embracing the uncomfortable

As night falls as early as 7 PM here and I’m not yet confident enough to journey out into a world that has little commitment to street lighting, I’m often sitting in my room, thinking about this experience, about how adaptable I need to be, not because everything is different, but because my routine is different … by which I mean, I have no routine.

And sitting alone, googling quotes (yes, I am the kind of person who does that, what of it) and eating peanut butter (stop judging me) with only yourself for company can be kind of uncomfortable.

I stumbled across this and was rather surprised to find it encompassed entirely how I am feeling.

“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.”

I am uncomfortable (being naturally awkward is not helpful).

I am uncomfortable without the negative connotation that the word holds and I think everyone should be encouraged to become entirely and unapologetically immersed in discomfort. Being here, in an unfamiliar place without the safety netting of my friends and family, knowing close to no one and understanding little of the local language, I am uncomfortable.

This discomfort doesn’t have to be synonymous with unhappiness and it doesn’t have to equate me discarding the foreign to remove the discomfort. It means learning and challenging myself to find comfort, pattern and bits of home in the unfamiliar.

It does help that they sell peanut butter, though.


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