I wrote the title (which is the same as my last status update on Facebook) before I started typing out this post, and now I’m feeling severe de ja vu, like I’ve dreamt about this post before. Most of the time, when I have an intuition-caused double-take, it leads to nothing good. Somehow, though, every time I make mention aloud of the de ja vu, the negative consequences fade away. Does that happen to anyone else, or am I just weird? What is it about making your intentions/feelings/motives known to the world that causes such strangeness?
Anywho, it’s been busier than usual in La Casa de Mistress Mom/Ang Bahay ng Mistress Mom (Spanish and Tagalog, if you’re wondering). There are two weeks left to the semester, and I’m feeling the grind of projects, portfolios, papers, and exams. I’ve put my procrastinating ways behind me, and now the problem is that teachers assign substantial work right before they’re due. I think that has something to do with the fact that most Filipino college students are young (think 14 – 19 years old), single, have no kids, and don’t work; their only responsibility is toward school, so the culture dictates that it’s okay to load students up with stuff to do and not enough time to do it in (think: 1 week to write a 10-page play). Add to that my gnawing desire to spend time writing, attempting to kick my smoking habit for good, and of course Riley, Rob, my brother, and the house, and well, I’m just not a happy camper these days. Or maybe, I am a happy camper, but also a very worn-out and sleep-deprived one who wants to snap at Bible-thumpers who say that they don’t believe in gay marriage because if men were allowed to marry each other, there would be no men left for women to marry. Happiness and that latter thing can coexist in a single person, right?
Ugh. I need to find more people who speak my language, and I’m not talking English here, people.
There are a bunch of really short posts I want to write about what life has been like so far in the Philippines, and even though I have a list of 15 or so topics to explore, my brain is worn out and my schedule is too cramped. I mean, seriously, tell me how to find the time to keep your sanity while memorizing every muscle and bone in the human body, working 30 hours a week, novel-writing 20 hours a week, attending classes 20 hours a week, doing assignments, completing social obligations, and managing a household. Give me the answer to that eternally damning question, and I’ll give you a kidney along with my boundless gratitude. NOTE: I never said it would be my kidney. I’m a nursing student in a third-world country; you’d be surprised what I can pull off.
Speaking of which, one of the things that I’m most proud of about going to nursing school here is that I’m gonna graduate with more than four times the usual clinical practice of a nursing student from the States. Only thing is: think about how fucked up medical care must be in the Philippines if that’s the case. I mean, sure, we’re getting a top-notch nursing education, but these are real people with real problems who are our patients, and we’re students. We’re not kidding when we say we’re practicing nursing.
Add to that the fact that my dual-citizenship hasn’t kicked in yet, so I’m still unqualified for health insurance, and what do you get? An ulcer. At least, that’s what I feel like I should be getting, what with all the worrying I’m doing about the next few years and medical costs. The only thing stopping me from packing up and going back to the land of Medicaid is the faith I have in mine and Rob’s ability to make money.
Yup, it all hinges on money. And money hinges on me and Rob. And we’ll be here, thousands of miles away from our well-intentioned but hopelessly burdensome family; we’ll be here in the Philippines, where we have no distractions, no people whispering put-downs into our ears, and no stigmas holding us back. We’ll be here, where we have our “own” house, where we’re living an adventure that we both want, and where we’re making all of the rules up as we go along. Here in the Philippines, it’s undeniably our show. The only thing that can stop us from achieving our goals is ourselves, and that might be the most daunting and stressful circumstance of all.