|live from Captain Jack's hostel in Portobelo, Colón, Republica de Panamá.|
It's nearly impossible to rationalize "the struggle" while you're still in it.
As it happens, a hard time is just a hard time and we typically can't assess WHY this horrible thing is happening to us. Hardships don't make sense when you're in the thick of the bullshit.
I couldn't have wrapped my mind around the greater purpose and lasting (positive) effects of fighting lupus while I was struggling with a walker and hating my life. Now, I see that time as transformation. I can look back and see distinct changes in character, motivations, ideals, and mentality. I refer to things as pre- and post-diagnosis. It took years to achieve this clarity.
I couldn't have seen how my social woes and being forced to dine and socialize alone for much of my time in California would be good for my shyness and equipped me for living without the safety net of lifelong friends and family here in Panama. Living in LA, existing on the outskirts of the dance scene, I found it hard to connect on a nonsexual level with many of the people that I met. Never deemed myself cool enough to be "down" with any of the people I trained and danced with. Never deemed myself good enough to make that transition from good dancer to great dancer. I did, however, learn that introversion was not a weakness. And I learned to appreciate, thrive in, and crave my own company.
Now, after nineteen months in Panama, months away from another move, and two days away from the bullshit and (self-imposed) chaos in la Capital, I have been able to make a few definitive statements and obtain some clarity about my life in this country, and the journey that lies ahead. I've wavered on my next move. I seem to have lost the ability to relax and be good to myself. I've become this super serious, maniacally plotting undersexed man who doesn't smile as much as I once did. I have all but abandoned creative outlets. Dance in Panama: no. I have no creative stimulation here. I've forgotten how to pour thoughts out and sort these thoughts out. Very little intellectual stimulation. Tried romance. "Too busy." I hardly write anything other than business emails. English. Clients. Classes. Quotes. Meetings. Bills. Rent. And the littlest daily injustice infuriates me now. I now respond to the idiocy and shit customer service with the kind of laughter that comes from surprise, disbelief, and repressed rage toward these people.
And I fight the urge to spit on people daily. So there's that.
But as I am still "in it," this life doesn't quite make sense to me. Right now, I see it all as "fucking Panamanian bullshit" caused by "fucking Panamanians" obviously bred to ruin my life.
I can speculate how my experience in Panama thus far will play out in the long term.
I can guess and assume that this all leads to some greater purpose or bigger, overarching theme.
But to try and jump from [the bullshit] to [that conclusion] is impossible. Unfair to myself. So, I'm listening to my gut, which hasn't steered me wrong to date.
It's time to go. And while I'm not geeked about reentering the States (more on this later), it has to happen, at least temporarily. I don't know when I'll land in Brazil (!!!), but I do know that for the moment, I have to leave this place.
Additionally, the fact that I am even attempting to wrap my mind around this experience tells me that, internally, I already view it as being over or coming to an end quite soon.
That lucidity has evaded me while inside Panama City means something. That despite having a great apartment, a business, clean, white employees, and a pretty penis, the one thing I am clear on is that something is missing. For someone I've known for a month to be able to conclude that I "don't smile much" and "don't seem very happy" also means something.
So while I don't know what that means in the bigger scheme of things, I do know that I gotta get the entire fuck out of here.