I completed two “Friday Gratitude” posts for two different topics this week, but in the end, I trashed both of them. Both felt false to me.
Of course, I have plenty to be grateful for. There are moments, hours, days when I love being in Kosovo. There are moments, hours, days when I don’t. This week I have been struggling with restlessness, of a general sense of discomfort. The other trainees are feeling similarly. As someone said yesterday, “I have malaise.”
My aim with this blog is to remain positive while also being truthful. That can be a fine line to walk. No one wants to listen to a privileged person whine.
I am struggling with the loss of autonomy and control over my life. Training is structured and rigid, which contributes to the feeling. We aren’t allowed to travel or really do much of anything on our own. It can be frustrating.
Another factor is that I am still adjusting to Kosovar culture. A group of us planned to meet up with a Kosovar man we know for something Peace Corps related. But when everyone except me canceled at the last minute, he declined to meet with me alone because of how our meeting could be perceived. And I get that. I understand. But it makes me miss being in Chicago, of being able to go anywhere with anyone at all hours of the day or night, and not having anyone take notice or care.
I miss being able to jump in my car and run to the store. As much as I hate grocery shopping and cooking, I miss having control over what I eat.
I am usually a bad sleeper and my sleep has been especially bad this week. I’m awake all hours of the night, restless and wanting a distraction.
We officially swear in as Peace Corps volunteers on August 19. After that, we move to our permanent sites. I am hoping this will afford me some freedom again. Everyone keeps assuring us that training is the hardest part of being in the Peace Corps.
What I am most grateful for this week is my fellow Peace Corps trainees. As much as we are all feeling bored and restless, everyone is still trying to remain positive. It makes a difference.