I have been back in Thailand for 33 days. I am adjusting to the heat. I no longer sweat profusely when I practice ashtanga. I had the mandatory food poisoning. My nervous system is back to normal (not the new normal of being calm like I hope, but a normal anxious self, yet not overly anxious). In these thirty days, I have been home in the south twice, to Koh Pangan (an island in the south which I have never been to) for 1 week, and the rest of the time in Bangkok. So it feels like it has been a lot of activities.
The lack of having to work makes me feel like I have been out of school and am doing a whole lot of nothing for like a year. I was gonna get over the graduate school syndrome of feeling like I have to be doing something all the time. But then I decided that no, I’m gonna go back to being the graduate school student, of working on some sort of stuff all the time. I mean if I still want this PhD then I have to. And I want this PhD, so I am going to.
But the difference is being able to shut it down when I retire for the day. The beauty of a 9 to 5 job is that you are done when you get home. No longer need to work. I never have that feeling. I think it’s because of the fact that I don’t feel like I work to my potential during the day. I always have this feeling of not reaching my potential and feel like I should have gotten more done, when in fact I didn’t and I don’t know if I could. But the expectation is there, and it backfires over time. So maybe it’s not being graduate student, but it’s the ability to detach from work. Most people are pretty detached from 9 to 5 work, but graduate students are very emotionally attached to their dissertation and their work. Is it sort of like entrepreneurs and business owners work 24/7 and are very attached to their work, very much live in their work. The difference is probably being those people get paid for what they put in, while graduate students get told that their works are not quite up to the par.
Anywho, I am not bitching about grad student here, just ruminating on what made me so emotionally entangled with grad school, and how I may proceed to write my dissertation effectively here in Thailand, while also have the 9 to 5 job.
I think its the attachment, and the feeling of helplessness that make PhD students suffer so much. (If you are not familiar with graduate students sucky life, check out PhD comics.com, quite an accurate illustration of graduate students life.)
Anyway, what I wanted to talk about today is about being back in my home country, after 9 years of living aboard, and assimilation into the american culture. I think there are different level of difficulties of people who lived abroad of assimilating back. For me i think the level of difficulty is about 9 out of 10. Why? Because the whole 9 years, I lived there without a big Thai communities. Everywhere I live, I probably have about 5 Thai friends at a time, with 1 or 2 I hang out with maybe once a week. Being back here, some part of me is happy. But most of the time I feel like an implant. I feel quite displaced, and disoriented. I have this feeling that I am an outsider.
I am sorry for being all over the place. Also if you are reading up to now, thank you for bearing with me. I started this blog initially to share healthy lifestyles, but it’s probably going to be turning more and more into a personal blog, sharing my feeling and thoughts at the time. I have not been very regular with writing, but I think it’s really good for me. Part of it is therapeutics for my throat chakra. My communication is blocked, and this has a physical manifestation of tightening of the muscle around the throat, the feeling of having a lump in the throat. I have had this symptoms for a few years now. It sometimes feel hopeless, like I can never get rid of it. But i truly believe that eventually, once I work on my communication and eliminate the discrepancy between my higher understanding or higher consciousness, and the physical expression, once I start to live in the flow and able to express myself, then the symptom will go away.
Thank you so much if you are still reading. I know there is not much structure in the blog today. And I promise I will update this blog regularly once a month as a minimum.