The sun is shining, the city is covered in a blanket of crisp, white snow (after two days of near blizzard conditions), and I'm feeling positive about things again finally. I'm re-energized about my work, and my students are a huge part of that. (The sunshine helps a bit too.) They made me laugh so many times today, and they've all got something new and exciting in their lives. One student finally got his camera after 6 months of trying (shipping is a huge problem here), another has decided to go to Bulgaria for an intensive English course, and another will take the TOEFL in 2 weeks in hopes of going abroad to study. There's a general feeling of optimism that has been missing for the last few months.
The oppressive bleakness of things has been hanging over me like a terrible, suffocating weight. I have had nothing positive to say for a long time; thus, I've completely neglected this blog for fear of sounding like a whiner. Just walking out of my house would make me angry and frustrated. Frustrated at the difficulty of accomplishing even the simplest tasks. Angry at the general chaos and craziness that pervades everyday existence here. Tired of cold and gray and no water and no electricity - I was craving convenience and ease.
Then, yesterday, I was chatting with a student online, and he asked me if I was tired of being here and working with these people (was it that evident?), because even for him, in his country, sometimes he gets frustrated. He told me how lucky I was to be able to leave when I wanted. And it hit me like a ton of bricks. No matter how bad it seems here to me, I can leave. For them, this is existence, reality, with little to no chance of escaping it. They're all clamoring for change, but it's a slow process. Time time time time time...... In that moment I realized that my work here is really important, and that it does make a difference, at least to some, and that a little cold and lack of electricity is a small price to pay for helping someone. So for the first time in a long time, today, I feel like I can breathe again.