My resolution for 2013 is simply to be happy.
[This is one of those abstract, open-ended resolutions that you're warned against, so I'm supplementing it with my old standby of stretching out my hamstrings and the world's old standby of getting back on the flossing wagon.]
But my main goal for this year is to be happy. To believe that I deserve to be happy, and to do what I need to feel that happiness.
It’s been hard to write here on my blog because I’ve been ashamed of how I’m feeling. I am disappointed with myself for not loving living in Africa. I feel guilty for being bogged down in my loneliness and discomfort when I am basically on an extended vacation in one of the most beautiful places in the world. And I feel guilty for being on an extended vacation in one of the most beautiful places in the world and simultaneously being surrounded by tremendous human suffering. But all that guilt isn’t fixing anything about this country and it’s ruining me in the process. I worry all the time about not offering enough to the world, but I’m never going to have anything to give if I cocoon myself in my own misery.
I hated the idea of treating our time in Africa as “an adventure” because it felt so distastefully privileged and bougie and self-centered. “This isn’t an adventure, this is real life,” I’d think. But it hasn’t been real life, recently. It’s been less than that, some murky approximation of living under a cloud of depression. If pretending this is a great adventure gets me out of that trap, then that’s what I’m gonna do. Hold on to your butts.