Sunday, December 03, 2006

Choosing and choosing again...



Thanks for the additional questions, Anonymous. :) You ask if I might become disillusioned with Thailand in a few years.

My view on that is two-fold really. One of the most important things learned during my lifetime is to never eliminate the possibility of making new choices. One of my favorite axioms is "if you choose wrong, choose again." That is the true nature of freedom. We are never stuck with a situation unless we are in prison or otherwise confined. Even then, we get to choose how we deal with it.

One of the things that concerns me on occasion is that the side of me present on this blog might seem a bit naive, kind of fuzzy-headed and overly idealistic. In fact, that is a big part of who I am. I am an intense, deeply feeling person. It's the part of me that was crushed and trampled for such a very long time. However, it is not the part of me that makes choices. I am also a pragmatist, rather calculating in my choices and am a reluctant risk-taker. My time in "the desert" taught me that all actions have consequences and since I didn't have anyone to protect me and not much wisdom, I learned to carefully consider any choice or decision. I learned to think in terms of worse-case scenarios because in my ignorance, that is where many of my choices led. There was no room for dreams or idealism in the desert. It was cold, hard. raw reality ~ all the time. In retrospect, it was a good lesson but it was bloody hard.

Are there things I will dislike about Thailand? Absolutely! A few of them are already apparent. For one thing, I am not a fan of hot weather. Humidity sucks. Insects aren't at the top of my list, either. The Thai habit of being fast and loose about time annoys the hell out of me. I am a very reliable person and dislike people who say they will do something and fail to follow through. Thais are kind of wishy-washy. Seriously. That is going to bug me. There are probably times when I will get really angry ~ and jai yen (cool heart) is everything in Thailand. That will be a challenge for a person with a temper like mine. Additionally, I will always be a "farang", no matter what.

But.. in the final analysis, I had to look at it in terms of cost/benefit. In Thailand, I will feel at home. I will have enough money to live on with dignity. I'm connected to Thailand's soil and the cycle of life. It will be life in a culture and a lifestyle that is intrinsically compatible with the person I am. Sometimes we have to accept the bad along with the good. There is no paradise on earth. Just like finding a wife or a husband, if we go into it with the intent of changing the other person, we fail every time and will be disappointed. If I go to Thailand, expecting it to be my Thailand, I will become disappointed and bitter. It is not Thailand's job to adapt to me. It is my job to adapt to Thailand. Fortunately, it seems to come kind of naturally to me so I don't anticipate a negative period of adjustment in that regard.

My life in Thailand will not be substantially different on a day-to-day basis. I plan to write a lot more, perhaps even something book-length. I will still cook and garden. I'll shop at the street markets. I'll take longer walks and go for an occasional hike. I'll still be a homebody and still be a fairly quiet-natured, contemplative person. Maybe, if the fates are with me, I'll even meet a life companion. I'm really, really sick of being alone but meeting the impossible standards of western men is something I simply can not do. I anticipate a rather quiet, contented existence in a place where I will be in synch instead of always at odds.

As for coming back here, no. That will not happen. If Thailand becomes unbearable, if the government is overthrown and it becomes impossible to stay there, there are other locations in Southeast Asia with a similar Eastern worldview. I have decided that I can no longer live in an environment that crushes my spirit or that is incompatible with my values. This culture seems to be going even further in that direction. I wish people here well ~ and want only the best for all Americans. There's a root concern for the future of the country but I can no longer make a life here and remain healthy.


Peace,

Chani
~*~*

7 comments:

jen said...

ahhh.. the thai time thing might drive you crazy...

and i have no doubt that it's going to be your home, but agree, that there are other amazing places to continue on to...cambodia, laos...it's wide open. just let me know where you end up....so i can come over for tea one day.

Melissa said...

Chani, thanks for your additional comments. I'm glad you're going in with your eyes wide open, so to say. You'll probably find you'll get used to the time thing. The hardest thing for me to retrain myself on was the jai yen "factor"...because as a young adult I was very jai rohn!! Oh man, I spent a lot of time apologizing for my temper when I first lived in the region haha.

OK another nosey question. Why did you first go to Thailand and where all did you go?

Sorry to be "anonymous", that is just laziness on my part...

Melissa

Leann said...

hope you find the place in life that gives you peace no matter where it is.God bless you.

meno said...

I'll tell you that heat and humidity sound pretty good to me today. I am with you, the lack of deatil about time would drive me bananas. But maybe i could be taught to be more casual about it. Do you think that will happen to you?

I like the saying, "If you choose wrong, choose again."

Lucia said...

Maybe it's an age thing, but the question of whether you'd become disillusioned or would feel free to make different choices would have never entered my mind. Life is flexible, it's not fixed and staid and I like how you've framed that in saying, "choose again."

KC said...

Yes, I would like to stop by for some tea as well...wherever that might be.

You need to be there. And dig your feet into the earth.

Maria said...

Stumbled on your blog by way of Ginnie and wow. . . you are a great writer. I promise to be back to read more.