Expat

@2010

I’ve been running around like a tuk tuk driver looking for farang customers with a few extra baht bills sleeping in their pockets. My other blog for the first time since I’ve started it has skipped a week of entry, and is looking like it’s gonna skip another week too. And my caloric intake is at an all-time high, possibly rivaling my college record – possibly.

I’d like to start off by hammer fisting to the groin the astrologer (google) who said this would be a great year for romance. And I’d like to jump kick myself in the breadbasket for believing it. What was so great about wishing half the year away on a man who was snogging and shagging another tomato behind my tastefully tattooed back?

Riddle me that Mr. Sombat. Riddle me this, Mr. Call-It-Quits.

Ah but I’m alright. I didn’t mean to dig up an old grave. It’s just you can’t do a little reflection on the year without taking another look at the artifacts. Let’s have a look shall we?

My manna in the desert would come in the form of taking a leap of faith and fortitude, moving to Ecuador. I’m no spring chicken and what I’ve learned throughout the years is risk-taking smells mighty tentative when you are no longer resting on the laurels of twenty-something.

At the same time I really had no idea what I was getting into. So when I felt like I was in between incarnations, floundering in the sea of Ecuadorian life, it hurt. I had to learn all over again what it was like to be kohn diao, alone. And when you’re flying solo after 6 years in a relationship, you’re going to feel like the ugly duckling searching for home.

But I landed my first ESL job, met good people, and experienced a culture I’d been fascinated with for some time. In other words, I had an itch and I scratched it.

And as I stuff my face with the abundance of food that has made its way into my apartment, I realize living in Ecuador strengthened me. Then I was ready to come back to Thailand and do all the things that I didn’t feel ready to do last year. I learned to drive a motorbike. I got that English teaching job. I went back to Thai class. I made new friends.

I forgave my ex. I moved on with the kind of integrity that makes people wonder, how can you still hang out with your ex? How can you listen to him talk about his new Thai girlfriend? How do you do it? How? By the knowing that comes from having dealt and handled much worst things than this. By the belief in myself and the beauty that comes from love and forgiveness. By being just me.

You see I’m an amazing person. And I’m not afraid to say it. I’m not being egotistic I’m being realistic. My closest friends are the ones who have endured the hard knocks and stood back up, and I don’t think this is a coincidence. Hardships are not a curse but a blessing because when you get through them, you shine with an inner brilliance that no enemy can take away from you.

You become, oddly enough, a more positive person. Hardships shouldn’t make you harder but softer. This year was a good year because I have my health, I travelled and my collection of friends, who I love dearly, has grown. I’m alive. I’m still in awe of Thailand. I can’t remember laughing so much either.

I know I’ll always have love in my life. Yeah I guess the Player wasn’t it but I’m still in the game. You know what they say you have to strike out to hit a home run. And there is still a lot of Chiang Mai sausage to savor and experience. So as this calendar year gets ready to close its curtains, I’ll hardly notice. I’m here. Living my Thailand dream.

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6 thoughts on “@2010

  1. Thanks Lani. I needed that after a difficult year myself. It can leave you with a lot of self doubt but I am, by and large, stronger and happier. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!

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  2. Lani, you are absolutely amazing. I've always known you as a strong and dynamic women so it's fabulous to read that you are comfortable knowing it as well. And looking back, I'll agree that the hardships in life do make us softer… and more empathetic to others. Empathy is the sweet gift I've taken away with me.As I read through my friends end of year posts this week, seems many have had an awful year +. For some I've been updated on the finer details, and the knowing breaks my heart. For others, I'm only aware of the snippets. Here's hoping 2011 is an improvement for all…

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  3. @Erika: Glad to be of any help! And very glad to hear you are feeling stronger and happier. Much love.@Cat: Thanks, as always. I know what you are saying, actually, now that I think about it some of my friends have had quite the tough year. Yes, 2011 will be better. I just know it!

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  4. Hi Lani, I think people grow from hardship while others just go grow bitter. The reality is that it is these hard times that give us the opportunity to grow; it is so nice to see that you have this understanding too. Other people can’t make us happy, but there is so much we can do help ourselves. My thoughts move between heaven and hell hundreds of times a day, but it is up to me to choose whether to follow them or not – I’m learning not to follow. You certainly are an amazing person, and 2011 is sure to bring more highs and lows.

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  5. Lani, you ARE an amazing person and you're right, the hardships make you softer in the sense that you don't sweat the small stuff = don't worry about minor inconveniences/problems! It gets easier to let things roll off your back. Life is definitely short and being happy with yourself and your lot, makes it a whole lot more enjoyable. Many people are never lucky enough to realise this.Merry Christmas!

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  6. @Paul & Snap: You guys are like my own personal fan club! I love it. Whenever you need the favor returned, you just let me know 😉 I got your back!Trying not too worry so much and enjoy life! Truly the sages keep telling us this and I'm finally starting to listen! Arrgggg!

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