How It Is

Nikita Dolin - Ecuador


October 28, 2013

These words are hard for me to say. Not because I am a coward but because I have wanted to be accepted earlier and all through my life I assumed that if I were strong and showed a bare minimum of emotion, I would have just that; acceptance, love, wanting. So here goes nothing; This journey is difficult. Right as I say that, my “other” side comes and wants to say that it’s hard but not that bad, that I can do it and it’s no problem. Yea, that’s true, I can do it but recently I realized that it’s ok to feel down, bad, scared and to be hurt. It’s called being human. So like I said, this trip is difficult.

I came here thinking it’ll be easy, a walk in the park full of flowers that I could pick here and there to smell. What I’ve realized is that it’s just that but there are thorns everywhere, ready to rip my legs up in an attempt to halt me in my tracks. My legs? Those are my will and wellbeing. What’s on the line is a break down that’s around the corner somewhere. I know it’s there but it seems I’ve turned myself into a tank recently. One that gets shot at and hurt yet keeps rolling on. I think that’s a great trait yet at the same time it can be something quite destructive. If you keep running, when will your feelings catch up?

Look through my eyes, from my shoes. Try to feel how I feel, understand me. I wake up every day not wanting to get up. I would love to sleep the day away though I know I shouldn’t. It scares me knowing that this day will be like the last one; hard, stressful, scary, awkward and embarrassing, yet it’s something I have to deal with. I live in a cement house with no insulation, the glass not fitting properly to the frame, no heating and especially no sound proofing whatsoever. When I say sound proofing, I don’t mean extra things to make outside noise disappear. What I mean is that basically I can hear everything in the house, from someone moving in the bed to the loud snoring that comes after. Go to bed with fleas and bed bugs, wake up and deal with them all day. That’s life. Take cold showers in the frigid mountain temperatures, oh yea! Greet people then awkwardly smile until they realize that they are either speaking too fast, speaking in Quichua or that today is one of those days where all of my Spanish has vanished to somewhere other than my memory. Teach at a school where I’m harassed from start to finish; a good six to seven hours. Then either go home to take a nap and study/read or go to the nearby city of Cebadas to help with my parents’ store. In the end I’ll eat soup, soup, and more soup. I went to bed at 12 back in the states, now 8 is a better time.

Now that last paragraph made it sound hard and slightly bad. I will admit that it’s hard but you will never hear me say bad because that’s literally not in my thoughts. Sure I have bed bugs and fleas, but how many people in world also have them? That and I get to come back and brag about how raw my experience was here. Cold showers? Yeah I dislike them but boy do they work better then coffee. I’m all about that healthy lifestyle nowadays. And the thing with me always eating soup? That’s an exaggeration. It’s more like 80% of the time. It’s become a game (and a blessing) to see what I’ll be having for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and oh my god, there are moments where I go to a restaurant and boy I cannot explain the joy I experience. Picking what you want to eat and not having it be soup? Get out of here. Then there are the moments when I “have to” communicate with locals. First, I like it, even though it’s stressful and hard and second, I get to practice my smile a lot. Those modeling agencies won’t be able to let me go once they see this “A” grade material. Those kids? Don’t worry, I get to beat them in soccer every day. They don’t even stand a chance, and they’re cute. Also… it’s pretty rocking to be called professor. Cebadas is cool. It’s a city that overlooks the mountains so I get to take a nap in the Ecuadorian sun while listening to cows moo, roosters caw and to literally not have a worry for a few hours. Then to finish it off, I like spending time with my family here. I’ve really grown attached.

So yeah, it’s difficult but then again so is everything else. What’s the point to look at everything in a negative light. I feel like that might be a problem with a lot of people including myself at one point. Expectations and negativity. How can you enjoy something when it’s not exactly what you thought or wanted? The answer is to want the something but then leave it to that. Keep an open mind and life will show you its wonders and treats. I really do believe that. I feel that the world wants to show us its beauty but we’re always going about either mindlessly, too busy, or with judgment. You can find amazing things in chaos and when you learn to go with the flow in a certain direction, you’ll see more, hear more and know more. Isn’t knowing more, more helpful? Isn’t experiencing a lot beneficial to your job and life? Don’t you want to live life to the fullest? And with negativity, why are you negative about so much? Is it helpful to only know that you have half a glass of water instead of a full glass? Shouldn’t you be grateful that you even have water when you’re thirsty? Those are the questions that I have dealt with; maybe they’ll be helpful to you too.

 

Nikita Dolin