Saturday, March 7, 2009

New Thoughts...

First, a few things. It seems, in some strange turn of events, that this blog has turned into my personal life blog instead of what I tried to create over the last year. I was hoping to have a centrally themed blog based on some type of academic analyzation of religion or philosophy, and that worked well for a while. However, due to the fact that I left the country, I started using this to allow my family and friends to passively keep up with my travels and adventures. Thus, it's become an online diary of sorts. I don't really like that idea, but whatever.

Still, when one door closes another one opens. I STILL have a blog where I can discuss religion and philosophy, as Conversations From The Back Porch opened this month. Bill and I are having a great time trying to think of things to write and learning to open doors of conversation. You can't really tell by the comments sections yet, but we've gotten some really good responses. I've received emails and facebook messages opening up dialogue and creating conversations about modern Christianity where before there was none. It's a beautiful thing.


First thing I'd like to say is that the human race and it's intelligence simply flabbergasts me. I say that at the risk of sounding like some kind of speciest who values human intelligence above all other traits an entity could possess in this world (which is absolutely not true). I just wanted to point out something that I think is absolutely incredible.

I've just been thinking about language a lot lately, and it's SOOOO complicated. When I think about how much memory we have, the ability to recall it in a split second, the ability to understand and process words being said to us in no time at all, it's just incredible. Every day I experience a thousand difference scenarios in which I realize how complicated language is. I'll want to say something like, "You did that very well," but I don't know past tense. Or maybe I want to talk to a friend who seems to be having a hard day and comfort them, but I simply don't have the vocabulary. Or perhaps I'd like to string together a sentence like, "I want to go to eat with my friends," but that has something like three different verbs and a plural direct object at the end, and I don't fully understand the grammar behind it yet. AH! It's both frustrating and completely astonishing at the same time. I find myself in awe of the people around me who are fluent in their own native language.

Also, a bit about last night and yesterday.

I'm learning to dance the Argentinian tango! I also have bipolar tendencies. Sometimes, that's a bad combination.

I'd been kind of pushing through overreactions and strong desires to be left alone and sulk all day, so I should have been prepared for the evening, but I wasn't really thinking about it. So when I got up to try and tango, I stumbled around the dance floor for a few minutes and became morbidly embarrassed to the point that I just sat off to the side for about two hours. I worked through it, with the help of my friend Dimitri and the realization that most of what I was going through was chemical and I've learned to overcome that, but it wasn't very fun. By the end of the night, I was dancing tango with my friends Αγγελική (AnggelleekEE) and Γωγώ (GhoGHO) and having a great time, laughing every time we'd step on each others' toes or when we'd bump into another couple, but it was definitely interesting.

One of the overriding lessons I'd like to take away from it all is how hard it is to be a minority. I've never been a minority, so I had no idea what it might be like. And let me tell you, there are a lot of factors at work. There are a lot of times when I feel like I simply can't relax at all because I feel like everyone is staring at me (and honestly, there are times when that's true. The other day at the hospital I got started at for probably about two continuous minutes by the entire waiting room. No joke). I can NEVER blend in, and that's stressful when you just want to sit down and relax, be part of the crowd. I also feel a lot of times like failure isn't an option, like there are forces of subjugation at work and people are expecting me to screw up because I'm the stupid American with light skin and bronze hair. Sometimes, it's just too much and it drags you down.

It's about learning how to be comfortable with who you are in whatever situation you're in. There are a lot of times I wish I could just have olive colored skin, dark hair, and not be noticed at all. Still, I'm learning how to be different and be comfortable with that. Diversity is something to be treasured, but sometimes when you're the one who's diverse that's difficult to realize. I'll have to think about that more and work on it.

Still, it's good to have experiences like that and grow through them. It's nice to experience stuff like that, because I'm sure I'll have a different take on the situations around me when I get home. I'm still having a great time and I miss you all very much! Be safe and happy, friends.


Anonymous said...

The GREAT thing about being a minority... is for once, you get to be "exotic".

In the midwest Im just another white girl with blue eyes. In Hawaii, in Arizona... where darker skin and darker eyes are the majority...

Im something physically unique.

People stare at you. They want to touch the texture of your hair (all the Tongans had thick coarse or kinky hair).

One hapa girl (a mix of asian ethnicity) broke down and sobbed on my shoulder because she thought she was so plain and average. That men dont find her attractive... but that being the blonde, fair skinned, light eyed, lady that I was... I was somehow perfect or "desired".

While I was empathetic I almost wanted to laugh because I thought she was exotic and beautiful for being this dremay mix of asian DNA.

If I took her to the midwest, white boys would be drooling all over her because she was "different".

On the other hand, I miss being the minority and being referred to as exotic.

So take advantage of being different!

Love and accept all that you are. In your moments of strength and surrender- recall your dignity regardless of location.

-Lady A

PeterAtLarge said...

Mark, thanks for participating in the meme a few days ago. Perfect! Just what I was looking for. I've been remiss in keeping up with your travel blog, and plan to catch up with your adventures today. Blessings, P

Anonymous said...

Ultimately, personal blogs are the most interesting, I think.