I just finished what might have been my most pensive shower since
arriving in Togo. Today has been a tough day, and a tough day for no
reason in particular. Nothing exceptional happened, I went to market
with Becka and Bridgette (my homologue's daughter). I came back along
the route and talked with the guy from the farmer's association,
canceling our lunch date for tomorrow.
So what am I doing here? Why is it that I made the decision to sign up
with the Peace Corps to come struggle through French in a foreign land
that I may never completely understand. I'm sure that it was not
completely altruistically motivated. I convinced myself I would be
getting something out of this, namely a new language and an altered
consciousness developed through life abroad. But I had no specific
plan, I still cannot decide what route I want my life to take. So why
have I taken this detour? Is that what it is? A detour? I suppose
not. I don't think so.
So what did I come here to do? I'm not sure. But isn't it wise to make
choices in your life that you want to do, even if you don't have
direction? How can you choose to do what you want if you don't even
know what that is?
I think back and wonder why it is that I just don't start working
towards a future that benefits myself. Suppose there is an explanation
for this. In my letter of motivation submitted to the Peace Corps I
stated with firm and honest resolve that one finds peace through service
to others. This line of thinking tied in directly with my spiritual
side. But what if I'm wrong. What if happiness just comes from our
relationships, from feeling well integrated in our communities, being
loved by those around us, and ultimately through doing something and
doing it very well. What if the missing puzzle that I'm searching for
is not selfless service but self-actualization.
But maybe the key to my puzzle relates to self hatred, and resolve to
Is this the New Year? I don't feel any different.