Muttering under my breath

Today I wanted to hit things, stomp my feet, and scream.

I wanted to walk into traffic because I’m tired of cars and bikes and e-bikes being more important than pedestrians.

I wanted to yell at HR.

I wanted to kick the Porsche in the bike lane that made my bus stop twenty feet away from the bus stop.

After forgetting something important at home, I wanted to drive a car. (That’s a big deal for me, if you know how much I hate to drive.)

I wanted to shout “I don’t know” at the top of my lungs about an email I got.

I wanted to run, but the air is too bad and I don’t yet belong to a gym.

Today I wanted to honk back at cars that honk at me merely because I’m crossing the street in the crosswalk.

But I couldn’t (or shouldn’t) do any of these things. Instead I muttered under my breath. Instead I looked a pictures of friends and family. Instead I cried. Then Andy and I both laughed until we cried about his experience getting lost in one of the buildings on campus that is, at best, disorganized and, at worst, a realistic depiction of an M. C. Escher painting.

My best photo of Chinese architecture.

Breaking points come at various times for various reasons, and I’m still not far enough away from this one to analyze it properly, but here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  • too many of my usual coping mechanisms are not available right now. I cannot run, pet my dog, or call my friends. This has to change very soon.
  • while in some ways I’m settling in, in other ways this is too new. I still don’t have some basic needs met and still don’t have answers to basic questions. Now I know where to direct my energy.
  • meeting other expats who have already solved similar problems is imperative. My colleagues are kind, but we are all too busy to really exchange much information. I feel like the only thing I’m doing right at the moment is teaching (thank God), but that’s definitely a new low for me because I ordinarily like to be on top of things as far as policies, meetings, and everyday life stuff. I still feed disoriented and sometimes blindsided by things that seem obvious once I figure them out.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I knew there would be days like this. (I don’t need any “told ya so” comments!) I’ll bounce back. I always do.


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