Have you read it, yet?
I should remind you that I will totally know if you’re lying because I’m a teacher and I have a superhero-like ability to detect shifty-ness and crappy excuses.
Okay, even if you’re not going to read the whole thing because your Internet connection isn’t working and your dog ate the URL and your eyes hurt because you have some kind of rare eyeball-parasite and you even have a doctor’s note to prove it, and, OMIGOD STOP IT WITH THE EXCUSES ALREADY, can you just skip down to the part where she talks about being temporary?
Are you at that part, yet?
Okay, I see I’m just going to have to do all the work here. So I’m just cutting and pasting the part I want you to read. Which I realize is wrong, but what was I supposed to do? I mean, you gave me no other choice. Hopefully, Janice will forgive me for totally plagiarizing her blog because we used to play bar trivia together in Thailand which means we’re pretty tight.
Anyway, this is the part I really want you to read right now:
“When you’re living, travelling, working, snorkelling or eating your way through other countries, it’s easy to pick and choose elements of culture that resonate with you. It’s fun to identify things you love about your host culture… and easy to grumble about things you’re not so fond of… the not-so-awesome things are tolerable, because you know they’re temporary. Eventually you’ll move on, and you won’t have to take the unpleasant things with you..”
You guys, I totally get that. LIKE, TOTALLY EVERY SINGLE PARTICLE OF MY BODY GETS IT.
I haven’t lived overseas nearly as long as Janice has, but this whole “Whatevs, Stupid-Stuff-That-I-Hate, I don’t care about you! Because I’m outta here, okay?” attitude?
I OWN THAT.In fact, even though I’m not living overseas anymore, I still have that attitude.
Shortly after moving to Michigan, I decided I would give it three years. I just couldn’t swallow the idea of being here indefinitely.
I mean, no offense against Michigan. It’s a lovely state. But, frankly, I have trouble swallowing the idea of being anywhere indefinitely.
So I came up with a time limit. After years of working on temporary work visas, I gave myself my very own temporary work visa.
And, just like I used to back in China or Japan, every time I get worked up about something — maybe some super, duper long meeting at work or the lack of adequate artisan cheeses in the grocery store — a familiar thought will pop in my head, “Who cares? This doesn’t apply to me! Because I’m about to blow this popsicle stand, ya hear?”
Unlike other people who might find comfort in stability, I relish in the temporary.
Temporary is my security blanket.
It’s my comfort zone.
It’s also kind of my crutch.
You see, it’s prevented me from really branching out and meeting people and becoming a part of my community. In the past six months, the only people I’ve really met are work-people.
I’ve thought about meeting other people. I’ll think, “Hey, I should join a club or volunteer or audition for a show or do that Internet dating thing that all the kids are talking about.”
And then a second thought will pop into my head, “What’s the point? I’m only passing through here. I wouldn’t want anyone to get attached. Why don’t I just hang out and watch wedding reality shows on Netflix instead?”
This is probably not the best use of my time. Or my Netflix.I think it’s time I give up on temporary.
It’s time to start embracing the good stuff about my new home (Like, beer! And more beer! Did I mention beer?) with the bad stuff (Like, snow! SO MUCH FREAKING SNOW. I mean, I know I’m from Buffalo, but, for serious, ABOUT THIS SNOW? WHY????)
It’s time to act like I’m here to stay and not like I’m here for an overnight stay.
It’s maybe even time to, ohmygodIcan’tevenbelievewhatI’mabouttosayrightnowbutheregoes, settle down.
Or, at the very least, it’s time to stop introducing myself with, “Hello. I’d tell you my name, but I’m not going to be around long. It’s probably best if you don’t get attached, okay, bucko?”
This is probably not the best way to meet new people.
Although it does get you some fun looks.Are you a stability-seeker or a temporary-forever kind of person? And is it possible to change from one to the other? And, umm, how? I mean, is there some kind of pill I can take or something?