Pâro. A word created by John Koenigin in his, “Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows” to describe the subtle, yet persistent feeling that everything you do is somehow wrong. A sensation that I have become very familiar with over the last couple of weeks. When I reach out for a handshake instead of lean in for a kiss, or when I use the conjugation for “ we” when describing “they.”      

Sometimes I even feel like I’m doing the whole gap year wrong. Maybe I’m overexerting myself too much, spending too much time in the stretch zone, but when I opted to stay in my comfort zone, I chastise myself with, “ I didn’t come here to be the person I’ve always been.”

 I can’t seem to figure out: how many times is it appropriate to politely refuse food before it becomes…not so polite. Am I being assertive and respecting my boundaries or am I just hiding in my comfort zone? Is it okay for me to complain, or am I just showing my ignorance and privilege as a American?  

When people back home ask how ask me how things are going.  I always feel like my summary is somehow wrong. What if I tell them I’m having fun and they think that's all the program is and I’m wasting my time and I’m not really growing or what if I tell them about the stress that I’m experiencing and it comes across bratty or like I can't cope or like I’m not having a good time. 

I haven't figured out the cure to this phenomenon. I’m slowly realizing–everything doesn’t need a definition answer or solution. This ‘Pâro” is teaching me to approach situations with the humility, and forcing accept the reality that no matter how much I learn, there is always something I don't know; Whilst simultaneously teaching me there's no right way to do most things.