Today I Miss My Culture


Today I miss my culture. I miss it sometimes in the way one misses really good hash browns from their favourite diner, or popping by a friend's house without any reason because you can and you know it will be okay. I'm used to missing it that way.

But today I miss it in the deep down, I want to scream, what-am-I-doing-here-and-when-can-I-go-home way. And that's ok, too. I still know it will be okay.

But these days are the hard days. They're the days I question it all and they can come up really unexpectedly - even on the heels of many great days in a row. Nothing bad has to even happen. Then WHAM! I'm spending six hours on Google researching every possible way out. Jobs in my field? No. Jobs in another field? No. Scholarships? Should I study? Should I teach? Should I move far far away from here? Should I just go back to Canada? Can I? Would I? Will I?

And then as I plow through all the unappealing options I slowly come back to remember I'm happy here, for the most part. I'm doing what I want to be doing, for the most part. I'm making it work, for the most part. Right? I was heading to sleep after a particularly frustrating day. Nothing big happened. Just regular workplace miscommunications atop a lack of sleep and compounded by a day of low self esteem.

And then I checked my email one last time before bed. And there it was. The email that broke the camel's back (I'm the camel. It's clumsy, I know.). I spoke with a reporter for my job today. At a very public and very important and very professional event. Gave some statements and thoughts about my role with the org and the org's role in Nicaragua. Took a photo with the reporter and gave him my name and contact information. Pretty standard stuff. Until I received an email from him just now as I was relaxed and finally going to sleep after what feels like a marathon of the past few days.

{Translated from Spanish} "You are the most beautiful woman I have seen. Woooo (LITERALLY HE WROTE 'WOOOO'). I am enamoured of you. Here is my number." And a photo of us attached. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? This, from a grown ass, mid 40s year old man. Sending me inappropriate emails with a freaking WOO inside of them on my work email. There's a lot of loud screaming happening in my head right now. I am also kicking and banging my fists on the ground.

And of course, since I'm barrelling towards 32 years old and therefore cannot actually scream and cry and kick and punch, I am writing this blog post. Because I just miss my home today. I miss my culture. I miss knowing what's expected of me at a workplace and being able to knock those expectations out of the park. I miss speaking with men and then never ever hearing from them again because they understand that what I said was in no way an invitation. I miss my boundaries being respected. I miss boundaries even being a thing. I miss having my humour be understood and I miss understanding what's expected of me in social situations. I miss the friends who've "got me, man" even when I'm being unloveable.

And ya, dammit, I miss hash browns from the Galaxie diner around the corner from my old apartment in the city I don't even want to live in anymore. And that's ok. Because tomorrow will be better. That's the beautiful thing. I'll rant and rave and scream and kick (in my head), and then tomorrow I'll take a look around in awe and think "Holy crap, THIS is my life!! I LIVE here. I LIVE in Nicaragua!!!". And it will all be ok. Until the next straw...but even after that.