My experience in India has been one of the most confusing and conflicting times of my life. Right now, I feel stuck. I’ve been going out and having fun more than focusing on school work. Hanging out with friends has become somewhat of an escape for me. It has been hard to emotionally handle all of the complexities of Indian society I see on a daily basis. As an anthropology major, I should be recording all of my feelings, thoughts and observations as I navigate a culture that is nearly the complete opposite of mine. It’s very tough to go from a college with 1,200 students to the third largest city in the most densely populated country in the world. There is no place I can go to escape from people, not even in a nearby park. Often, I feel too weak physically and emotionally to journal about my experiences and thoughts. I have been physically sick for more than a week now, which makes it even harder to navigate. I wish I had the capacity and strength to write and reflect on my experiences, but instead I use ways to distract myself and escape from my own reflection. I think changing these bad habits could be as simple as getting good sleep every night and practicing yoga more extensively. It’s quite interesting that I find myself living in one of the most religious and spiritual cultures in the world, but yet I am feeling very conflicted and sad about my own spiritual and emotional well being.
I am far away from all the work I have started at home, which is another explanation for my confusion. I started the Community Food Box Project in Indianapolis last summer whereI refurbish old newspaper boxes and turn them into small pantries. Since I am in India, the project has not been taken care of accordingly, and there is a lack of communication between me and the communities I am serving. I wish there was a better way to communicate with people but it is very hard for me to find the time.
I think these feelings will pass very soon and I will start to balance school work, personal time and fun. I know that in the end, all of these hard experiences will teach me valuable lessons. I have already learned so much, it is just hard to see it because time moves so quickly. If I start practicing self discipline my time in India will improve.
I decided to make this a reflective blog post, and I hope no one becomes worried about me after reading it. I think next week I will have more a more positive and organized post. Perhaps I will describe what I am learning in class.