Sunday, September 15, 2013

My Work'ation: Part One - A Sad State of Mind

Any of you who've been following my blog may have noticed a significant decrease (*cough* non-existence *cough*) of blog entries during the summer months.  Well, to explain, I've been far away from my writing head-space and eye-ball deep in traveling.  A little for myself, and a lot with work.

I would go into the details of my vacation home to my beloved British Columbia, but this blog is about my adventures in Saudi Arabia.  Plus, many of you already know the ins and outs of the fabulous'ness that is British Columbia so you don't need my descriptions of it.  I suppose this logic kind of negates the writing of my travels while working with the sweet little boy that is my student, since I was not in Saudi Arabia per say.  I was, however, traveling as a result of the reason I'm living in Saudi Arabia,  so there is my Arabian connection and now writing about my time in London and Paris has been justified.

The awesomeness I left back home.
Getting ready for five weeks in Europe was interesting.  I'm not talking about packing for the trip, I'm talking about my state of mind.  I had traveled for 24 hours and skipped over ten time zones only to be back in Riyadh for seven days before flying to London with the family I work for.  On top of that, my supervisor was in Riyadh for our scheduled "individualized education plan" review, updates, and consulting that equated a week of 12 hour days.  I was running on fumes.  This would've been fine, but remember that I had just left my world of mountains and forests and biking and the most fantastic group of fun and caring friends imaginable.  I had experienced the greatest actualization of love that is my home and I was required to leave it.  I was desperately sad and my exhaustion was driving me into a hole of despair.  Suffice it to say, looking back, I do believe I was in a mild state of depression.

I most certainly was not able to look forward to traveling.  I wasn't looking forward to anything, really.  I was also hard on myself for being like this because, ever since I was little, I had dreamed of visiting England.  Jane Austen is one of my favourite authors. Shakespeare delighted me during high school. I have watched almost every British romantic comedy filmed from 1995 and onwards at least twice and maybe half of the British dramas.  I won't even get in to the amount of British television that I've watched.  I actually used to read my study notes in a British accent when preparing for tests and exams because it made me feel smarter.  Now I was finally visiting London, and would have weekends off to enjoy it, and I couldn't have cared less.

What was contained in my lost luggage.
We arrived in London and, while I could definitely appreciate that it was cool to be there, I noticed my tendency to highlight more of the negative things about the city than the positive things.  This was not good.  This was not me.  I am a happy person, yet hopelessness and sadness were starting to feel like the norm for me.  And then a saving grace in the form of a bad situation occurred.  My luggage had been lost.  I had no clothes besides what I was wearing and no toiletries whatsoever.  All I had with me was my computer and, thankfully, my work notes and therapy plans.  My luggage was predicted to make it to me in four days.  Shit, shitty, shit.

This, for me, was a wake up call.  For a long time I have believed that shit-storms in life are not a result of the world coming down on you.  Instead, they are a result of your own negative attitudes and energy coming back to bite you in the ass.  That's what my luggage getting lost was; the universe telling me to start thinking more positively or more crappy situations were going to be paying me a visit.

Let's be honest here.  How horrible was my situation anyway?  Losing my luggage was really not that big of a deal.  I was staying in a luxury hotel just down the road from Trafalgar Square, two blocks away from Westminster Abbey, and a ten minute walk away from Buckingham Palace.  AND I was getting paid to be there.  My life was (and is) flipping amazing and I was whining because I had to spend another six months away from home.  I felt the need to walk outside and ask the hotel's doorman to give me a swift and severely hard kick in the ass.

I didn't think the doorman would have actually gone through with it so, instead, I started to ignore the negative thoughts that floated into my brain.  I began to take pause and remind myself of all the goodness that is part of my life and the world around me.  Most importantly, I started to see the awesomeness that is London.  Then my first weekend off arrived.

I'll tell you all about London in Part Two - These Are My Favourite London'y Things.  Until then...

In Joy,


  1. Just remember that "looking up is always better than looking down" Upward we find fresh air, a new purpose and a meaningful outlook on our lives. Downward is well trodden and somewhat too comfortable to the point that we don't embrace the new, the changes and the possibilities before us. You're doing great. Keep it up. Hugs and much love from WC Mom and Dad.


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