Category Archives: rants

I’m Angry.

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I’m angry. Let’s back up. Let’s cover all our bases and back up. Since February of last year, I have been a little all over the place emotionally. It has escalated since last August. In the past year and a half or so, I have failed at almost everything. I failed at teaching. I failed at being a friend and lost the best friend I’ve ever had due to my own stupidity. I feel like I have failed epically at re-entering my own culture. I fail at being in crowds and at being alone. I can handle my own failures. Because I can usually make them right. Not always but sometimes but that’s okay because I know how to apologize.

It’s when others start to fail me I get upset. Recently, as in since Sunday, someone that I have known, loved and considered part of the family since I was 10 has disappointed me to the point that I probably will never forgive them. I don’t know how to. Not only has this person disappointed me, they’ve disappointed many people. I’m losing someone from my life that has been around for almost 2/3 of my life. And I’m not even losing them to death, it’s due to their own stupidity. And they’ve hurt my brother more than anyone else. That pisses me off. My brother has been an idol of mine for years and I get protective of him. And I hate that he’s hurt. This has what made me angry. The insensitivity of people. And it makes me not want to let anyone in and push everyone out.

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Re-Entry is Making Me a Horrible Person.

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Warning: This is going to be a re-entry post and it’s going to be emotion driven. If this offends anyone, please remember that I’m not trying to offend or scare anyone from experiencing another culture. I’m just hitting brick walls every which way I turn and I need an outlet.

When I made the decision to go overseas for a year, it was only going to be for a year unless God told me something different. Starting from basically last February when my original company went under, it’s been, I feel, very dramatic and tumultuous. So I’ve felt that it was time to come home and not go back. The last 2 days I was in Hungary, I keep deep sighing. Like this is almost over. Sigh. I have to travel and I’m not a great traveler. Sigh. I have made acquaintances and built relationships, which I was supposed to do being with a Christian non-prof company, and I have to leave them. Sigh. Where is my life going? Sigh.

I have been back exactly 12 days. Not home home but in the states for 12 days. I knew that there would be reverse culture shock, that I had to give myself time and that a lot of people wouldn’t really understand how overwhelmed that re-entry can be. I also knew that there would be an expectation that I would continue to be who I was before I left and that my reverse culture shock would be over within days. It’s not. I’m so much more angry now. It seems that I have more attitude, my sarcasm is out in full angry, bitchy force. Even my inappropriate, insensitive jokes have been on the rise. Being that I feel that this whole experience has been rocky, I can’t stop this from happening. No matter how hard I try, it’s happening. And depending on who I’m dealing with, these emotions and how I’m reacting to things, makes me feel like a horrible person and it’s been hard to dispute that I’m not a horrible person. I have been horrible to people who haven’t deserved it and I can’t help it. I start with good intentions and then end up being horribly sarcastic or having an attitude and starting fights. Then at the end of everything, they feel like the ass. This shouldn’t be happening.

But it is. And I have no where to turn to. I feel like I’ve complained so much in the past year to so many people. I feel like I have given up the right permanently to ever say anything bad about my life ever again. I’m not the person who complains. I shouldn’t be complaining how I’m having a hard time keeping up with conversations, how the words aren’t coming like they used to, how I can’t find anything or do anything normally anymore. I shouldn’t want to be back in a country where I’ve had probably the toughest year of my life. I shouldn’t be sobbing about how I’ve wrecked certain situations. I should be fixing them. But I’m not. It’s all building up and making me worse.

And it’s hard to cry with people. I’ve never been a crier. If I had to cry, historically it was in complete privacy. That’s just how my family works. To me, personally, I wasn’t going to have people see a weakness or see how silly some of the things I was crying over were. (trust me, some of the reasons were silly.) I cried a lot over in Hungary and it wasn’t always for me. I cried with people, in front of people and for people. Some tears were for me, or for a friend, or in mourning or for a relationship. I get home and where do I cry? Who do I cry with?

The last couple days, especially, all I have wanted is to be alone. No other people in any way. Not physically, phone, text, social media. Nothing. All I want to do is be by myself and exist. I know that it’s probably not going to help me any in all of this, so I’ve tried a little. It hasn’t been good. It makes me want to retreat more. Being a hermit is looking more and more good. For me and for others. Again making me feel horrible.

I have been trying to keep a strong front. I feel like it’s crumbling. All I want is normal and not to be a horrible person. I should be able to pull myself together and be a strong person for myself and for others like I usually do. My life isn’t that horrible that I should fall apart. But it’s not what’s happening. I have been having conversations with God lately about this whole situation. I’ve talked to Him about all this and asked other questions. I’ve asked why is this so hard. Why does it feel like You’re taking this relationship away from me? Why? So far, no answers.

