I fell off of the blogging track.
This does not mean I have not been busy here in Montenegro! Perhaps it is a sign that I have been busier actually living life than I was earlier on in my time here. Things I once could spend hours analyzing and attempting to articulate to my “hoards of adoring readers,” have become my new normal… or, at least, they have become things that I am more used to now, feelings I can better understand. I assure you, though, my tendency to analyze and overanalyze is alive and well – latitude and longitude cannot change everything.
I tend to become more introverted as the days get shorter and the temperature drops – at least until my body accepts the fact that hibernation is not an option and I begin to feel like myself again. For me, this annual, self-imposed period of ennui – what most people would simply refer to as the “end of Fall” — tends to involve hiding out in my apartment, excess amounts of hot beverages, extreme difficulty getting out of bed, and listening to more old-school Frightened Rabbit than I would care to admit. This has proven true no matter where I live and this time my cozy seclusion extended to my writing for a while.
I’m back now.
I think it is important to acknowledge the negative side of positive experiences. We live in an era of social networking, where one can craft their online persona however they choose. The problem with exclusively showing the world how amazingly perfect you are is that it isn’t authentic – and it has the potential to make other people feel more insecure. We all have flaws, we might as well laugh at them a bit.
I am often guilty of only sharing my positive experiences with my social networks. I am an internal processor, especially when it comes to negative things. I tend to keep it to myself and close confidants when I am unhappy about something, at least until I figure out the root of my melancholy, how to best communicate it to others, and if I even want to communicate it to others.
Looking back on my past few posts makes me happy because I have had some phenomenal times these past few months. However, I think it is important for the world to know that my time here has not been all sunshine, exciting exploration, delicious food, and smiles as I climb both mountains and Maslow’s Hierarchy to Self-Actualization. I want to be real: moving away from the people you love, things you know, and places you are used to can be really hard at times. I can be sentimental to a fault, so I have definitely had some difficult days being away from my comfort zone, missing big events back home, and embarrassing myself all over the Balkans. But, like I said above, we might as well laugh at ourselves a bit.
So, I figured I would share a few of my less-glamorous moments from the past few months in Montenegro. Go ahead and laugh at me. I do.
- It took me three days of miserable, cold showers in my apartment before I realized that there is a (very obvious) switch that you must flip to turn on your water heater.
- “Kako ste?” means “how are you?” in Montenegrin. I have, on more than one occasion, asked someone “taco ste?” by mistake. I attribute this to nervousness and a near-constant craving for Mexican food.
- Although I have not done anything wrong or illegal, I feel extreme anxiety any time I have to cross a border or have any interaction with the police.
- I needed to buy light bulbs the other day. I looked up how to say “light bulb” in Montenegrin before going to the store and also put one in my purse, just in case. I forgot everything I wanted to say on my walk to the store and, when I arrived, I ended up just holding up the light bulb and saying “Molim?” to the clerk. This is equivalent to walking into Target, going up to an employee, pulling a random object out of my purse, and simply saying “Please?”. I am so embarrassing.
- I have done multiple loads of laundry. But I still do not understand my washing machine or what settings I am actually putting it on. I basically just turn dials and hope for the best.
These are just a few awkward examples that stand out in my mind, but you can be sure that I embarrass myself on pretty much a daily basis here, just like I do in the U.S.
Like I said, latitude and longitude cannot change everything.