new environment, especially one so foreign will catch up with you.  I think the honeymoon phase is starting to wear off now and the reality of it is starting to kick in.

Don’t get me wrong, I am loving the place.  It’s the people who make it all worthwhile, but the adjustment in lifestyle is starting to get to me.  I am trying my hardest to get back into my routine, but it’s just not that easy after you experience a complete shift in environment and lifestyle.  I got out of bed this morning after 30 minutes of procrastination and I attempted to go for a run before getting stopped on the side of the road by a man on a bike who wanted to show me his farm.  Being the only foreigner within a 15 minute bike ride radius, I am probably like a celebrity in this village. I was only 5 minutes into my run before getting stopped and taken to this pig farm that the man wanted to show me.  I was slightly frustrated with the fact that my run was disrupted, especially considering I had spent so long in a mental tussle with myself just to get my joggers on. I couldn’t say no, however. The genuine interest shown by Cambodian villager was enough to make me surrender to the fact that I was not getting my run done today.  By the time I left the man, the sun began to blaze and it was all too late. As I mentioned, it took enough energy just to get my joggers on. I was ready to throw in the towel after my encounter with the villager and his pig farm.

I spent most of the day in the village but there came a point where I just had to get on my bike and leave.  The heat became way too much. There was no escaping it. With no air conditioning in this commune, I had no choice but to ride my bike into town to sit at a cafe.  

Im feeling really moody today.  The adjustment to this lifestyle is starting to hit home now, and it’s taking its toll on me physically and emotionally.  With an abundance of time on my hands to sit around and think, my mind tends to wonder to places that I’m usually trying to avoid through distraction.  You know, I am the type of person who gets bored very easily. That’s part of the reason why I moved abroad in the first place. I was born and raised in Sydney and by the time I packed my bags to leave it, I was sick to death of it.  It was the same old Sydney I had always known and I was longing for something fresh, exhilarating and challenging. As bored as I can get, I’m slowly realising that I am a creature of habit and routine. It’s the reason why I always despised the disruptive holiday seasons.  Right now, Im lacking habit and routine, and it’s just throwing me off. I’m trying my best to pick things back up, but a transition like this takes time and perseverance.

I haven’t really started any work in the village yet.  We are still in the process of building a schedule and a job description for me.  Due to the fact that I have opted to stay long term, writing out a schedule and a job description has proven to be a little more complex.  

Im just feeling agitated and restless, I guess.  I think it’s because I feel guilty for doing so little, at the moment.  That transition from city life to countryside will do that to you. You find yourself doing so much less than what you did when you were living in the city and it throws you off.  You feel unproductive and lazy and the idea of that can be frustrating.

I know what I have to do. I have to keep my composure right now.  This will pass in time. It’s one of the many obstacles that I will face in terms of adjusting to a completely new environment.  Don’t get me twisted, however. As much as I want to pull out the minimal hair on my head right now, I understand the importance of riding with the waves.  I didn’t come here to feel joyous all the time. This is my way of running towards adversity, in the face of pain and suffering. I value adversity above most other things, as that is where all of the jewels are discovered.  

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