14 June 2011

A Quiet Monday Night Thought

Over a year ago, I started this blog, thinking I would post maybe 2 or 3 times a week about Morocco. I was back from Morocco the first time, and ready to head back to my second home for another year. I wanted to post about Moroccan culture, traditions, and people, because I felt like I was having to explain a lot to people back at home about Morocco, and it was just easier to post about it, and then email everyone I cared about once a month or so. It was a "Third Goal" effort: teach Americans about the country in which you serve. It was also a catharsis effort, so that I would be able to attempt to show people why I was (and still am) so fascinated by this country.

For the first few months, I kept up the effort, but after a while, I got caught up in my life here. I didn't write much anymore, I didn't post anything longer than a few paragraphs. And that's okay. I felt like I did a good job of continuing to post many (too many?) articles on Facebook, so that anyone who cared could read a little bit more about what was going on here. I failed, really, to continue my goal here though. Can't do anything about that now, but looking back, I wish I could have chronicled my reactions and thoughts about the historical changes that were happening in the Arab world, and how theses changes manifested themselves in Morocco.

For example, I will always remember that I was sitting at the Grande Terrasse cafe near the Royal Theater in Rabat, downloading on their fast internet connection, when I looked up and saw the speech Hosni Mubarak made to announce he was leaving. I wish I had written about that then.

But it's okay. Now I am days away from leaving Morocco. I say to most people I'm leaving "for good," but anyone who knows me well knows that this place and these people - as I mentioned in my last post - will always pull me back. I don't know when, and I am grateful that this time I am not scheming to return... yet. I am grateful that I know what kind of emotions I will experience when I go back. Even though it won't make them any easier, I am trying to console myself with the fact that they are normal.

This year hasn't been my greatest. I did some things that I regret, and some things that maybe I should regret, but don't. I was really on my own for the first time in my life, no school or parents or university or international agency to hold me responsible, and I learned a lot of hard but valuable lessons about myself.

I learned that I am not as strong as I want to be, but a lot stronger than I was. I learned that my moral compass doesn't always point north, and that I should consider and/or care about the consequences of my actions more. I learned that speaking your own opinions can bring out the best and the worst in people. I learned that sometimes, no matter how much I work towards something, I could fail, spectacularly, but I also learned that I am not a bad person because I failed at something at which I desperately thought I needed to succeed. I was reminded that living abroad is hard, and that I don't deal with change as well as I would like to think. I was reminded how blessed I am to have the life that I have. I was reminded that time heals wounds, whether you want it to or not. I was reminded that I can cook, but most of the time, I choose convenience over healthy food. I was reminded that I am beautiful, smart, and a good person at heart, despite what societies may tell me.

Morocco will be part of my life and my soul forever. After all, I've been here a total of 37 months over the past 4 years:

September 2007 - November 2009: 26 months
June 2010 - July 2010: 2 months
September 2010 - June 2011: 9 months

Hopefully, I'll be able to carry those months with me while still moving on and continuing to grow up. I'm scared, being 26 years old, at what comes next, but many movies have told me that real courage is going forward despite being terrified out of your mind. So I'm going to try.

1 comment:

k said...

I really like this entry a lot. I truly and sincerely wish you the best of luck in the future, admire your talents and passions, and think that there will be some great things from you in the future. You are going places, and I wish you peace and success.