As a young girl, while others were busy playing dolls and dress up, I was busy reading, writing and considering where to live when I grew up. Not your average childhood concern, and the fact that so many places intrigued me, made it even more complicated. I found myself torn between the bright city lights and the peaceful countryside. Both were equally appealing and knowing that one day I would have to choose just one, made for a truly worrisome matter. My biggest fear was that I would grow old without being able to make a decisoin. In that case I would have to compromise a life between both places and hypothetically, I knew this would not be an easy thing to do. My only wish was that the right choice would become apparent before then.
As I grew my perceptions of the world did as well, and with this my desires became clear. The city life started to seem less appealing. It's once alluring lights, sounds and ceaseless energies were now the same exact things that drove me away. Within the organization, lifeless buildings and conformities, I would forget to exist. While on the other hand, the more time I spent apart from the urban world, the more connected with myself I became. Nothing would ever seem as real as the tall quiet forests or the crashing ocean waves. I understood these places. within them, I felt comfortable, safe and secure. There was no denying the fact that the latter life was the one for me. One encompassed by nature, wholeness and peace.
So how my journey ended up here in the soiled city of Chonburi, Thailand and why I haven't left, is beyond me. If given the choice and a work contract was not involved, I surely would have hightailed it by now. This town after all, is nothing close to agreeable. I have become accustomed to the sights of congested streets, trash, and dead animals. Smells I only wish I could describe. The air is so thick with exhaust and pollution, I often have to force myself to breathe. There is nothing peaceful about this place. I am constantly haunted by the sounds of dogs barking, cats meowing, roosters crowing, motor bikes, loud speakers, pots and pans clanging, every fathomable annoyance in the book. There is never a moment of silence. The sights, sounds and smells of this city all combine to form what is best described as, perfectly dreadful. The longer I am here, the closer I get to completely losing myself.
My Sanity is kept in a small, grassy, tree-filled park nearby where I go to run at night. I choose night, not only because it is cooler but because there are no people. No uninvited stares or shouts of "YOU!" or "I LOVE YOU!". An ample chance to reconnect with nature and with myself. The many large trees are adorned with colorful, iridescent hanging lanterns that reflect in moonlit ponds below. There is a tall fence built around the park that I feel completely separates me from the chaotic world outside. Miraculously, I am able to hear the sounds of crickets chirping and feel a cool, untainted breeze rush against my face from off the nearby gulf. The trees, grass, ponds and sky are all like medicine to me. I look forward to coming here. This small patch of nature, this small patch of life, is my fuel. Giving me the strength to face yet another day against the merciless city. Without it, I would be lost.
In just a few weeks I will be continuing my journey, saying goodbye to my park and taking my sanity with me. Although, this has been neither the most ideal nor enjoyable experience living here, it has at least been a memorable one. I will always remember my once miserable life and details that made it so. I will take none of it for granted because in the future, these will be the things that help me to appreciate everything else in the world, just a little bit more.