It’s a long holiday weekend and I decided instead of going out and exploring the rest of the country, I would actually stay here and enjoy what my village has to offer for a change. I also have no money so this was largely a factor when making my decision and could have changed the outcome had there actually been more of it, but that is neither here nor there at this point. And I was invited to a birthday party later today and I really don’t want to pass that up.
Friday, as the holiday, I spent the day reading The Undomestic Goddess and enjoyed the entire thing. I needed something light and airy after getting through the first 2 chapters of a book called The Bitch in the House, a collection of essays from 26 women telling their tales of sex, solitude, work, motherhood and marriage. They are all successful women that have pent up anger that they take out on their husbands, kids, and other family. They talk of affairs being apart of the normal married life agenda, money playing a part of the imbalance of power in a relationship, husbands who don’t do enough no matter how hard they try, but mostly how angry they get about all of it. While their lives may not be pristine, their writing is beautiful and I’ve been sucked into their stories. Only now I’m scared. Is this what I’m headed towards? Am I destined to become a supreme bitch the moment I get married or have kids? Do I really want to walk down that same path? Is it possible to not become what they are? If this is the life I have to look forward to, I am not convinced that I am ready for this next step.
Yesterday I upset my host mother because I was a brat and walked away from a conversation that I didn’t like the outcome of. Because things weren’t going the way I wanted, I pouted and disrespected her in the process. I’m good at that, ask my mother, ask Jason, ask anyone who has been witness to my selfish fits. I closed the door to my room and cried again (I swear I haven’t cried this much since grade school when I used to cry every morning before school). I was mad that everything I wanted to do was difficult. Instead of employing the man at the end of my street to put up my shelves (he is out of work and needs a job), I have to go to a guy in the next village because the family at the end of this street doesn’t talk to my host mother. I wanted to look at it as my host mother being silly, not at the actual fact that there is tension between the two families and it would be completely wrong to try and bring that into the house she has tried for so many years to protect. I didn’t want to understand the culture. I’m tired of always trying to understand this culture and no one seems to care about where I come from and what my culture is. I sat on my floor and wanted to be anywhere but here, wanted to be in my mother’s kitchen and watch her as she baked pumpkin chocolate chips cookies, wanted Jason by my side so I could commiserate with him about why I think being a Peace Corps volunteer is so hard.
After a little while I just got sick of myself. There is so much “me” time here and I realized I can only handle so much. I am thankful I have other PCV’s around me to hang out with but sometimes, their company is not what I crave. It’s nice to get out and see my friends in the village but being in their company, it’s apparent that I am still an anomaly and don’t fit in just yet. At this moment, I want to bury myself in someone else’s thoughts, someone else’s needs. I want more than anything to stop focusing on me so much and think more about how I fit into a lifestyle that has more than one player. That bitchy book is scary and those women are jaded but I’ve decided that I do not have to become one of them. Who knows how I’ll do it but right now, the first step for me (besides deciding not to finish the book) is realizing that I want to share my life with Jason. I want to focus a little less on me and a little more on how our lives will play out together. There is till a lot of time till that happens, but at least I can recognize how this experience is helping me to grow.