Balance. I've never been good at walking that fine line between being productive and taking time out for myself. I'm either too busy, too bored, having too much fun or working too hard. The segments of my life tend to resemble more of a tug-o-war than a balancing act.
Since I've been in Cambodia, I've been busy searching for ways to keep myself occupied. Whether I did this so I wouldn't think about being alone in a new place or I did it just because I was afraid I'd miss out on something great that the country had to offer, I'm not sure. But when I was finally getting myself into that groove, that normal routine that most people seem to enjoy, the things I'd been looking for hit me. All at once. Just like it always happens.
Work has really begun to pick up as we're preparing for the conference-infused month of October. I've traded in my grudgingly slow days -- where I stayed at work just long enough to say I gave a fair shot at digging up tasks to accomplish -- for 10-hour work days full of drafting letters, editing brochures, designing advertisements and being an all around go-to girl. I'm practically swimming in all materials related to economic forums, faith dialogues and university newsletters. Look at what my inner graphic designer created:
I like the challenge of multi-tasking, of wearing many hats. It makes the days go fast and keeps my mind of things I'd rather not think about. Although, several times today I found myself caught in a centrifuge between what I was working on in that exact moment and what was to happen next. (Good thing I invested in a coffee pot this weekend. I never realized how much mid-afternoon caffeine breaks kept my head from spinning.)
But don't worry too much about me. In my true tug-o-war fashion, my work life was met by a greater force -- one that might resemble something of a social life. No, Phnom Penh doesn't have line dancing (at least not that I've found yet), but I did find people who like to eat. And talk. In English!
Friday night I had dinner with a few expats I met at church last weekend. We took a break from the Khmer fare and found a funky rooftop cafe serving MSG-free food. Then on Saturday I met up with a Cambodian girl named Rana (who I've been trying to meet up with since before I left home), and we had dinner at the new Thai BBQ-Suki Soup restaurant she helped open.
Has my life here been quite as hectic as the one I left in the states? Not even close. If I wanted to I could sustain the balance that I discovered in my life, but if you know me at all, I'm not content unless I'm running around like a mad person. The events of my life here might have picked up speed, but give it a few weeks, and I'm sure I'll be a whirlwind.