I’ve been counting down on some lessons I’ve learned since moving to Southeast Asia.
Now, I’ve finally gotten around to my primary lesson, lesson 1. I wrote this blog post on Christmas Day in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. As I posted about earlier, my only access to the internet is via my cell phone (and I hate typing out my thoughts on a phone). Since my new place has a desktop computer, I’m (slightly) back in business.
I’ve settled on allowing myself to be awed as my primary lesson thus far. I thought about being thankful, acknowledging my blessings, and the like…but the power to allow yourself to still be awed is synonymous with the power to remain hopeful. If one is awed, one is not yet jaded by all life has to offer.
When I was a nine year old 5th grader dreaming about leaving Texas and living in New York City, I never thought the day would come when I would see the places I’ve seen. I figured if I got to Mexico one day and saw snow that didn’t melt when it hit my skin I would be good.
A Christmas in Cambodia would’ve sounded like nonsense, yet here I am. So as I go through my lows and highs abroad and continue to miss Latin America, I just have to remember to be awed by people, places, and the beauty that is my life.
In this time of extreme bigotry against Muslims, I’m thankful that I’m currently living in a Muslim country (Indonesia) so I can personally attest to the dangerous mindset the Donald Trumps of the world possess. Of course, my Muslim friends back home taught me this lesson years ago.
I am daily awed that no matter where I travel in the world we as humans all want the same thing: safety, love in its various manifestations, equal access to opportunities, and better for our children/family/community/ourselves.
Awe is what will allow me to continually be open to this new experience when I want to hide in my room with the curtains drawn (thanks, culture shock).
Awe is my new saving grace.