The culture shock has arrived…

Thankfully I have no work today because of a Colombia holiday (no one is quite sure which one) and my hope is to finally revise my Master’s proposal to submit, but I’m not excited about all the reading I have. I am happily greeted by my friend and we have breakfast together while catching up on work, school, etc.

Sadly enough, she breaks the news to me that she will be leaving for Bogota soon and suggests we go to the botanical garden to see the orchid show as our last activity together. I try to keep it together, but I can feel the weight in my chest.

I get ready quickly and we are off. The botanical garden is breathtaking. Tickets for the event are $7.50 each and we enjoy a $0.50 natural sugar cane drink while in line. I see flowers in colors I didn’t know were possible. I think purple is my new favorite color. (It used to be green. Kelly green.)

We witness dinosaurs still living in Colombia: Iguana’s. It’s both gross and terrifyingly interesting at the same time. They are literally eating spoon-fed fruit from park goers.

Iguana

I have been invited to go to the country with Cata, her mother and their friends, but I have work tomorrow and the hopes of a real Spanish lesson over the weekend…I’m torn because I don’t know what to do. Stay in Medellin and just face the reality of being alone or go with the group and milk the idea of being around company a little longer, but risk the fact that I will be even more lonely there because of the language barrier.

Being around so many people and not understanding what’s going on or being able to contribute makes me feel just as lonely as dating did. Believe me, I love dating. I love meeting new people and living in those moments of uncertainty where neither person knows what’s in store for the night, the weekend or even longer…But something about dating and knowing that these guys aren’t forever, makes me feel a little lonelier. It’s the same being in a new country, surrounded by people all the time, but feeling no connection. Yet. 

The definition of loneliness is sadness from no company, or from isolation and lack of friends. My loneliness is different. I’m the opposite of isolated. The majority of my life is spent in the company of others and I have amazing friends. The difference is, I am lonely because of these things: Because I can’t find someone who wants to be as exploratory as me, because I am constantly surrounded by people who I don’t feel connections with, because my amazing friends can’t be with me all of the time. 

I decide to stay back for work, my Spanish lesson and frankly to just dive head first into the loneliness without my friend living here anymore. I am a tough love kind of person and hate to sugar coat anything. That’s what going to the countryside would have been: a sugar coated pill.

I know I am being dramatic and walking the tightrope of depression, but hey my therapist told me I will always have a bit of a sad little girl in me that I need to allow to be sad every once in awhile, so that’s what I’m doing. I figure now is as good a time as any since I have no friends and can’t communicate to make any. 

Waking up to an empty house Friday morning, I remind myself that I lived alone all this past year and that this is the most normal I have felt in awhile. All this sadness is probably karma from the guys I ‘dated’ in Boston…I swear…

I try to understand how the only options for traveling is by taxi or the single bus that will bring me to use the metro. I need to get acquainted with the other local buses. Forgetting that my co-worker is not a morning person, I badger her into carpooling with me so she can go back to sleep until it’s absolutely time to go to work. 

Today, we are working from a coffee shop, because there are so few of us. It’s cool, but I feel out of it. Worried about learning Spanish, worried about being alone, worried, worried, worried.

Coffee

The morning goes by quickly and I am attempting a google maps walk to my Spanish lesson. I make it, surprisingly. The lesson goes really well and I feel good, much calmer. This is nothing like Chinese lessons or Thai…I remember back to those moments and think why do I (people) try to learn languages at the most inopportune times. I was a freshman in college trying to learn the hardest language in the world. I had left home and the U.S. for the first time ever when trying to learn Thai. Spanish feels different though. It has a lot of the same characteristics as French, and English actually, and if I could only chill out about life, my brain might be able to retain something.

My goal for the rest of the day is to finish work and get in the mindset of my school proposal. A co-worker waits with me and takes the same bus home as me. Her exact words: When you can speak a word of Spanish, then I will leave you alone. She is sure to tell the bus driver where I need to get off and to watch out for me J I smile to myself, thinking this makes me feel like a 5 year old, but I’m so grateful for them helping me.

Eventually I will master this life. I will re-learn patience. Eventually I will finish my paper, but not tonight. I’m just saving up my rest now so that when I do make friends, I will be able to sleep less. 😉

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