Sunday, April 28, 2013

A (Temporarily) Reformed Control Freak

Living in a compound environment does something to an independent woman like myself. Day after day of someone else deciding what I should eat means I've lost the ability to make a decision, culinary or otherwise. If a light bulb goes out, I call GSO instead of changing it myself. The motor pool drivers take me where I need to go so I haven't been behind the wheel since I left California last summer. In short, I started questioning my ability to function in the real world.

As a result, my vacations, which used to be Himalayan treks and African safaris, now consist of the most menial activities. Most recently I was in Istanbul and while I enjoyed touring the Hagia Sofia and the basilica cistern, the highlights for me were having a picnic in Gulhane Park and sipping wine while reading my iPad at an outdoor cafe. Things that resemble life in the real world. When I was in Singapore a few months ago, I was practically giddy with delight taking the subway and getting to my destination all by myself!

Here in Kabul so much of what I do (or don't do) depends on factors I don't control. I've had to tone down my need to control my environment and learn to accept a lot of things that would ordinarily drive me nuts. That's not to say I'm as well-adjusted as I'm making myself sound. I'm just hoping that when I get back to the real world, I won't have a breakdown in the grocery store when faced with choosing between 26 different kinds of peanut butter.


Shawn said...

I definitely sympathize. We've done some great R&Rs from Kabul, but I'm often just as happy walking around the Dubai Mall and basking in some consumerism.

Andy said...

Thanks for sharing your stories Heather, I just read over a couple of them.