I was doubtful I’d see the day when my enjoyment of life in LP outstripped my enjoyment of my job but it has happened. It’s a great testament to the marked improvement in my quality of life—my friends, my home situation, my intellectual stimulation—and also sad evidence of a rapidly declining love for work.
I’m at the point now in my time here where the end is in sight and I’m pretty sure I’ll make it, even if I’m puttering along dragging my feet by the time I get there. “Still” has become “only” in discussions of remaining time. Planning for what comes next now seems less like an escape plan, and more just like appropriate preparation for the season I’m in.
Though I’ve been in this place many times before, the bittersweetness still surprises me. While I’m wildly excited for the many reunions I hope await me upon my return, it’s hard to think of saying goodbye. It’s even more sobering to think about the legacy I will leave (or won’t leave), the things left unaccomplished, and what I haven’t learned. And yet, even given all the things that have gone differently than I imagined, or I haven’t been able to realize, I can recognize that there is so much growth that has happened in me, so much to be proud of, and so much more I have to offer the world for taking this risk.
2013 felt only like a couple of weeks long to me. It was just New Year’s and in a blink it’ll be here again. I have six months left. As I’m counting down, its nice to have a few things to count on for speeding up my remaining time here.
- November: Trip to Hong Kong, Bali, Yogyakarta, Jakarta, and Bangkok
- December: Film Festival, Christmas
- February: traveling around Laos and possibly Cambodia
- March: potential field trip for work
- April: Lao New Year, trip to Vietnam
- May 15: last day of work
Maybe you’re thinking, “Wow, quite the world traveler!” but, actually, in the 548 days it’s been since I arrived in Laos, I’ve only been out of LP for six days and all six of them were for work.
With as much as there is coming up, there’s been even more that’s happened in the past few months since I updated.
- July: new roommate, summer kids camp
- August: Asia Society connections, flooding, started learning Thai
- September: Boat Racing Festival, more flooding, home visit with high school intern, new exhibit opening
- October: 30th birthday, 4 house guests, visit some villages, waterfall trip with staff member, started learning Indonesian
- November: house visit with different staff member, preparations for upcoming trip, Canerican Thanksgiving
My new goal for before 2014 is to write posts filling you in on all of that!