But I am trying. I keep telling people that. I’m trying, I’m working on it. Sometimes it might not seem like it but I am. I’m a work in progress.

Few Thoughts on Leaving Hungary.

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I come back to the states in 6 days. There’s so much emotion that goes into that one sentence. But this year has made me more emotional than I ever have before. I think when you’re living overseas (especially when you’re a single woman), emotions are amplified by a million. I’m extremely excited to leave, completely sad that I’m leaving. I’m scared for numerous reasons and dreading traveling. I’m in the process of getting things done and getting the last few things. But sitting here, writing. I’m getting the anxious pit in my stomach. I know with how rough these last 10 months have been, a lot of people won’t understand my hesitation for leaving. But no one has really seen the whole story. No one has seen the little moments. Or heard the questions and one liners that were so perfectly spoken by my students. Or had the bonding moments (superficial or not) with the random people that have been a huge part of my life for 300 days. No one knows how many times I’ve asked myself why am I here or the times I’ve thought, this is why I’m here. Yes, I have consciously been aware of how long it will be until I go home in the sense that I will be going back to a place I’ve known my whole life. But now I am also consciously aware of how Budapest has a piece of my heart and that I will leave a little bit of me here and have that hole replaced with Hungary.

There’s still a lot of pain in me. There’s been big events that I’ve missed back home, I’ve practically ruined one of the best friendships I’ve ever had. I’m going to carry those things with me for the rest of my life. There’s a lot of guilt. I can’t change what’s been done or said. I get that. I wish I could change some things though but I knew that coming to Hungary meant that life was going to be tough and life was going to be real and I was going to miss things and relationships would change. Sometimes terminate. (None of my relationships have terminated. Don’t worry. Some have changed dramatically and you know who you are and I’m sorry. I’m trying.) But the thing is, I’ve never been a completely open person. I keep my emotions to myself so that other people can hurt. Until this year, that’s worked for me. I was able to deal under these circumstances. But this year, with emotions amplified, I can’t function like that. I won’t be able to function like I used to for a long time, if ever. I would have eventually come to that point without Hungary but moving here sped it up. I’m sure a lot of people have noticed a change in my blog. I’m writing a lot differently. I need to. I’m sure eventually I’ll get back to writing like I used to, but now this blog is more self-centered. Because I need to throw whatever is in me out into the universe. I can’t leave what’s going on in me inside. It’s why I’ve started journaling like crazy. It helps me get the emotion out.

I don’t know what people expect of me. I know some people will expect me to be the same Megan I’ve always been. I’m not. As much as I fake it, I’m not. There’s a lot more anxiety and much more insecurity and less confidence in some areas. There has been a lot of tears this year from me and there’s going to be a lot more. I’ve cried and will cry for other people and for me. But there will be people that understand. Mainly those who have experienced this themselves. Some others too but it will be harder for them to understand why more than one native English speaker is overwhelming or why going to a restaurant or going to a grocery store with more than one or two options is overwhelming. It’s a special circumstance I’m in, but I’ll get through it.

Yesterday was the last technical day of teaching. I didn’t do anything. One class gave me a picture of them and chocolate. They told me they loved me. I love them too. I didn’t expect to love these kids and this country as much as I do. I expected love but not this deep. It’s a reason I don’t want to leave. I have laughed and cried with and for these kids. How do I move on from that? How does anyone move on from that? I get told by people who have gone back after living overseas for a time and they tell me to give myself some time to heal and don’t put a time limit on it. Leaving in under a week, I realize that I will never completely heal from Hungary and I don’t want to. This country has helped shape me in a way that no one has expected.

I’m not Hungarian.

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One thing before I get into what I really want to talk about. Putin is in Budapest. I don’t agree with either Putin or Orban (Prime Minister of Hungary). Side note: Sometimes a student will say Orban and for a second I hear Urban. Anyway. I was just telling some of my seniors on Friday that you will never fully agree with your government. One of the girls went “oh” like it was a revolutionary comment. And coming from a post-communist country, maybe it is.

So back to the real topic. I’m not Hungarian. Far from it. I don’t look or act the part. Here’s some things that Hungarians want me to sympathize with them or act accordingly to and I don’t. I just don’t get it. I’m not Hungarian.

1. ‘It’s so cold today.’ It’s 37 degrees out. Know what it is back home? -6, before windshield. You don’t know cold. There’s been 2 decent snowfalls since I got here and neither of them stuck.

