Feels #1 – Rollercoaster

Austin Nguyen - Ecuador


September 19, 2015

To be perfectly honest, I’ve been having trouble writing this second blog post. I’ve worked through maybe 3 different drafts, all about completely different subjects – all of those just didn’t feel right. They didn’t feel honest enough. So I’ve decided I’m going to write two different types of blogs – one that’s more “story-like,” I guess, sort of like the first post I wrote. The other type is going to throw organization and structure and whatnot out the window and just be a jumbled mess of my feelings – I’ll call them the “Feels” blogs, I guess. Thusly, welcome to Feels #1: Rollercoaster.

 

I feel like I’m on a rollercoaster, and I hate rollercoasters. These past three weeks, living with my host family in Quito, have seriously been incredible – but there have been ups and downs, and sometimes, the changes come so suddenly. At one moment, I’m feeling low because I miss my family and friends at home, and constantly thinking and talking in Spanish is extremely exhausting, especially when dialogue is flying at me from all directions. In those moments, I feel like I just want to detach myself and zone out, let my mind wander and think What am I doing here? How did I end up among these people? And then, suddenly, things get really, really good. I don’t know. The feeling of driving home (not me driving that’s against the GCY rules haha) – in the night-time, and seeing city lights almost everywhere after a particularly interesting day with the family, whether we went to a birthday party or visited a tourist attraction – is fantastic. I feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. I feel like I’m home, even though the place I’ve considered to be home for years is 3794.777 miles away. And I feel so grateful that this host family has been so inviting to me.

Sometimes, I feel down because I don’t feel like I fit in with the other Global Citizen Year fellows – don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t like them. Sometimes, I just feel like they are incredibly out of my league – I’m a guy who, for most of his life, has been perfectly content staying in his home city of San Jose, California. I did not know much about global issues, and I’ve never been (at least in my opinion) very ambitious. And some of the fellows I’ve met here are just… incredible. They’re so educated and well-versed in topics I have no experience in, and they bring up sides and perspectives to issues that I’ve never even thought about. These moments make me ask the same questions that I ask myself when I’m around about 7 different Ecuadorian ladies talking about lives and experiences that they’ve shared and I have never known – What am I doing here? How did I end up among this people? On the flipside, however, the other fellows also give me a feeling of awe – like, “jeez, these guys are so rad, and I just want to learn as much as I can from them.” Thankfully, that positive side of the feeling generally outweighs the negative side, I think.


The way I’m feeling right now, however, is a mysterious and frustrating feeling that has been with me since the day this program began. It was there when I left my family and friends at the airport, and reoccurred when I left the global cohort. Now, as I prepare to leave the country cohort and my family here, the feeling is returning once again. It’s sort of like a loop-de-loop, I think, on a rollercoaster – It’s high and low, all at the same time. I’m so very sad to be leaving the great friends I’ve made here in Ecuador and the family that I’ve grown close to, but I’m also so very excited for the new beginning that awaits me in my new city. It’s frustrating, and I can’t make sense of whether or not this is a good or bad feeling and whether or not I can do anything about it, but honestly?
I don’t think I need an answer, really. I’ll just sit here and let the complicated feeling permeate me, knowing that this is not the last time I’ll feel this way – it’s going to happen all throughout this bridge year and all throughout my life. But that’s okay. I don’t think you need to completely understand everything all the time.
Sometimes, you just have to let yourself feel, I guess.


Tomorrow, at this time, I’ll be in the city of Otavalo. My Global Citizen Year will have truly begun, and I’m feeling like I’m as ready as I’m ever going to get.

Until next time.
-Aus

 

 

 

Austin Nguyen