Alright, so I’m going to be completely straight-up (as I always do here, at least). The past sixish weeks have been rough. I’ve gotten fed up with various things–some worth it–some not so much. As I vented to Rose (my American friend who lives like five mins from me) this morning, “Any cool that I had before I have officially lost.”
Let me back up and explain something. I live where I work. Michelle had told me about this, but I kinda brushed it off and didn’t see it as a big deal. And most of the time, it isn’t. But I pull such long hours sometimes (like this morning, I woke up at like three am and probably won’t be able to rest until nine or so). That’s an eighteen hour work day. That’s a freaking long day. Granted, I’m not like running around like a chicken with my head cut off all day, but there is definitely some heavy sighing and eye-rolling on a daily basis (I think I’m going to be a professional at the latter by the end of this). Today I caught myself raising my voice (not like yelling, but like being short).
I’m not that girl. I’m the girl who has nannied five kids at once for a summer (aged 8, 5, 4, and week-old twins) plus all the other babysitting and nannying I’ve done. I’m the girl who dances with no abandon in the car and at concerts (and anywhere, really). I’m the girl who has coached fifty 3rd-8th graders at track. I’m the girl who has led music programs for forty preschoolers a week for six years. I’m the girl who gets made fun of for being “annoyingly smiley and happy.” I’m the girl who has assisted with high school youth ministry programs on and off since high school (when I’m actually home as opposed to at college or, ya know, in Haiti). I like to think I’m well-trained in patience and faith, but I’ve found myself breaking. I’m not proud of that at all. I’m not that girl.
When I told Rose that I was “determined to whip these guys into shape” (among other things, Haitian time is driving me bonkers like none other), Rose sent back the most beautiful take on what I’m experiencing:
“Well, that’s one way to look at it, and I admire your determination. But also remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. And another perspective is that they also have a lot to teach us. So it’s good to be humble and see our own shortcomings that we often think are our assets…. (for example, because we anticipate things will go as planned, we have little need to depend on one another…. This culture can teach us a lot about community, generosity, and stepping up to the plate when someone else is in need). Just a little Saturday morning thought. It’s good to not always run into the brick walls of Haiti. Sometimes running alongside them actually acts as a hedge of protection, some shade if you will. Sometimes I am learning that seeking the peace-filled response is better for all of us. When I get all worked up, it only hurts me….and seldom improves the situation.”
Let’s applaud Rose, because she is amazing. My saving grace here in the chaos. I love how she’s been here long enough (she’s lived here for two years plus her multiple trips before) to be able to give me a good look into the daily life of a Haitian but also relate that back to the American lifestyle I’m still so used to. God bless this chick.
I think my favorite part of what she said was about running alongside the brick walls. I’d never heard that phrasing before, but I really like it because it’s a great visual as to what I have been doing. I’ve been stuck in my American mindset instead of trying to think like a Haitian. While yes, having the American mindset can be beneficial sometimes, it can also be detrimental. So my new mission is to try to get out of my head and kind of “reset.”
…in other Abby-esque ADHD news…Reginette is playing Backstreet Boys and I am ecstatic! Dance party time, I’ll write more soon! 💃🏻