2. ‘You have a cold, or the sniffles. Why aren’t you home in bed or at the doctor?’ Hungarians stay home for the sniffles so they don’t get more sick. If they develop a cough that lasts more than a day, it’s the doctor. I have had a cold this week and I mentioned I was tired because of being sick today in my office. My colleague started telling me that I should be in bed or go to the doctor. I got sick of it and I looked at her and said kind of loudly, “I’m not Hungarian” “And Americans don’t get sick?” “NO but we don’t stay home for just a cold or the sniffles.” Then she proceeded to tell me that Hungarians don’t do work just at work and that it would take me longer to get well and that there are different viruses in Europe like they have different viruses in Africa and that I could have the flu. Right. Because at almost 27, I have no idea what having the flu feels like and have no idea how my body reacts when I’m sick with a stuffed nose a cough. You’re right. I’m just the young kid that doesn’t know anything.

3. ‘Hey do you want raw bacon?’ yeah. Gonna pass on that. I have a weird thing about bacon being cooked. And I won’t buy beef here. I rarely buy it in the states because my family has beef and I can get it from home. But beef at the store, or even a butcher sometimes, always creeps me out. I don’t know where it’s from or what it’s been fed or who butchered it. I’ll get stuff from mom and dad as long as I can. That way I know where it’s coming from. Call me crazy. Just how I am.

4. I’m typically not as negative as a Hungarian. I do have my negative moments but nothing compared to a Hungarian.

Now don’t take these things and think that I hate Hungary. I love Hungary. It has wiggled into my heart, grabbed hold and is never letting go. I’m okay with that. I just had some of those moments today where I wanted to shake a Hungarian and tell them they have no idea and they’re being dramatic. I’m at the moment where I have cultural frustrations…can you tell?

Hungarian Language With a Small Rant.

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I felt like my last post was a little scattered to me so lets see if I can get back into this blogging thing.

So last Sunday, after church, I spent time with a girl I went to orientation with. She’s in a town outside of the city at this more “American” school. We’re both here for a year. She’s here for a year because of the contract she has with the school in New York and I’m just staying for a year because, as of right now, that’s all I’m called to do. So we were talking. Her school makes her take language lessons so she learns Hungarian. Mine doesn’t. She was saying how she doesn’t really want to take these lessons because she’s going to be here for just a year. What’s the point? She mentioned that she can get along with just pointing. It’s been working just fine for her. I then started thinking.

She sounded so condescending. Like the Hungarian language wasn’t worth her time. She came to Hungary for a year. Obviously something was worth it in the country. Trying to communicate in the native language is not only polite but it’s so arrogant sounding. I feel, and whether I have succeeded or not is still to be determined, that I should try to fit in as much as possible. Now I’m teaching Hungarian students and not all her students are Hungarian. It’s different for me. She’s kind of in an American bubble. I’m not. I kind of need to learn some Hungarian. It helps me earn respect from my students. High schoolers are a hard group to impress, no matter where you are in the world. Some things don’t change. I get that Hungarian is a hard language so by the time we would get the hang of it we would leave. (there are 4 categories of language. 4 being the hardest to learn and that’s like Chinese. Hungarian is a 3 so it’s a hard language.) I just have a hard time seeing this like she does. We’re here with a Christian organization. They kind of like us to try to interact. The schools that we’re at don’t have to have us. I mean in my case, they need a native speaker so yeah they need me, but ultimately, they didn’t need to say yes when our company asked them to take us. To learn Hungarian, to me and at least a little, is a sign of respect and honor. I guess she’s not with Hungarians like I am so it’s completely different. Isn’t it? Or am I totally overreacting to this? I mean that’s happened before. I think that it’s happened at least a couple of times on this blog where I overreacted. So again, it’s possible that I’m overreacting.

So I didn’t even touch bilingual church did I? Oy. So. First time I went we were late and they were singing in Hungarian so I was like okay. Cool. I was like they have Hungarians lead worship. Then the worship leader starts praying in English without a Hungarian accent. Like it’s pretty American. What? Way to throw me off. Like I’m not thrown off with life to begin with. Then you turn out to be not Hungarian when I thought you were. Distrust……. Yeah, that’s a lie. I trust this place even though they throw me off.

I have also been taking an insane amount of naps here. First it was because of the jet lag. Now just because I got into the habit of taking naps. Especially on Sunday afternoons. The girl across the hall, also American we are the only 2 Americans at our school, looked at me last weekend and goes, “You really like your Sunday naps, don’t you?” Yes. I am turning into my one or both of my parents.

