Monday, January 08, 2007

No dog for me

Well after a long night of soul searching, I decided its not a good time to bring a dog into my life, for the same reasons its not a good time to bring a child into my life, it's too unsettled.

When I decided to pursue this work in Mexico, I knew that I was going to have to make alot of personal sacrifices. First, I've had to all but abandon my two cats, Mocha and Kobie, with my elderly Mother. Driving back and forth is great with Moxie, the easy going, car ride lovin dog, but the cats aren't so interested in Marathon travel. It isn't really safe for them in Mexico either. If they were to get out (which, with the way the kids are ALWAYS leaving the door open is really a matter of when) they wouldn't make it ten minutes. Plus there is the ever present threat of no real vet care available in Mazamitla. So personal sacrifice number one was giving up my babies, something I would never have done under ordinary circumstances. Pets are for life, I firmly believe that. I still support them financially, and I spend time with them when I am home, but they are essentially abandoned. They certiantly remind me of it everytime I see them. Anyone who says animals aren't spiteful, never owned cats.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

So aside from losing my cats, which some might not see as a sacrifice, I've lost alot of other things. In many ways, I've lost my friends. Even my friendship with Syl has suffered from the lengthy separations. Its just hard to keep up with someone who lives in another country, and is so insanely busy, that odd email is all that keeps you connected. People have lives, they move on, and I end up alone. Granted, the depression went a long way to putting my friendships in terminal status, but the long distance divide just put the nails in the coffin. I come home for a few weeks, we go out, we have dinner, we see a movie, we catch up, and I'm gone again. Something I've always prided myself on, was the kind of friend that I am. The kind that is available. The kind that will drop anything to be there for a friend in need. Hard to do when you are 1500 miles away. I can't even talk to my friends when they need me. All I have is email. Not too personal. Not the best way to be a friend.

What about new friends, in Mexico, you may ask? Well, the language barrier is a real problem, so is the fact that I work 80 hour weeks, literally. I am always teaching, planning or researching. I try to sleep sometimes too. It's very easy for me to stay in the house all week long, never leave, and never talk to anyone my own age, about anything but the school. Moxie really helps with that, because she needs to get out, and she needs someone to take her out. Moxie gets me out of the house. My thinking was that, another dog, might get me out of the house more, and help stave off the oppressive lonelyness. And it is lonely. Easy to get lost in your thoughts, your anxieties, your pressing questions and deadlines, with no one to help talk things through with. Human interaction is so important. Its something I never understood until I was deprived of it. Isolation is a dangerous and terrible thing.

My lifestyle itself is a sacrifice. I have no time to take care of me. I recently vowed to make time to excercise because both I and my dog really need it every day. Last semester, I would go all day without eating. I just didn't have time. When I would eat, it would be rice, or beans, or vegetables. I'm sure diet along with lack of sleep and being overworked, are what contribute to my constantly feeling tired. I have to force myself through everyday things. Getting up, taking a shower, getting dressed, teaching, reading, planning, working, walking. Every little thing is a huge chore. When I am home on break I will often stay in bed all day, partly because I'm so tired, and partly because often I can't think of any good reason to get up. Maybe I'm sick, and thats why I'm so tired. Maybe, but I would never know. I had to sacrifice health care for this work. I sacrificed insurance. I sacrificed the peace of mind that comes with a regular pay check, with knowing you can pay your bills, and afford your medicine.

Finally, I have sacrificed any hope of having a relationship with someone, of falling in love, getting married, having a family. I can't raise kids this way. I can't tend to the needs of a partner in a relationship with this schedule. I can't even adopt another dog.

But its all worth it, I believe. Everytime I get infront of those kids, and watch their eyes light up with wonder. Every day I get to see them one day closer to a future without poverty. I get to be a part of a community on the move, out of poverty, into a sustainable way of life. I get to make a difference in peoples lives. I get to make the world a better place. I get to really do something important with my life.

There can be no progress without sacrifice.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well good lord, I left this great comment and it got swept into cyberspace.

It had something to do with friends being like the tide-some eventually returned, others swept out to sea forever...but it sounded much better than that the first time.

I also mentioned you are living the life I thought I would be living and I am no where near what I thought I'd be up to now. Well to tell you the truth, I don't think I ever thought much past 30-so it's all new territory for me.