Archive | October, 2010

“your heart’s a mess; you won’t admit to it”

28 Oct

*Written before my trip to Poland, but failed to post.*

Though the weather here seems to have abated into a normal autumn and the leaves have metamorphosed into a living painting, my homesickness refuses to be alleviated.  The past week has been trying, though interspersed in the maudlin days were some moments of an esoteric contentment rather germane to a year spent acclimating to life abroad.  Walking home from the store on the edges of town, it chanced that I had a moment of life amplified by music, inspiring the creation of my autumn playlist to which I have been continually listening.  A thought struck me immobile as I walked along the edge of the woods; though autumn is fragrant and beautiful, the air crisp and smelling of frost, and I felt as if I could have stood forever on that carpet of carmine leaves…I wanted to do so in Central Park.

I yearn for the concrete of New York.  I miss the pace of life, the acrobatics of ducking and weaving through the mass of humanity on my way to work in the mornings, the brilliant sun tunneled down the avenues, and the feeling of gliding between frosty shadow and blinding daylight surrounded by glass, concrete, and steel.  Unequivocally linked with my feelings of futility and lack of accomplishment here in Ukraine, the sentiment is no less arresting for my comprehension.

Perhaps this ache for the familiar comes from eagerness to embark on my next step of life now that I have chosen one; we all know I never wanted to be a teacher.  Admittedly, there are evanescent moments in which I adore my job, namely when the announcement that a class has rotated back to being my students is met with fervent cheers and a mad dash for my classroom.  Being forced to teach to an established formula created long before my arrival, my lack of a creative outlet leaves mountains of frustration festering in the back of my mind.  Under these conditions I cannot help but feel that my accent is the only thing valued about my presence.  Whatever the truth of the situation may be, with every fiber of my being I itch to feel prolifically productive as I did in New York.

Setting dates I can look forward to has been an invaluable tool for surviving this semester.  On Saturday, Kari and I leave for a week trip in Poland where we will meet up with her friend Ama, tour Auschwitz (none of us can handle Birkenau), (after which we’ll need to) drink margaritas and eat guacamole at a Mexican restaurant, and enjoy wandering around the city of Krakow.  Ideally, an absence from Ukraine will counteract all the pent-up grievances I’ve accumulated in cross-cultural interactions and classroom difficulties.  Check back later to see if it worked!

*Music: “Heart’s A Mess” -Gotye