Good thing: I have a three-day weekend. Bad thing: Hungarians make it up on Saturday. Ugh. Well, at least I’ll get at least one day off next weekend right? Updates to come.

Hair.

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This is going to be a girly post. If you are male, I’m not saying you won’t enjoy this but it’s a long shot.

With the exception of when I was 2 and I had a bob, I have always been a girl with long hair. Shoulder length or longer. I like it that way. That’s the way it will be for the unforeseeable future. I really don’t mind my hair. I’m used to it. I’m a hair flipper so there’s that, it helps a girl flirt when necessary and let’s face it, not much flirting going on right now. (You hear that MJ? No flirting, no boys!) There are perks to having long hair. But recently, I’ve had a problem with my hair. And this might be a little thing but it’s a thing. Trust me. Bathing.

Usually, I take showers because that’s what I enjoy and I never realized this, but it’s less creepy for me. I’ve been sick with a cold the past couple of days and I’ve been a little achy, so I took a couple baths. Both times, I didn’t wash my hair, I just bathed and I forgot a hair tie. Now my hair is long like about halfway down my back and I’m a sloucher so it’s gonna touch the water. It kind of grosses me out that I’m bathing so all my yuckiness is in the water and, first of all, how weird is it that it’s supposed to be relaxing to sit in your own filth but then I have to have my hair touch this water. My hair, the hair on my head that I have always been picky about. I need something for my hair in this circumstance. NEED TOO. Luckily, I live with my parents that will get me my hair ties from across the hall in my room. Everything worked out for the best…..this time.

Then here’s a second thing that bugs me. Plain old washing my hair. In the sink or in the tub. No shower, no sitting in bathing. Just me, my hair, water, shampoo and conditioner. This goes along the same lines as bathing for me. No matter how clean that area is, my hair will always go straight for the drain. It’s a proven fact. It’s going to happen. Do you realize what goes down your drain? Yeah, the filth from you bath or if you’re a shower peeing person, your pee goes down there. Or if you wash your hair in the sink, your spit from your mouth when you brush your teeth goes there and your dirty hand water goes down there and that’s where my hair goes when I wash it. To the drain. So your drain is gross and since my hair is long, it goes down the drain, not just collects there, it wants to go down the drain. The drain is the closet to which my hair goes to Narnia. When I was little, I thought the drain would like pull my hair and drag me down into the depths of the unknown. Now it just creeps me out. Here’s what happens when I just wash my hair. I don’t even go near the sink. I go in the tub, yes in because my parents’ tub is very deep, and when I’m washing my scalp, my head is under the faucet, one hand is stabilizing myself and holding my hair, (which is trailing out of the hand) and the other hand is getting all the soap out. It’s a process that I’m not so fond of because no matter how hard I try my hair goes down the drain. I’m not even sure why just these two things bug me about hair. Actually, I take that back, it makes sense. I have a certain way I brush my hair, very particular how it’s cut and everything, of course I’m going to be picky on how my hair encounters with water.

So this subject of hair has been in my head for the past couple of days. So we’re going to continue with the project. My sister and I have always had longer hair. And until the last decade or decade and a half, my mom has too. Now it’s short around the ear length. And my dad likes the traditional look. He likes mom’s short hair that’s shorter and naturally a little curly and he like my sister’s and mine long, straight hair like it is. To prove this, let me tell you a story. In college, I would come home and have my lady that has cut my hair for years, cut my hair. So I come home during spring break and she cuts it. Not really noticeable when it’s down but when I put it up, it was noticeable. I’m a girl who has a hard time cutting any amount of hair off so it’s tough when I cut a noticeable amount off and it goes up in a pony tail the second I get home. So it was up in a pony tail and that night I was on all fours in the living room looking for a highlighter or something. Dad, who’s sitting right there, pulls on my hair. Mom reprimands him and says “Don’t do that, it’s tough enough for her to cut her hair, what are you doing?” “trying to make it longer.” Here’s another story. When my sister first moved out of the house she tells me (who was 12 at the time) in confidence that she’s going to dye her hair a lighter shade of blonde. She knows that mom and dad, dad in particular, won’t like it so she tells me (like so many other times growing up) “Don’t tell Mom and Dad”. She does it and mom and dad don’t say much because she’s out of the house but pretty sure dad wasn’t a fan. So he likes a classic, natural hairstyle.

