Monday, February 27, 2012

Angsty angst

When it comes to my job, I find myself, quite often, veering from giddiness to just pure down-in-the-dumps. Often, the dips come because of very specific reasons that begin with "e-" and ends with "-ditors," but sometimes the lows can just be so sudden and out of left field that I'm just left questioning what the fuck I'm doing on this side of the world.

I tried my best to explain this to my boyfriend today, but I've never been good at putting my feelings into words (Goodbye, writing career!), especially if it's about things I actually give a shit about. And then other times, when I've spoken the words out loud, I wonder why I think my feelings are all that nuanced after all.

Here it is, in the best way I can describe it possible: I feel like my work feels inconsequential. (Whether or not it is or not isn't the point. It's my feeling of non-being that is putting me off.)

I talk so rarely about my job and my personal feelings here (READ BETWEEN THE LINES, GUYS!!) but when it comes down to it, I think it's really because I'm just afraid that if I'm able to fully explain how I feel about myself/my job (and believe me, so much of my identity is wrapped up in my work existence —one might add "unfortunately" at the end of that) then that would be the end of me. It would be pointless to have these stupid debates in my head about it anymore, because I've already seen, assessed and concluded. Then I would have realized that I have, once again, made something out of nothing, taken nothing and blown it out of ridiculous proportion to assure myself once again that what I do matters.

Here are the things I know for sure—the giddiness now comes from the small things (Getting one good quote from a hard-to-interview person; hell, I'll even settle for a government official picking up the phone and answering my question civilly) and the dips come from the bad moments and from in-between the good moments. Sometimes the lack of clarity in what I want to do, what I need to do and what I can do scares me.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Currently, I am sitting on an uncomfortable rattan chair in a semi-cold cafe that reeks of cigarette smoke. I'm running on three hours of sleep and trying my best not to get bitten by mosquitos. My moods are vacillating from cranky to conciliatory to affectionate to just downright annoyed.

 As my boyfriend says, I have a tendency to focus on the negatives, which is why I decided to start this post out like this so I can get that out of the way.

This semi-chilly cafe is actually in Danang airport, in Vietnam. My boyfriend and I are on our fifth day of vacation and it has been really wonderful so far. We have spent about three days in Hanoi, and also did a day trip to Halong Bay. Felt like I was in Indochine, that Old Catherine Deneuve movie.

It's just such a relief to be out of Phnom Penh. There are many things that Hanoi has in common with the Penh, but the things that differ are just... better. Neighborhoods seem more like a state of mind versus just a series of buildings thrown haphazardly together; the architecture is gloriously mismatched in a way that feels genuine - instead of the manufactured vibe that some of the refurbished French colonial buildings can have in PP - from the heavy French influence; Vietnamese people don't give a shit about what tourists do here. No attitude is given, but there is a certain feeling of "You can spend your money but we don't really need ya, so we're gonna treat you like a normal person."

I'll be returning to PP on the 14, and until then, I'll be trying my damnedest to think as little about returning to work as possible.