I'm always blown away by my life here. I don't really talk about the daily things that I find so fascinating, maybe because they are so integrated into my routine that they seem normal, but the truth is that I am still able to surprise myself.
Take, for instance, that fact that I drive motorbike around the city. My drive to school is thirty minutes each way and I do it on autopilot now. There are the odd moments as I'm driving that I think to myself, "Wow you're driving a motorbike around Hanoi as if you know what you're doing." Granted that June was my first accident free month, but I still DRIVE A MOTORBIKE. People back home who hear about this find this shockingly hilarious since I'd never driven a motorbike before and let's face it, I am a really clumsy person. I regularly trip on a smoothly paved sidewalk. I'm always covered in scratches and bruises.
I'm also in a place that is forcing me to get over my (almost crippling) insecurity and complexes. My fear of public speaking and being judged is put to the test daily as I am responsible for getting up in front of four to five classes a day and teaching them while another teacher is in the room taking notes on my performance. I must admit that this throws me off and that there is always an anxiety and panic bubbling inside of me but I have no choice but to soldier on in the classroom.
People who know me are often surprised when I describe myself as shy, because with those I am comfortable with I have a larger than life personality. The truth is, that I am incredibly shy around new people, it takes me a while to become comfortable with them (but, once I am watch out!!!!) Around new people, I can seem boring or almost rude because I just have no idea what to say. I worry that they won't like me or find me offensive and that kind of rejection is a major blow to my already low self esteem. However, living here has been good for me, in a way. I'm not going to lie and say that I run up to new people and ask them to be my friend or anything crazy like that, but I am constantly thrown into situations where I don't know people and I am getting better at engaging in conversations with them.
I've always been jealous of people who are so sure of themselves that they conduct their lives in a manner that people would be lucky to know them and it seems to work, as they are usually magnets in the social world. I am not sure if I'll ever get to that stage but I think the more time I stay here the more comfortable with myself I'll become, and the more comfortable with myself I become the happier and more enigmatic with new people I'll become.
Sometimes it takes extracting ourselves from our comfort zones to make us reevaluate ourselves and make the life changes we need to. I am have no doubt that each day I am growing up and as uncomfortable as I can be at times that everything I do out here is only enhancing me as a person.