I’m familiar with the crisis, but I’ve never found a remedy. Here I am sitting in bed at 1:2o on a Wednesday, under the covers even though it’s sunny outside and listening to my host family have a little fight. (My host mom hates the ****** landlord.) If nothing else, I’m making progress with my Spanish – I understood what she was saying, and she wasn’t talking in her slow for-foreign-girls voice.
I’m not sure what to do with myself because everything feels absurd, and everything confuses me. It’s winter and it’s August; it’s winter and it’s sixty degrees; it’s August and I’m in school; I’m in school and it’s winter.
And I have plenty to do! I have a lot of homework! I’m just not sure if I should do it – is that what study abroad students are supposed to do? Everyone told me before I left that I wouldn’t spend any time in Chile doing schoolwork because I’d be “partying.” Does that mean that’s what I should be doing at 1:27 on a Wednesday afternoon?
I caught the purposelessness bug on Sunday, when I started reading a text I had to present in class at 11:30 on Tuesday. I skimmed it, decided I’d read it again on Monday, and watched an episode of Key & Peele. Monday night I was tired, skimmed it again, watched two episodes of Key & Peele, and set my alarm for 7:45 Tuesday morning. Tuesday I woke up at 8:45, finished the article at 11, and got to class at 11:40, out of breath and without the hand-out’s I’d planned to distribute. The professor asked me to present immediately; I did. I don’t remember what I said, whether it was Spanish, whether the students and the professor understood me. But the twenty minutes passed – nothing happened, there was no negative consequence for my irresponsible actions.
So now I feel like I don’t have to do my homework.
I just don’t know what else to do.
Key & Peele is good, but not that good.
And I came with so many things I wanted to do: books to read, essays to write, friends to make, clubs to join. In fact there are so many things I want to do in Chile that the quantity weighs me down, as if it were something tangible, and I, overwhelmed, find myself so tired I prefer to sit in bed and eavesdrop.
Here’s a hackneyed and ill-fitting simile: I feel as if this time, a month after arrival, is the eye of the storm. Except the eye, the stupefying and dizzying nothing, is the bad part. I’m tired of the calm.
I’ll write back if and when I do something!