So you all know that Aj lives in a major city, Cebu, and one flight and a nine hour bus ride away is me, all the way up north in the mountains of Lagawe, Ifugao. There are pros and cons to both of our sites, but one, very clear, constant about our two worlds would be the same thread that connects us to every other Peace Corps Volunteer on the planet, you will lose your mind at some point. Every single part of PC life, site included, can contribute to your “Peace Corps Crazy,” so here are little bits of how I define mine:
Laughing hysterically at random scenarios that I’ve worked up in mind on the walk home: I have a slight obsession with all things burlesque (I have since I was a child), and was thinking about how awesome it would be if there was a show about burlesque dancers during the Harlem Renaissance. Well that thought progressed into a scene with the “I-always-look-perfect-even-when-I-sleep” (think Whitley from A Different World) character, of my imaginary show, waking up next to her boyfriend with her wig crooked and not knowing. Folks, I DIED laughing. I could just see it all so clearly, that wig, him trying to find the words not to embarrass her, that look of panic when she realizes her wig has turned and her bangs have almost shifted entirely to her ear, or even better, her propping her head up to give a sweet good morning greeting as the wig lay completely detached on the pillow. Are you all visualizing this with me? I am cracking up again in the office as I type! My comedic mental scenes have happened more than once.
Slight obsessions and addictive behavior: And of course by slight I mean obsessed enough to cry once denied. Example 1: I have had my eyes fill with tears once when I couldn’t post on Facebook for Mother’s Day. I was at a training and found this “Home is where your Mom is” ecard that warmed my heart and gave me to fuzzy wuzzies thinking about my Mommy that I miss so dearly. I only had that day to get it up before Mother’s Day because after the training (where there was wifi available) I would be traveling. It needed to be my profile picture. All of Facebook land needed to know how much I loved my Mother (are we picking up on cray cray here yet?). Well FB denied me…and all hell broke loose. I started pounding keys, cursing (quietly so not to interrupt the lecture that I was ignoring), and, yes, tearing. My friend, Kelsey, noticed me sailing off the deep end and offered to log in and post from her computer. The ecard made it up, my mom loved it, and all was right with the world.
Example 2: My computer got a virus a few weeks ago limiting my internet access to Facebook and Gmail. Don’t ask, I have no idea why or how that even worked. What I do know is that I sought out the help of friends to magically become Queen Computer Science overnight, because the thought of living life without a laptop was just too heavy a though to bear. **Special thanks to Louis and Michah**
As for addictive behavior, if we are friends/followers on just about any social network you know what this means. As Aj put it “Ebonee my Pinterest homepage is a testament to your boredom” I have had to stop paying for internet at home because when I have it, I go to bed at 5am.
Tween Drama: As Aj mentioned, the lines between TV drama and our lives somehow blur. Aj watches more grown up shows, I, on the other hand, happen to live right along with Blair and Serena and the rest of Manhattan’s elite on Gossip Girl, AND with my girls trying to track down “A” on Pretty Little Liars. We go through the ups and downs together, I love Chuck, I hate Chuck (with his oh so sexy self!), I wanted to punch Mona in the face, and don’t even get me started on the fact that no one has acknowledged that Allison was not really a friend to any of them! Ok, moving on…
Hippie antics: This is a crazy that I am actually really proud of. Leaving the bar the other night, my PCV friends and I stopped on our walk home through rice terraces, sat on the ground and talked about the beauty of the night sky. We were genuinely thankful for everything about it, the clouds passing, the stars, the breeze; we were humbled. At the same time, we all fell silent and drifted into our own mood meditation, giving thanks to behold such greatness. Something about this life has strengthened our connections to things and people that we love. I can very much feel, deeply when something is good for me and my soul.
Hypersensitivity would be the down side to this. I have had some seriously emotional reactions to things. A prime example would be feeling so consumed with guilt at the thought of leaving my dog, Gypsy, here after service, that I couldn’t focus for well over an hour. I kid you not. I mean, we’ve establish that I am a dramatic person, but this was beyond my normal level of drama. I honestly felt like a horrible person, which brings me to my next point…
Crazy dog lady: I adore my Gypsy!!!!! My “Widdle Yipsy Guuurl,” as I call her when I am snuggling her or playing with her ears. She traveled with me everywhere until she grew to her big girl size (about 45lbs) Even though she has eaten through all of my flats, my credit cards (causing me a world of trouble) and pretty much any and everything she can chew, which is any and everything, I love this dog. All of my PCV friends know of my babygirl, and they have been kind enough not to judge me for it (not to my face at least). They let me gab on and on about her cute little growl noise she makes when she yawns in the morning (sounds like “OWW-RAH RAH…really, it’s adorable), and her habits, good and bad, like a proud Momma. If you have a dog you understand the love that only a dog can give you. No matter how crumby or defeated I feel, my Gyps makes me feel needed. I talk to her whenever I’m not…
Talking to myself: This happens all day every day. I have even gone so far as to ask and answer my own questions out loud. I then follow up with a very serious prayer about keeping some sort of sanity.
Annnnd I’ll end this post there.
Well no, I’ll end with this little gem of a photo that is a sincere, PCV reaction to luxuries from home…