Guest Blogs

“Uneven Cartwheels: My Mind in Motion”

With her life in flux and her mind in motion, our restless blogger considers what’s next for her job, her family, and her attention deficit.

No sooner had I returned to the Asian city from the trip with the students than I started feeling restless again. The restlessness is familiar and yet uncomfortable. “Oh, no, not again,” I think to myself as my mind spins and does uneven cartwheels.

My work contract and visa officially end in June, but there seems to be some promising signs that both could be renewed, so once again my mind leaps to June and I wonder where will I be, whether I want to stay, and whether that would mean another year of living with the grandmother. And if the work contract isn’t renewed, where would I go instead?

“There are no guarantees in life,” the grandmother reminds me. Lately the grandmother has been in her own funk and fretting about a cold that she can’t shake off. Her 90th birthday is around the corner, and she’s said more than a few times that she wishes she would go quickly and peacefully. “What’s the purpose of being old, frail and useless?” she says.

“I bet you’ll live until 100,” I say to her, but this seems to get her more depressed.

“I don’t want to live until 100! That would be horrible,” she says. Needless to say everyone has their own albatross, their own assortment of problems, some more obvious than others.

In the meantime, I continue to fret, too. When my head goes into a spin I’ve had the bad habit of calling the father back home in the U.S. or even turning to the grandmother to unleash the worries. The loved ones listen because they know that this is who I am, this is me, and all they can do is listen. But the other day the father reminded me that he was now 65 and would not be around forever. I’d have to find my own outlet (besides swimming), and my own way. So a deadline seems to loom for me to get my act in order.