Monday, August 30, 2010

Writer's Block

I have (hopefully had) a serious case of writer’s block.  A major one.  My notebook has scribbles of paragraphs and blog ideas I have tried to construct into coherent entries, and I have been completely unsuccessful.  This also is true for drafts of emails I have tried to write but left unsent, incomplete journal entries, and pages of jumbled words, unable to string out enough words to make an entry of enough quality for me to post or send.  I have been able to string together several sentences, but never more than a paragraph. 

I have even tried writing about this very topic, and this is the first time I have been able to get past the hurdle of the first paragraph, and it’s finally starting to look like a blog entry.  It looks like a combination of factors have contributed to this, being extremely busy with everything that’s happening (and of which I will write about in a later entry, well, several entries), lack of inspiration to pick up the pen, or hit the keyboard, and combating thoughts and feeling taking over my brain and emotional core.

The biggest thing, I think, is the fact that I will be ending my service in December, more or less.  That’s only four months from now.   I go back to the entries where I wrote about having twenty-two months left, eighteen, and so on.  Not long after that, early next year I will be returning to a life (my life?) in the States.  I’m excited, sure to say, but also somewhat petrified.  I’m starting to mentally prepare myself for the whole readjustment process and that’s taking a lot of mental energy away from this blog, from some of the other things I would much rather be thinking about. 

Yes, I’m thrilled to be able to drive again, to watch television that always has captions, to watch movies in the big screen, eat sushi whenever I want to (not only when I’m in Nairobi), and especially not to be stared at and whispered about all day.  All that would be awesome, but readjustment won’t be that easy.  The two years of my life here in Kenya has a tremendous impact on who I am, the way I think, my feelings about Africa and foreign aid, and it also has great influence on the way I think about life in general, and it will be reduced to just a five minute conversation, if that, with most people. 

That’s going to be rough.  It won’t be easy.

I’ve been getting more and more emails from friends bringing me closer and closer to reality, emails about break-ups and new relationships, job hunting tips, pictures of craft projects … all the emails I have been getting up to now, in fact.  Only the difference is that now I will be more involved in these lives than I was over the two years that I am 10,000 kilometers away, so I’m taking note of these emails in a different way.  It’s not that I don’t want to be involved in people’s lives; it’s just that it’s a completely different reality from the one I am in right now.

The reality also will be that I will lose touch with many of my friends here in Kenya, just due to technological issues and some of the cultural aspects – the Kenyan way of live and let live also means I’ll see you when I see you.  Maybe in a couple of years, maybe never.  I’ll keep in touch with a few close friends, but yeah, it’d be as if my two years would almost vanish in thin air. 

That’s not a reality that’s easy to wrap my mind around. 

Even seeing photos of my beloved niece makes me fact facts that time has flown – seeing this gorgeous baby grow into a beautiful toddler, seeing her teeth come out, turning a year of age, and will probably be almost two the next time I see her.  Our lives, my brother’s and mine, have changed in huge ways over the past two years, far for the better, I believe, and it’s just taking me some time to come to grips to that.  I have a new favorite photo of her that I’m using as a jumping point for inspiration – someday I want to tell her about this experience of mine, and writing blog entries is a good way to go about it.

Now that I’m starting to wrap my mind around these facts, now that after a fantastic birthday, an inspiring week with an awesome bunch of Americans and Kenyans at Global Reach Out, a wonderful break and traveling to South Africa (photos soon, hopefully!) with some of the best people I know, a week of training at a swanky hotel on the coast, and a fantastic Mombasa dance party with many volunteers and our friends … I’m starting to deal.  My brain is starting to accept the fact, starting to get down to business thinking about all the things I need to wrap up here before I head out, a few plans I need to make with friends, Kenyan and American, and figuring out the next thing.  


This blog consists of my personal thoughts and opinions. It does not in any way reflect the position of the United States Government or the Peace Corps.