The Beginning – Preparing for Mae Sot

I don’t blog. I don’t tweet. I don’t take pictures. I don’t have a smart phone, period. Besides a slight addiction to Facebook, I have managed to stay away from the social network that has become commonplace in, as my father would say, our “Gen X” life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-technology or too hip to follow the crowd, I simply didn’t know who would ever read what I had to say or admire a picture I had the foresight to take.

So why am I starting a blog now? Do I have anything profound to say? The answer is the most obvious, no. In fact, not only a year ago I strongly criticized a friend for what I believed was overtly putting her personal life online. The truth is that I’m not quite sure about my timing. Yes, I am nervous/excited about heading to the Thai-Burma border for the next few months. Life will undoubtedly be different than in Bangkok, a city I’ve grown to love and settle in. I know I have begun to question my own resilience in the face of upcoming challenges. What will life be like starting from nothing…again? I will undoubtedly transform in some respect. How could one not experience personal growth while working with refugees? Perhaps a documentation of such an experience is what I need right now – a chance to prove that I can do something different – be a better person.

I recently heard this quote by Joseph Campbell, “You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.” I laugh now thinking what I planned for myself a decade ago. A country girl from a town of less than 600, I was going to be a forensic scientist and married with two children by now. Oh, how life is full of pleasant surprises.

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