First thing's first...HAPPY EASTER!!
Being here for the holidays is a mixture of feelings. After having such a hectic week and weekend, and after not being home since Tuesday, I am SO HAPPY to be spending Easter in my new home of Kocani. Of course, on every holiday, I tend to miss home a lot, but that cannot be helped. Aside from missing home, I also tend to examine and re-evaluate my life.
I take inventory.
What do I have in my life right now, that I didn't have before? What do I not have in my life anymore? Do I need or miss that thing? Who's in my life? Who's not in my life anymore? Unfortunately, I've had many people I care about leave my life. Some were just friendships that fell apart. Some were much closer people who seemed to have just given up. Two family members have stopped speaking with me in the 26 years I've been alive. It's still beyond me how a family member can just shut you out and not have any desire to reconcile. As a child, I worked very hard on being a positive staple for everyone, but now that I am older, I've discovered it isn't part of my journey to have such negative people share in the great experiences I've been able accomplish. I'll accept the fact that I'm not worth it to them. I simply dont have the capacity to put forth anymore effort on people who do not wish to do the same. And to be completely honest with you...I am at peace with that.
FORTUNATELY for me, I now have so many people in my life...people I really sincerely care about. Having been in Kocani since late November, I've slowly found and built on some new relationships here. Some have proven to not be worth my time (which is ok), while others have become like family to me. My perspective on what truly makes a person important in my life is much different than it was before I came here, and I'm very comfortable in that.
On a different note, I've been over-worked lately, and I can feel it physically. Last week, I was in Ohrid for a week-long IST training session with Peace Corps, all the volunteers, and a lot of the counterparts. Emilija came with me, and we had so much fun together. I was constantly proud to have her by my side. I really love her and her family, and I think our relationship shows when we are together. Sadly, she had to go back to Kocani on Thursday, and I had to finish the training. By Friday, I was already tired and wanting to go home, but I couldnt. Instead, I had to get on a 3-hour bus ride to Skopje, because the National Spelling Bee was the next morning at 8am.
The "Bee" was great!! I was part of the committee, so I was there from 8am-6:30pm doing every job there was. We had over 900 children qualify, so we held a bunch of "mini bees," and then we held the final ones. I had 5 kids from Kocani compete, and all of them did a FANTASTIC job!! Even though they didn't win, I could not have been more proud. : ) After the Bee, I had to get on another 3-hour bus ride back to Kocani. In the 15 minutes I had to walk home with Lilika, I felt the exhaustion kicking in, and I just wanted to shut my eyes for days....but right now, I dont have that luxury, haha!!
This week is going to be packed, again. We've got an Easter show on Thursday, and my dance crew kids, "Local Gods," will be performing their new dance. The dance is seriously amazing...they've all worked so hard on it, and I cant wait to see how the public reacts. On Saturday and Sunday, I'm riding down to Greece with Bill and two students, so they can take the ACT test. We will hopefully enjoy a nice meal Saturday night in celebration of the Macedonian Easter, and then ride back home on Sunday. By the time I get back, I will need to begin packing my things, because on Wednesday I will MOVE INTO MY NEW APARTMENT!!
I'm a "hot mess" right now, but life is still really good..ya know?? I'm really happy....I'm really tired, but life is GOOD. I wish all the best to my family and friends back home on this Easter Sunday, and I'm looking forward to some new emails. : )