Thursday, August 13, 2009

Boredom Sets In

Being home so far has been great. I've been able to catch up on some rest and relaxation (as if I was totally stressed out beforehand anyway) and hang out in the suburbs after living in a heavily polluted city for 11 months. I've continued running and biked a bit too, hoping not to gain back too much weight after losing so much in Ecuador, which I don't think was a totally negative thing anyway.

After buying a couple of books and a Lonely Planet guide to Argentina, I've been keeping as busy as I can be by reading for at least a little bit each day, and in the last two days have really stepped it up by trying to finish "Confessions of an Economic Hitman," by John Perkins. It's interesting to read this book because in addition to talking about other developing countries, the author writes about his own experiences in Ecuador, and it's always cool to read about a place that you know so well.

I've seen friends, and though I haven't seen them all or as much as I would like to, it's still nice to catch up with those that still want to. I've eaten better food and drunken better beers, enjoyed nicer weather and a wider array of television programs. Though I have to admit, my enthusiasm for television has severely dipped, and I can hardly sit down in front of the TV long enough to finish a 30 minute show. I don't necessarily think that is a bad thing though.

I'm now working on a new lap top, a MacBook Pro, and have been getting adjusted to it over the last week or so. Things are going well, and I've already started to forget some of the habits that using a PC tied me down to for so many years. So I've kept busy, which is always a good thing as long as you're okay with it. But today, after reading for a while and watching a movie, already having run over 4 miles and checked my email a dozen times, I realized that I was itching. I was ready for something else. I'm bored.

It's normal to have these feelings, especially after living in such an exciting environment for almost a year. The tranquility and relaxation of suburban life was a welcome relief for 10 days or so, but now I'm starting to crave the city again. Or at least to crave something to keep me going a bit longer. It's harder not having much to do and anticipating so much that lies ahead of me. Before I had to worry about heading down to Argentina with no job, but in the last couple of days I've been contacted about several interviews for the week after I arrive in Buenos Aires. So now, knowing that something is waiting, I wish I could get to it already.

Even if I am getting bored, I only have to remind myself that I have just one week left of it. If I had no return date at all, I might see this as a serious problem, but instead I'm seeing it as just the calm before the storm. Buenos Aires will be a crazy party city with plenty of opportunities to meet people, experience a new culture, and burn through cash and time. So if I need to spend a few more nights idly watching movies in the basement and reading, I think it's a fair trade.

And there's really nothing wrong with getting bored from time to time anyway. It's good to have those extremes to keep you in check and help you better appreciate the fun times. If it was a crazy party all the time, that too would eventually get old and be lame. Just like you sometimes need to embrace sadness like a warm blanket, it will allow you to feel the total opposite of true happiness at another time. And to really deserve it. No sweetness would be the same without the sour.

So for now I'll continue reading and getting by for the next week, enjoying the end of this little vacation, and hopefully keeping busy enough to ensure that I don't go totally crazy. In 7 days I have a boring 13 hour flight, after all.

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