Back to the REAL story here. The neighbor girl is graduating high school this spring, which is really weird for me because I remember her bald and in diapers and babysat her in high school. She’s got a shorter hair and styles it modernly. So we get the graduation announcement in the mail the other day. I’m looking at it and dad goes. “I don’t know, the way she did her hair. Looks like she went through a wind tunnel. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like it.” On her, I thought it was cute, but I see where dad’s coming from.

The last couple weeks I’ve told friend-ish acquaintance stories from church. Not this week. I’ve been sick and mom woke me up yesterday to ask if I was going to church and I responded with: “My face hurts.” Are you going though? “Mom my face hurts.” So you’re not going to church? “No.” Okay check the roast later. Yes mommy. I walk out a little later before she leaves and I go “My face hurts.” Yes, I get it. So no great story there. And my hand in marriage came up yesterday at work. AGAIN! There’s a CNA that keeps telling me, with people around, that I’m coming back with a guy. NO! Not what I’m going for, not happening.

Panicky, Judgemental Kid.

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I was recently reading a blog and the guy said in high school he was the “nice, boring, judgmental Christian kid” and his wife was the exact opposite. I realize that was me without me realizing that was me. I was the “nice, boring, judgmental Christian kid”. I knew I was the nice Christian kid that was boring. But I didn’t realize until later I was judgmental. I’ve grown out of being judgmental to a point. I still have my moments. I think everyone has those moments. Others cannot always live up to our expectations. Weather it’s the way someone looks, does their job, treats their spouse. It’s kind of a judgmental world. We just have to have a thick skin. There’s that rant.

Now is when I’m going to start going on a random tangent. If some of this doesn’t make sense, I’m sorry. You’ll understand that I’m not making sense today.

I’m obsessed with checking my email these days. There’s so much coming to me. I have training starting in a month. It’s super scary. As much as I don’t enjoy working at a nursing home, I’m unsure of myself leaving now. When I moved home in January, I wasn’t scared. It was home. I was going to be starting work at the nursing home I’d hung out at all my life. (my mom’s worked at the home for years.) Life was good. Now I’m a month away from starting the scariest chapter of my life. (living halfway across the world in a city is a scary thing for a farm kid) It also doesn’t help that I have a sore throat and I’m being super womanly. (sorry, did that come out?) So I’m a little whiny.

In the story that MJ are writing, there’s this guy named Brad. Brad always tells Jane, his counterpoint, to keep treading water and she never understood why. Jane just assumes that it’s this little encouraging thing he tells her when he bought her this cheap souvenir. One night, he takes Jane to a beach and they’re overlooking the ocean. He points out a lighthouse he used to play at with his siblings and Brad tells Jane this tragic story about how his little sister died over there when they were kids and he felt guilty about not being able to save her. Brad then explains to Jane that’s why he tells her to keep treading water. He couldn’t save his sister, but if Jane keeps treading water and her head’s above the water, he can always save her. It’s a nice sentiment. MJ has used that line on me a few times in the recent past. I almost hate when the words I write come to haunt me.

Anyway. Point being is that there is light at the end of the tunnel and there is no need for me to panic. This will all work out. I will be fine. I’ve been telling myself that all afternoon. I really wish I had some wise advice about when one panics or is having a hard time. But the problem with that is, I have problems with that myself. I panic all the time and usually it’s over nothing. I don’t even have great coping methods to it. And I’m young. I know that I’m getting older but I still feel like a kid and haven’t figured out this whole wise thing. That’s probably a reason I panic as well, youth and inexperience.

But you know, looking at this leaving thing, it can be the most rewarding thing of my life. It’s all ready been rewarding because it makes me reflect on my home and the way I’ve been raised. My whole life, I have lived within 120 miles of home. I haven’t lived out of the state of North Dakota. Yes, I love my prairie and my Badlands and the farm. It is who I am. Those things are interwoven with who I am and they will help me when I leave. If you’ve ever been to southwestern North Dakota you look for the beauty of it. It’s not always obvious. But think of it. There’s gentle, rolling hills and rough buttes. Things that are rough but gentle. Things that I think I need as a person. I have been raised by a North Dakota farmer/rancher and nurse. That means I believe in the value of tough, hard work and the value of compassion. The love I have for my home and state will bring me back here but it also has taught me that I have nothing to be worried or panicked about. It has prepared me to leave and rejoice in my victories and provided people that will cry with me in my failures. This doesn’t mean that every other state isn’t beautiful or doesn’t give lessons to people that live there. These are just things I have realized that I’ve learned while I’ve been here. I’m saying I have nothing to be worried about. As long as I don’t forget who I am, I’ll be fine. I’m treading water just fine and might be able to save myself from the panic. Or trust God to do that.