School never taught me to file taxes, or how to set a budget. CCD (Sunday school) never taught me why Catholics say the things we do in Mass. Job trainings are never as good as the boss promises they'll be in the interview. The vet didn't tell me how to trick my kitten into taking medicine.
However, I don't exactly read a Shakespeare play every week these days. I still enjoy his work, just as I enjoy Victor Hugo, and other Real Literature, but usually in short spurts. Books and plays like those aren't always page-turning lose-yourself-in-another-world stories.
I turn 25 today, which feels like a milestone. In the last quarter century, I’ve raised goats, read through a library and a half, graduated college (and gone back for round two), solo traveled on three continents, dirtbagged, lived with a family that’s not my own, volunteered full-time, learned a second language, and threw in my lot working for a Fortune 500 company.
Women have to put in extra work to keep up in physically demanding jobs. The reality is, men are generally stronger than most women. Losing control of a stack of four 5-gallon buckets on a dolly once is embarrassing. Losing control twice is the start of a pattern that needs to stop. So I work to get stronger rather than making excuses.
So if you're feeling lonely and disconnected a few months into college, study abroad, your new job in that city, or an idyllic llama ranch in Peru, there's nothing wrong with you. You didn't miss anything crucial. Roots just take time to grow.
You see, when the future is open to any possibility, when you can go anywhere, do anything, when you have no responsibilities or commitments, you think you're free.
There's something about being in a foreign country that exaggerates the good and bad of interpersonal relationships; perhaps we make crazier decisions or maybe we see their impact more clearly in unfamiliar situations. Whatever it is, I feel I've learned a lot of the type of lessons that can't be taught, only experienced. I have… Continue reading Interpersonal Relationships; Lessons Learned in Costa Rica, Part I