Behind on Blogging (…and about the Beach)

People say they want me to post often. And, trust me, it’s not for lack of raw content. You should see my Google Keep list of possible blog topics and my ongoing blurbs that I’ve saved in Docs when I get three minutes to write. But, honestly, I’m not sure where to find the (1) time, (2) energy, or (3) processing abilities to post more often! Whew!

I find that, every time I actually find time to write, too, I end up with seven different posts in every writing. So I delete and expand and cut and delete and cut and go back to the cut content to expand on it and scrap all the stuff I’ve written and start over and… You get the idea. It’s never a “sit down with an idea and write about it within a tidy little package until you are done” situation. 

Also, while my topics may at times seem incredibly “surface” (shallow, unimportant), it’s the processing that goes on behind the scenes that takes the energy. Sometimes, all the heavy stuff, the stuff that makes me exhausted, that keeps me up at night, that brings tears to my eyes, that leaves me feeling simultaneously overwhelmed and empty? Much of that stuff ends up on the proverbial cutting room floor in favor of a story that gives a better view of how “different” things are here.

But it is those differences that are interesting, aren’t they? The different food (don’t worry, this is a blog post in the making), the different cultural aspects (don’t worry, this is a blog post in the making), the different work I’m doing (don’t worry….)…

Some things, can feel pretty damn familiar, though. I found myself, after working 12- and 14-hour days for days on end, loudly thinking, “If I’m going to work this much, I could be working this much at home and making ten times the money I’m making here!” And then I thought, “But Julie, you’re HERE!” And so while the number of hours right now might be the same, it IS different work. With different people. With students who speak a different language. In a different country. On a different side of the globe. And for a gal who actively values the different, this is a goddamn gift, really.

Laughing/Teaching
My biggest fear is that the whole course would be too serious. Fear assuaged when I laughed hysterically with this group starting on the first night and haven’t stopped since.

And the minutes in-between those long work days? Well, when I get invited to the beach for the weekend by SLT1 and newly-met SLT3, it makes it all worthwhile. They beat me down there as I had to teach all day Saturday, but when I arrived in Otres Beach, the 5-hour bus ride was worth it. Over the next day and a half, I saw beach dogs that made me want to snuggle them until they scratched hard enough to convince me it wasn’t a good idea. I slept under a mosquito net (I looooove me a good mosquito net!). I took a boat trip and snorkeled where I saw coral and urchins that looked like living cartoons. I saw the water turn a lovely green when a storm showed up in the distance. I snorkeled (again) above fish that looked like they were rainbows incarnate. I got a pedicure/manicure/massage on the beach. I shared drinks out of coconuts (and had plenty of drinks out of glasses). And I found myself, multiple times, spontaneously giggling and dancing jigs in disbelief at my luck at this charmed life. This different life.

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The view from our room.
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This dog and his best buddy next door (not pictured) were incredibly entertaining!
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The colors of the water changed so drastically with the changing sky.
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Beached for lunch.
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Our boat driver (is there a special word for that?) couldn’t have been a day over 12, but he not only navigated the boat well, he started the engines by holding a wire connected to a battery to another wire on the engine with a cringe that belied the pain he knew possible with this connection, and he led us up through the jungle to jump off a cliff. In his underwear.

4 thoughts on “Behind on Blogging (…and about the Beach)”

    1. Yeah, I reapplied 4 times on snorkeling day. Even had SLT1 get my back! Great bonding experience! 😄 (But still, I may have gotten a bit of sun on my back… Just saying… 😕)

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  1. I love your posts. I understand completely about the exhaustion that overwhelms the ability to write while you’re dealing with all that is different. I think living abroad is vitally important and such a gift all at the same time. Being back here in Duluth, dreaming of further study Somewhere Else, I’m hugely envious but enjoy so much hearing about your adventure. OF COURSE your students will be laughing with you in class. Your joy is some of the most infectious joy I’ve ever seen! Go you!

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    1. Well, darn, Emily, thanks! And I completely understand what you mean about being envious and the desire to be Somewhere Else. I’ve watched others do things until I could find it in myself (and in my situation) to go. You’ve had some amazing international experiences, and I’m guessing another is soon in the works! Keep that thought fresh! 😊

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