© 2006 Catherine. All rights reserved.

slow with the updates, and international schemes

I’ve been in a bit of a mental and emotional rut the past while so updates have been slow. Sorry. I’m working on it.

I’m also still really behind on e-mailing back so if you’re not on MSN you probably haven’t been hearing from me. SORRY.

Part of my whole idea about what I would accomplish while in Taiwan was to live “freely”. By nature I’m a very goal oriented person. I have to have something I’m working towards and if I do, it consumes me. Usually this is a very positive thing but while I was being introspective during my planning stages for coming to Taiwan I made a decision. I decided to try to spend my time in Taiwan not working towards the next big step or the next big goal…. to just go with the current for a change and see where it leads me. Even accepting that it may take me off track.

I get very excited about my goals and I usually achieve everything I set out to do. I’ve been very fortunate but I work very hard to accomplish what I set out to do. This doesn’t mean I’m not open to other opportunities. I put my education on hold to go to Bolivia for 6 months, one of the biggest and best decisions of my life…. but I worry now that I’m taking enough time to stop and smell the flowers.

It may be a common experience but I’ve found that I enjoy periods of my life more looking back on them then I did at the moment I was in them because I was so focused on one particular thing…. usually whatever big goal I was working on at the moment.

Well since I’ve been in Taiwan I’ve really struggled with this. I keep going into anxiety about what I should be doing, am I wasting time? what’s next? what’s next? what’s next? Then with the unfortunate events of last year the river veered off onto a whole different path.

I think in writing here, and in sharing my little adventures I’m proving to myself that I am actually enjoying “the now”. I’m doing stuff! It might not be important stuff but I’m doing stuff. Stuff that I have as much fun doing as remembering.

Now I want to add a layer onto that. I want to start working on some goals but take baby steps. The most important goals I have right now are: more international development work, seeing all of the world I can possibly see, and more education.

So I’ve decided to get back to work on my degree with a university back home (through distance learning), spend the summer volunteering in another country, and maybe start taking some Mandarin classes. I’d like to look for some volunteer work to add to my schedule here in Taiwan too but I need to figure out what my calendar is going to look like once I add some studying in.

I’ve been looking into more and more overseas summer volunteer options. My school is closing regular classes for the summer, which it didn’t do last year… and will only be offering summer camp programs. I don’t have to teach summer camp so I think I’m going to take advantage of the time and work on both the volunteering and traveling goal! I’m not exactly sure I’ll be able to afford it yet but I have some fundraising ideas. Most of the positions I’m currently looking at are in Nepal. Nepal is on my top 5 must see before I die places. I’ve found various opportunities to teach orphans English and Computer, or to teach to poor kids in small communities. Another interesting opportunity is to teach English to refugee Buddhist monks from Tibet.

Having a few things in the works again has lifted me up quite a bit and I’m feeling on track again. I guess it’s not so bad to have goals. I just can’t let them consume me so much.

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