I think I’m getting old. Five years ago, I sauntered off to Bangladesh without a care in the world. Sure, it was tough in all sorts of ways, living as the only foreigner in a tiny town, but I stuck out almost two years of it without too much trouble. I don’t remember being particularly lonely.
And yet here I am in Beirut for barely a month, and I feel horribly, unfamiliarly lonely. My colleagues are lovely and go out of their way to hang out with me and make sure I’m okay. But it’s somehow not quite the same.
I still haven’t figured out why I’m finding it so much harder here. Maybe because I’m just here for a few months, I’m not making the same effort I normally would to forge relationships. Maybe the work is a lot more intense, so I feel exhausted most of the time and can’t quite drag myself out in the evenings. Maybe it’s because I’ve got E in my life now, and every day that passes here is one that, honestly, I’d rather spend with him. Maybe it’s the holidays, and the fact that it’s my birthday tomorrow and I’m definitely getting older and crankier and set in my ways.
Anyone got any good tips on how to cheer yourself up in a foreign land without your loved ones? My coping mechanism so far today has been an odd mixture of Christmas tunes (yes, already – I cracked) and this hilarious parody of Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball (everytime I watch it, I cry with laughter).