Dear Lani,

By the time you read this letter it will have been a year since you returned to Tailandia. A most joyous occasion given your gratuitous love affair with moving from place to place. By now you should realize that being single is allowing you to, as Joseph Campbell puts it, “follow your bliss”.

Now I don’t want to say don’t but I’m going to say it anyway because you need to hear it: Don’t let another man dictate what you should do. In other words, don’t lose yourself in the relationship. The good news is you gained a lot of insights about what you want and don’t want since your last one. And you are finally ready to be the individual that you need to be.

You may not be coupled up like your ex- but this period is giving you time to reestablish and reform habits and routines. You are getting to enjoy the marrow in the middle. Lick your lips. There is no compromising, just listening to your heart thump thump thump between your ears, and dancing to the beat of this new creation, this life you have in Chiang Mai.

It’s also important for you to remember to patient with yourself. Your friends don’t enjoy the look on your face when you no longer want to be with them. They find it rude. Just because they understand you doesn’t mean you should do it. I get it, you are restless but there is no hurry to be somewhere else. And sometimes the discomfort is good for you. Being alone was always easier.

I still have a laugh over the fact that your childhood punishment was not to go to your room but to be grounded outside your room. Picture that girl sitting on the couch seething with chainsaw fury the next time you feel the need to leave your friends. Just give yourself a moment. Quit feeling socially akward. And get out of the cat cave…folks enjoy your company otherwise they would never seek you out.

Your Thai will get better. You will start to enjoy your mistakes and successes and basically have more fun. People will be even more helpful and give you opportunities to practice. You are on your way and when you look back you will continueously see how much your Thai language abilities have grown. This will be a great time and you will relax into the ebb and flow of learning another language.

With teaching the theme with your students will be second chances. You’ll teach your first class again. You’ll have another crack at the class that was so difficult at the beginning. You’ll blow it but then you’ll get back into it and set yourself straight again. Teaching in Thailand is just as wonderful as you thought it would be.

Friendship luck stays with you. I don’t want to ruin the surprises so I’ll just leave it at that. And your home life will improve vastly, although in the beginning it will feel like a mistake. This is just part of the work, the work that Thailand has given to help mold you into a more tolerant and loving person.

It’s amazing really, how we change and don’t even realize it is happening. It’s like when you think about how mean you were to your parents when you were a teenager. You were sassy and you wanted to be cool but now when you look back you just cringe. Thailand agrees with you. So the changes are all good.

It will be a highly creative time, a good time and one of your best so far. Not because of external reasons necessarily, but because you are coming into your own. You’ll listen more too. You are doing exactly what you said you would do, one year ago, you are listening to what Thailand has to say.

8 replies on “A year in Thailand, reflection

  1. Lani, you're a really great writer. I enjoyed reading this and it made me think how important it is to stop and get one's bearings from time to time. I'll be turning 40 next year. So now is a good time for me to start being more introspective as well.


  2. Thank you Mr. T!!! Coming from a guy (grrrrr) that is even more complimentary cause the girls relate to me easy, you know? 😀


  3. Congratulations on your first year in Thailand, may you have many joyous years to come. It truly is a great place for introspection as the lifestyle is so slow and relaxed.


  4. Thanks! Thailand truly is a place to grow and learn a lot about yourself. One of the reasons why I love it. Cheers…


  5. This is an excellent piece of writing…it has an authentic feel, as if a “future you” actually wrote you a letter. In fact, I was a bit reluctant to continue reading after the few paragraphs, because it really felt like reading someone's personal mail.Using a letter to yourself as a device to make you reflect, consider, and “take stock” is really brilliant.I knew this was a special post when I first read it yesterday, and I enjoyed re-reading it.Regards from Ken C.


  6. Thank you Ken. I was hesitant to post it because it is so personal. But what I've learned is people can benefit from an open heart. I guess I don't mind being open because I enjoy relating and connecting to other people.


  7. Brilliant post! The clearness for your publish is just spectacular and I could suppose you’re knowledgeable in Thai culture. Keep up the good work!


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