Utter Foolishness

10:14 AM

"There are things you do because they feel right, and they make no sense & they may make no money & it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other & to eat each other's cooking and to say it was good" -Story People

I've been in the States for the past month, mostly to hug lots of important people, but also because at one point, this was my final destination. My stomach officially rejects all American food, but at least I've been able to convince my mind to drive on the right side of the road. Amidst the busy of heartwarming reunions, I've found myself writing about my time in Thailand as I anticipate my return back to Chiang Rai for another few months. 

I was born foolish. Incredibly foolish. The kind of foolish that is too eager for the finish line that I trip over my unlaced shoes. This is my nature. To dream at such rapid rates, that the rational side of my brain can't keep up. I search for flights I can't afford, and sometimes I even buy them. Lately, I attribute my faith in God to the fact that he has used these impulsive tendencies not to destroy me, but to lead me where I never thought I could go. He has given me undeniable grace.

I held back on writing about my experience in Thailand, at risk of giving you the same story you've heard from the typical young millennial chasing their spasm of passion abroad. So hopefully, carefully and intentionally, I can tell you of this unique experience and what I have learned. I won't tell you to quit your day job and buy a ticket to Asia, because I am only an expert of my own experience. But through it, maybe you can find a reason to follow that foolish move your hearts been holding into.

A few months ago, when I moved into Eden House in Northern Thailand, I created my first Linked In account. I'm way late on the professional career game, if you haven't noticed already. I think I must have done it as a step towards some type of sustainable future. And with that account, came these email notifications on the daily, telling me to congratulate "So-and-So", on their new job. Each notification was a reason to rejoice for that person, and for awhile it was also a reason for my frustration. I felt pressure from the brutal spirit of comparison, to get a job. Everyone's doing it, right? But the more that I stressed out about a job, the more that the girls at Eden House, taught me about a way of life in Thailand called "Sabai, sabai". Just be free. 

When it finally got cool enough to play outside, I set up my hammock. I brought out my ipad and began looking at job boards, google searching what was going to come next for me. I was oblivious to the singing and giggling of little girls that surrounded me, oblivious to the little hand reaching down from the top of monkey bars that screamed "play with me". 

And then one of the younger girls, covering my screen with her gentle, little arm, took a hold of my hand and (in English, which is always a victory) said "let's go home". HOME? I was melting inside. Could it be that she would share that with me, would let this also be my home, even though I could hardly speak her language, even though I was surfing the web for ways to fly away from her? It changed the game for me. I chucked my ipad in my room, and I unsubscribe to those linked in notifications. From then on, I committed my time to being present, and the only flight searches I did were the ones that led back to the blue roofed houses in Ban Du (see you soon, pretty people!).

After this, things came alive for me. What was first a frustrating language barrier became a worthy challenge of loving with my actions. I never realized how heavily I relied on words to love people, how universal a laugh is, or how much simple and consistent actions matter. 

Here I am, on a foolish route. Where I teach but I'm not really a teacher, and I play and sometimes bake brownies. I can ride a motorbike and make it about 2 minutes in a Thai conversation. I don't really have a job title, or a job. Simply a responder to, "carry me, push me, teach me, love me". I make no money. Half my day is spent playing pick up sticks and matching card games and the other half is spent in yoga pants seeing how long I can stand on my head. But at this point in my life, I couldn't construct a better definition of happiness.

This year I said yes to a lot of insane things, like climbing down tiny holes, jumping off every cliff in sight, and who could forget the cute boy from across the globe. And I said no to the one thing I thought that I needed; a committed "real" job. I'm working on figuring things out from an unconventional angle, and it might seem foolish, but I'm digging the view (and the Chiang Rai sunsets, my goodness). 

This year, run for that thing you're drawn to, even if your shoelaces are a bit untied. You might trip, but you'll certainly get there. 

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