Day 16 – an unexpected treasure

Day 16 – time really flies when you’re having fun, or, in my case, a lot to reflect on and even brave the odd challenges along the way. I got up ok, determined to avoid another binge watching incident. I did, what I (now) always do in a situation like this: write a new blog entry (I am still behind!). What followed afterwards was a matter of hours, I kid you not and I will also spare you the technical details, but I managed to salvage some of my lost data. It’s magic! Not really, I used a software, and thankfully, it almost did, what it was supposed to do. I will have to look at each file and reorganise it (400 gb, no biggie), but not now, this task won’t run away. Relatively proud, I walked away from the pc after salvaging a few files, without spending even more hours to organise and browse through everything. Why bother with a gruesome task, when there is so much more to do.

In my case, that was risking another gruesome challenge. I sat down, trying to identify why I didn’t feel as good in the city, as I hoped. It could have been way worse, but also, a bit better. After the excitement of the first few days (home improvement – I definitely need more excitement in my life), I felt like spiraling down, without any means of stopping it. The energy was down, the mood was down, the lust for exploring anything was gone, I went to the great outdoors only three times in three weeks, I didn’t sleep as well, I made myself a smoothie only once (once – in three weeks, when it previously was a daily thing), I felt exhausted once again, desperate, sad and depressed at times. Even though I had my little book full of challenges, things to do, places to visit and so on, I never even picked it up anymore, everything seemed too hard, too much effort and to scary. Time to meditate on that. Without the actual meditating – laying down on the sofa serves me just as well.

Some people may find an epiphany through meditating – I didn’t. But I compared my days on the countryside with my days in the city and realized a few things. The city, my own flat, my friends, my love, my family distracted me a bit. A distraction I don’t have at the countryside as much. That’s not a bad thing, don’t get me wrong, I went to the city as some kind of holiday and trying out new things, to reconnect with my loved ones and that’s what I did, mostly. I meant, that having these many distractions and temptations at once, is still too overwhelming for me. It showed me, that I am not ready yet, to throw myself into the hectic life. I am not yet as well as I can and will be and I am not able yet to look after my own needs in a more hectic surrounding. I still need the quiet and alone time to be able to put myself first. I still lack interests, stuff to do, things that keep me busy. In those moments, when I felt lost, I didn’t know what to do and I looked for comfort in what I knew to have worked in the past, to silence the inner nagging voice: improving the flat, cleaning, organising, watching tv, playing games. Basically doing and thinking about anything else, than me. I didn’t actually watch tv or played a game, but the temptation was there. It could have been so easy to just let it all slide and retreat to a world without challenges, without having to work on myself. There’s a few things I can’t quite put my finger on. I get up more easily at the country side. It’s easier for me to make a smoothie, have a nice breakfast, to ready myself for the day, to go out, do some grocery shopping, to have a walk. That last one is no shocker, there is nature everywhere basically. I have more energy, at least it feels like it. I think in a way, I feel safer. Of course, spontaneously booking that yoga course or talking to people, really talking to people, is still a problem for me, even at the country side. If you, dearest readers, have any input for me on that matter, please, feel free to contact me privately or share here. Many brains think better than just one.

Still some work to do! I am looking forward to what it feels like at the end of the rainbow. I aim to think about my fulfilled desires, how it will feel, not the hard, rocky way to reach them. Feel free to remind me of that, sometimes.


2 thoughts on “Day 16 – an unexpected treasure

  1. Woow! I am impressed. Your such a technical expert! You always were!

    It’s interesting that you were just writing about these differences between city and country side. Yesterday morning I arrived in Brussels. Back to civilized world so to say. The first thing I realized was that actualize cars stop in front of zebra crossing. Then I went for shopping. You have to do what you can’t do in other places. Clothes shopping did rather annoy me. Ended up not buying anything. I kind of have everything what I need (just need to get a big brown belt for my new Africana dress). But I realized I started looking at those girls running around in town. How were they dressed, etc. etc. After I gave up on shopping just bought myself a Belgium Sim Card I went to a book store. Damn. I thought I had gotten rid of my addiction of buying books! I bought three of them. I did not want to buy them as I have to travel with them, but I actually do need them for my studies and for my French. And they are not available as ebooks. Okay, okay. I am just looking for excuses. 😉 I sat down in the cafe in the middle of the bookshop to eat a quiche and almond cake, but did not find it as relaxing as I would have thought. I guess there were too many people around. So I moved on to food shopping. Oh my God! It was a pleasure to be in the supermarket with the variety of things that we cannot get. The cheese, goat cheese, yoghurts, ham, … I bought a lot. Almost finished it all already. Could eat non-stop. There are a few things that I would love to have in Africa. Which I definitely miss. But then on the other hand, you sometimes also feel so overwhelmed from all what is available. And you do appreciate things more when they are not readily available.

    So after all of this, I am sitting here, looking out of the window and I am wondering how would a life look like if I would be working here again. In the developed world. In a world with people that have a fully scheduled agenda and you have to book appointments in advance in order to be able to see them. (I am not used to that anymore!) What makes the life in Freetown so different from a life in Brussels or Vienna?

    I am going to work during the week. Something you would do as well here.
    In the evening you go for yoga, meet up with friends for a drink or stay at home to do some reading. I assume, that’s what they do here as well.
    When it comes to foodstuff – breakfast, lunch and dinner – you definitely have an advantage here. The supermarket is just around the corner with almost everything that you can dream of, there are plenty of restaurants around with really delicious food and a great variety of everything… I guess this is a daily challenge for us and requires much more planning.
    At the weekend, what do we do in Freetown? We would try to head out of the city, to one of our beautiful beaches, go hiking, go running, or try and explore different things. It think it seems easier in Freetown to get out of the city because there is nothing really attractive to do in the city itself whereas here, there are museums, cinemas, restaurants, shops, etc. Yes, actually we are missing the entire aspect of shopping. It’s a relief!
    Transportation can be a big obstacle in Freetown. You need to have your own car. Otherwise you might end up stuck in town. This is definitely easier here. How often did we wish we had a train that would take us to the sea side. Or up country.
    Another thing I quite got used to in Freetown is the fact that I see the horizon, the sea, the hills… here I look out of the window and I see houses and the sky. I am lucky because my friend lives at one of the top floors but what about the others who only see into the windows of other people’s apartments?
    And the most striking difference: Life is so anonymous. There was a time in my life where I appreciated that. But I miss the interactions with the people around. The managers and caretakers of our compound, the security guards and neighbors, the lady with her little shop opposite, the guys from the filling station, my colleagues who I pick up in the morning,…. here you get out of your apartment, you get into your car and get off your car without necessarily having an interaction with others, not so?

    What is the conclusion? Hmmm. I think in the city there is more offer, more attractions. And of course more things that you could miss out on. We are only valuable if we have a full agenda, if we have seen this exhibition or movie and know all the in-restaurants and bars. In Sierra Leone, we have only limited restaurants and bars, the main shopping attractions are supermarkets and the social amenities are restricted to a few activities organized by people and our lovely beaches. There isn’t anything that you could really miss. It’s always the same.

    I understand your desire for the countryside. It has something peaceful. Something motivating. And at the end it’s about appreciating both lives and being where you feel most comfortable!

    • I can totally relate to what you experienced being back in the so called ‘civilized world’. I guess a balance of both things would be great 🙂

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