how the light gets in

Despite my best efforts, I find myself often comparing my Sri Lankan life with my Canadian life. Comparisons can be dangerous; they take you away from your current context and inevitably lead to disappointment as you discover that things are usually different and sometimes weird and never what you’re used to. It’s so easy and so natural to separate the world into “us” and “them” and this mindset is what prolongs culture shock and prevents integration into this new world I find myself in. My life in Canada and my life here are incomparable. My whole context has changed. I am part…

all by myself

I had the privilege of video chatting with a good friend the other day, the first time we’ve really talked since August. Our long conversation, made longer by dodgy internet connections, covered everything that’s happened in the weeks since we last saw each other, mostly, of course, focusing on our personal adjustments to life abroad, our mandates, and being alone. I learned a lot about how I’m feeling about life because she asked me questions other people haven’t and I said things out loud that I haven’t said before. I did an okay job of preparing myself to be here,…

fomo

This weekend, I went on a safari with Karen and a family from Australia. I sang Taylor Swift’s Wildest Dreams in my head the whole time, because that’s what I learned in International Development. The family was kind, the elephants were exactly as spectacular as I had hoped, and it was hot. Toward the end of our trip, the father asked us if we missed the cold weather this time of year. Of course. I miss a lot of things this time of year. Canadians celebrated thanksgiving this weekend, aka the first weekend where people really embrace fall weather. My Facebook, Instagram, and…

ob-la-di, ob-la-da (life goes on)

Well, I’ve been here for a number of weeks (a month?), and not a single one of my questions has been answered. In an ideal world, I’d have things sort of figured out by now, but we don’t live in an ideal world. Right now, I’m kind of just making things up until something works. As far as I can tell, that’s what everyone else is doing too. I think this is what they call “adulting”. So, despite the uncertainty surrounding everything I do, life keeps moving forward, and I really don’t have much choice but to go with it….

cardboard boats and a city in the hills

I recently started listening to a podcast called “Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People”, or “Beautiful/Anonymous” for short (x). It’s a simple premise: the host, Chris Gethard, accepts a phone call, and he and this anonymous caller just talk for an hour. Chris and his callers have kept me company in the last couple of weeks, on long car rides and nights when I feel lonely. I haven’t listened to every episode yet, but all of the ones I have heard have stuck with me in one way or another, coming back up as I experience new things. Last week, the Uniterra team took…

jericho

While performing ad analyses in our marketing class, we’ve been talking about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This guy, Maslow, reduced the entire human experience to the pursuit of physiological comfort, safety, love and belonging, self-esteem, and self-actualization. I reached the “love/belonging” stage when I joined INDEV. This program, at this university, is where I found my people. I’m bad at being away from my family, but I’m lucky to have found a new one at UW. Over the last few years we’ve been building our little world here, and our little world is safe and happy. Last August, shockingly, suddenly, our…

uncertainty

Here are some things you might not know about me: I’m incredibly emotional. I think that’s why I’m so cut out for indev. I have a big heart, and there’s room for pretty much everyone and everything in it. I get really overwhelmed when I feel that I’ve lost control of a situation. Like, really overwhelmed. I spend every day battling between my emotional need to see everyone happy and my mental need to control every detail of a situation. When I do lose control, I tend to just shut down. I know how to think on my feet and be…