Losing Parts of You

When you live away long enough from what you grew up around, you start to lose pieces of you.
You don’t have the same interactions that you’ve known all your life and the friends that helped you to figure yourself out, aren’t there.
Sometimes you lose sight of this altogether and it really only hits you once you’re back in your own country for a few weeks.
Some parts of me I actually forgot were there. Until I used them.
And we all know that the ‘use it or lose it’ line is a real thing and that if I don’t use these fun, happy parts of me, I will forget they existed.
But I will feel a void. And as the years go on I will not know what it is that is supposed to be there.
And that has scared me to glossy eyes.
That has made me want to hold on dearer than ever, to the culture I am most comfortable with. The culture I will always prefer over the others.
Because it is the one I know myself best in.
The one I am most happiest in.

The Day I Saw the World

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photo cred:samefeetdifferentpaths.com

I sat there for an hour and one half and I just watched people drive by and some dogs go by and people running and people going thru drive thru and the average was about five minutes through and I was always usually pretty shy of adults and now even though they are still adult to me, they are less old. I am closer to there age and they are closer to mine and men that have white hair are actually people that like young and funny and are okay with being with someone that is half their age because of it.
Thailand told me this.
Thailand told me that 65 year old big gutted men still want sex. It told me that 80 year olds will pay to have 20 year olds escort them around and it told me that even those men can fall in love and believe in every good darn minute of it.
Call me naive or sheltered or what you will, but I didn’t know any of that existed. Men are still attracted to woman at an age I thought was only meant for sitting on benches sipping newspapers and reading coffee.

And so as I sat there I thought about their lives outside of Tim Hortons’ parking lot. What they would be going home to and whether or not they were happy. I thought about being in their life and how I would change to have them like me and how I would find that easy to do. I thought about how I could be paid well in Thailand, to be that girl that is with the older men and how eventually I won’t have the looks or the body to be desired and how eventually this time in my life will be something I long for. Rather than scare me, it made me more determined not to eat another cookie, to keep my hair long before it becomes a pain and to keep my alertness in life on top of all things.

My conversation and cues and what others say or do are all things I am aware of and I often wonder where it comes from. The things which impact me and things I notice, are things that the next person does not. And the things I am slow at deciding or quick at forgetting, are things that the next person does the opposite of.It all comes from somewhere and I often wonder where and sitting on the lawn yesterday while the sun shined its way into all the living things, I figured out where.

It is not a very surprising place. It is not unusual or hard to understand.
It is simple because that is the way we are capable of making anything.
And if we are capable of making things simple, we are also capable of complicating them. Which is why it has taken so long for me to conclude that living is where it comes from.

Living is Time and Time has the ability to fill up with anything. It fills up with presents that eventually turn into pasts’ and pasts’ are memories that make up people whether they are remembered or not. That is where the things that impact me the way they do, come from. That is where the things that make you laugh or make you cry come from. And they won’t all be different from mine or the same and you can bet that living isn’t all where it comes from.
Parents of you and I have genetics and we are given them too and they are really the root of it and we are just the branches, swaying or not swaying, being leafy or unleafy.

I don’t see everything but yesterday for a few hours, that is how I saw the world.

Stages of Living in Thailand

I’ve lived in Thailand so long that things get vignetted.
Edges blur and I am this person that is living in such a way that my interaction with this country is minimun. It is sad but just the way that it has happened.
There are so many stages I have went through while living here. Homesick for the first five months back in 2008 and then on the outskirts of the culture by teaching. Once I dipped my toes in, it was the following year that I  full fledge dove in. I went to school. I began to write and read Thai. I was so focused, was so involved that when I lifted my head up, I realized how intense, how strong the current I had whipped up. The progress that I had made blew me away.
Distractions really mess you up. They can really throw you off track but I was determined to get in close.
I’m out of that involvement now. I’m not holidaying here, I’ve tasted the wind underneath their feetSt,  I’ve rode the dirty buses in Bangkok and I’ve snorkled with fish in the south. I’ve been a subsitute and taught my native language to Thais’ and I’ve done presentations in front of 50 or 60 of them.

Now I am so in, that I am out. I walk my baby down roads watching the streets for holes and wires, but I don’t look often at the people around me. I stick in my own mode of moving. Of my bubble.

 I recognize that the city I live in- in Thailand, is dangerous. People may not always mean harm but i have become so hardened to it, that protecting my child is mostly all that I think about.

I am in this bag of itchy particles that I have created myself. In this whirled thickness and sometimes I really want out. I want to be a better person by finding a balence that allows me to be safe, but not so inverted and I hope that with this awareness I am able to do so.

A Thai Funeral

We can all admit. Funerals just suck.
I haven’t found anyone that likes to go to them.
But they happen and we know that to go is the right thing to do.

I’ve never been to a Thai funeral.
And it just so happens that neither has my husband.

It also just so happens that his fathers’ is the first one we attend.

and it sucks.
More than a Western Funeral.

It wasn’t written down in his will but he had repeated to Morgan and his Thai wife that he wanted his funeral held at Wat Phala. Not Wat Ban Chang. ( Wat – Temple ) This was one thing he was adament about.
It was his dying wish basically.
It makes me cringe, it makes me almost hate her.. for having the funeral at a different temple.Because it was more convienent for all her friends to get to… It disgusts me and enrages me and Morgan and I stand to the side after continually stating that it is not what he wanted. But that doesn’t matter because he is dead now and the Thai’s don’t quite care about the dying and there last requests.
It’s sickening.
And so there we are, where we shouldn’t be. And the body arrives in a little patrol pickup truck. and men get out and they carry Martin with blankets over his body, onto the wooden table at the front. He lays there for 4 hours while we stand around and sit around and while Morgan and his step brother and sister and friends and step mom take water from a bowl and pour it into their Fathers hand- which was forced open 10 minutes prior.
I do cry here. And I know I’m the only one that is.
The body is just there. and thats what i can’t get over. I can see his boots sticking out the whole time and his right arm with all his bracelets sticks out too.

It disturbs me and it is mainly just because it is not what I am used to.
It is not how we deal with the dead.
But in the end, it really is all okay because I am here in Thailand and this is their way and I have to respect it reguardless of what I’ve known.

I hope that when you come across something in your life that makes you want to reject or to ‘uninvolve’ yourself just because it is what you are not used to, that you don’t.
I hope that you put on your guts and go through with it.
For respect, for strength, to be better after it’s all said and done.