We haven’t really done furlough before, and this is just a whole new ball game.
It’s not vacation; it’s not work. Vacation should be much more restful and less chaotic; work would be more structured and I would feel more accomplished at the end of every day.
There are meetings and giving presentations; there are birthday parties and wedding showers and doctor appointments. There are road trips and shopping trips. There are so many conversations, and a particularly large percentage that I understand, that I never have the time to process or think through before we are talking to someone else.
This is what I would imagine an out-of-body experience being like.
Or perhaps if my life was a science fiction movie and aliens just picked me off our planet and placed me on another.
But really, all this insanity isn’t why I haven’t been blogging. That is part of it: where is the time? But really, where is the time in Mae Sot, either? It’s more that I love to write, and it helps me analyze the questions that I am asking day after day.
I’m still asking those questions here, and I would love to write out all my analysis of it all.
But I can’t. Because you’re all reading it. You’re in the culture, and you’re in the stories.
Stephen & I have a rule, and I think most couples do, really: we can each joke about our own families, but jokes about each others’ families must be chosen very, very carefully. I can tease about my mother’s abnormal level of cleanliness because I’m in the family; I followed those rules and grew up in that home. He doesn’t have the same freedom: it requires a well-placed and wisely-chosen joke. Likewise, I don’t even feel the freedom to give a similar example of something crazy in his family on here. Being in the family gives you the rights.
I think I feel similar in Mae Sot–that because I am living it, I have a right to analyze and comment and laugh. But in returning to the States, I don’t feel a part of it, and I don’t feel that I have the right to say all that I’m thinking. I don’t feel I have the right to analyze what you are living day to day.
And I think I at least have enough decency to filter it in writing. I don’t do as well in person, as many of you know already. My apologies.
Our chaotic schedules are genuine, yes, but they are just an excuse. It’s really just that this is much more foreign than I expected. And I don’t believe it is because Mae Sot miraculously feels like home; I feel foreign there, too. (Perhaps that’s why I expected that I still fit here?)
In an attempt at optimism, I am trying to focus on the great opportunity it is to live between two worlds, rather than centering my eyes on the large chasm we seem to be straddling. Because it is: this is a unique and privileged opportunity. We flew around the world, and we are spending three months soaking up time with some amazing people. We are enjoying some beautiful weather, having incredible conversations, and experiencing great things. And soon, we will fly back around the world and hear some really beautiful little voices shout “Kelli! Stephen!” into our window at 7am. We will spend hours at the hospital and drink tea with our neighbors.
These are all really wonderful opportunities. We just have to see them as such.