For years I've been a perfectionist, and surrounded myself with others who operate in the same way. Achieve more, do better, reach higher... we all did it. So it was normal, and complaining and failure were not allowed. "No, it really is no big deal to do every single reading assignment." "I thought 25 credit hours would be difficult, but it really isn't too bad." "I can't believe I got a 90 on that paper- I thought I worked so hard!"
I have struggled through these last few weeks here in Romania, telling myself (and everyone around me) that I'm doing well. Maybe I was trying to convince myself; I really don't know. But sometime over the weekend, I snapped.
There are so many things here that are good. My life is full and rich and beautiful. I have unbelievable people in my life, and an incredible system of support that extends around the world. But this, my friends, this is not easy. It is not easy to teach in a system I don't understand. It is not easy to plan each week for 6 different grade levels, and at least 2 language levels in each grade. It is not easy to sleep alone each night and feel as if my life is elsewhere. It is not easy to explore alone, day after day and week after week. It is not easy to spend too much time at the grocery store or to examine a map again and again, or to step into awkward situations because of language. It is not easy to budget money and eat pasta and rice night after night and feel overwhelmed.
This is not easy. And in admitting that, I find myself confident that everything will be alright.
In other news, I am taking my first trip outside of Bucharest on Friday. I will be taking a train to Timisoara to visit D~ for the weekend. I'm excited about seeing him, laughing, exploring more of Romania, and all the rest of what is to come. I'm a little nervous about meeting his colleague N~ because of stories and one past encounter, but life is all about adventures, right? I'll keep everyone posted.