Thursday, September 13, 2012

Learning experience.

Its been a really difficult couple of weeks.

I went on what was, largely, a great vacation. Unfortunately it was speckled with periods of misfortune. There was a situation at our first 2 destinations that was thankfully resolved with a little talking. Third destination I got really sick. Fourth destination was my absolute favorite, but I was super bummed because I wish I had planned more time there. And the last destination was pretty much sleepless.

During the travel period, I feel like there was a lot of misunderstanding and hurt feelings. I only fully realized it when I got back and had a chance to look back on the trip as a whole. Everyone was trying to do what they needed to do to have a good time, and I think that everyone (myself included) took it a little too personally.

I need an opportunity to organize my thoughts, so I'm going to do that here. I don't think anyone really reads this, so its probably a safe place to do that. But on the off chance someone does read it: I'm not writing because I'm angry or trying to put things on the internet to slander anyone, and I'm not trying to disqualify anyone else's grief. I'm sincerely writing to try to organize my very messy brain. Every time I try to talk it out, things get even more tangled. Its just how I feel, and I realize there is usually a disconnect between how you feel and how things were intended.

So lets start with the most obvious. Sometimes when you get upset, you become a victim of "everyone is out to get me." Every little thing anyone does turns into a personal attack. And as much as it sucks for the people around you having to deal with it and walk on eggshells, it sucks most for the person feeling like the world/their family/their friends are all against them. I get it. Out of all the people in the world who understand that feeling the most, I'm probably in the top 5%. So when its obvious that's the case, I do what I can to counter it.... but there's only so nice and understanding you can be without any reciprocation, or at the very least, reprieve. 

I tried to do what I thought would be best for both my good time, and for the other person/people. Usually going to your own corner to cool off works. No matter how much I didn't want to deal with it (it wasn't MY situation so there was no reason I should have had to deal with it), I tried to remain cool-headed and took all the abuse. And, DEAR GOD, there was abuse. But as I said before... I get it. I understand what those feelings can do to you, so I have a pretty high threshold for dealing with it. Once things were brought to the surface, and talked about, I thought it was done. Everything was ok for a bit. But then a little while later, it got WORSE and I was now the sole target of frustrations. I don't understand how that happened considering I was the only one who was gracefully taking the abuse. 

Later, I found out that she was talking to people at home accusing me doing something to intentionally leave her out of travel plans. If you know ANYTHING about me, you know that I have a difficult time editing down guest lists for everything because I don't want anyone to feel excluded. Granted, I had had it up to my eyeballs with her attitude, but I still sent a messenger to relay that we were making a plan, and 'did they want in on it?'. The answer was no. I'm sorry, but you lost your right to complain after you said you DID NOT want to be included. But, still....... I get it. And I know that the person on the receiving end of the messages, while maybe they don't know me too well... told someone who knows me very well, and I'm sure knew that there was something not quite right about her claim. So, I guess no harm, no foul. No sense in making a big deal out of it if it didn't really do me any damage, right? It really explains why, for a solid portion of a day, she was acting as if I wasn't even there. And by that I mean, "shoulder bumping me all day to show me just how much I 'wasn't there' and didn't matter" wasn't there.

The our next stop was beautiful! We met up with a bunch more people and it was really nice to have a big group.... but super difficult to coordinate. We were in a country where the tap water and ice made from tap water are NOT safe. Most restaurants we ate at, we made sure to tell them no ice (except the ones that had "ice made from purified water" written on the menu), but I must have forgotten. That day I had a drink at the hotel bar, then we went out for a local dinner. I was feeling sick before we ate, but I got something anyway. After, we went to a reggae bar, and I looked like an absolute stick in the mud (remember this, it was the start of my demise I think haha). I sat down and didn't move until I decided I absolutely had to leave. Took about 10 minutes to walkrun back to the hotel, and let me tell you..... I barely made it. I was so sick. I couldn't sleep because I kept waking up to be sick. I felt horrible for my roommate! The next day, I basically slept off and on all day and tried some toast, but then I started seeing stars to I realized I needed some electrolytes. The next day I was ok, but my stomach was really messed up from the previous 2 days. My stomach was super sensitive for like the next week.

Rewind to the beginning of that trip (the 3rd stop on the trip). It was the first real time I was able to communicate with my parents. They told me that my uncle's cancer had come back in a really bad way. When I left for the vacation, I knew the cancer was back and he was undergoing some surgeries, but as of the time I left for the trip, things were pretty much status quo. With that news, I started really not feeling in a party mood. I wanted to go out, but I didn't really have it in me. I know I seemed a little off before my sick episode, and that was why.

The next place we went was my favorite. I had a lot I wanted to do, but I didn't get to do it all. I might have preferred doing it solo only because I got the impression that the girls I was with weren't very interested~ but I was definitely happy to have the company. We visited a cool Islamic mosque, which I thought was an awesome cultural experience. I wasn't originally interested, but the girls I was with were so into the idea that I went along. I so glad I did. I learned a lot and it was interesting to hear about Islam from the perspective of a European woman (she is a convert). We even got to break the Ramadan fast with them! My company wasn't quite as impressed with the tour as I was, but I'm totally into religious culture... I find it really interesting.

The last place was beautiful, but I got myself into a lot of trouble. I wanted to do some stuff on the island, but I figured since the girls were so cool about doing what I wanted to do in the previous place, that I should do what they wanted to do at our last stop. It was mostly beach, food, and bars. We did one excursion to some local islands which was cool. I wanted to take it easy because 2 of my friends were having a going away party the night I got back, so I tried to keep the drinking to the minimum... I am NOT someone who can drink for multiple nights in a row and be ok. I had to be responsible and go to bed at reasonable times and not get as wild as the other girls. I was jealous because they were having so much fun, but I needed to save it up for my friends' party. I didn't get too much sleep because I'd go back to the hotel at around 12-1 and they all trickled in at different times, so I would wake up to let them in. Not complaining. I knew that would be the case since I am a light sleeper. By the end I was exhausted and just wanted some alone time.

I got my wish. We ended up on a flight with two more people from my city, but all six of us were spread all over the plane. I got off the plane and rushed to immigration. I didn't see anyone I was with, but I had been towards the back-middle of the plane so I figured the others were at the baggage claim. Nope. I waited for a bit, then thought maybe they had gone out to get bus tickets. I didn't see them, so I got my ticket and rushed to get a shower, figuring that I would just see them on the bus. No big deal, right? Wrong. When I next saw them, they seemed angry. I didn't care because I was exhausted and had spent a big portion of the last week or so with a great view of the backs of their heads, so I felt a little justified having gone off to do my own thing after looking for and not finding them.

I didn't realize anything was actually wrong. Later at the party I was.... "approached" by a few of them and they were VERY upset with me. I was so blindsided (and drunk) that I couldn't really process what they were accusing me of. Naturally, I went on the defensive claiming "I didn't say that, I didn't say that." I got really upset that 1) they came after me like that in such a public way at a party I had been talking about for weeks, and 2) I had no idea what they were talking about or where they were getting their information from.

NOW I understand.

They had accused me of saying "I had to babysit them." I do NOT recall saying anything like that... mainly because I didn't really feel like that. I DID feel like I had my list of things I wanted to do, and they wanted to come too (I think I was the only person who had pre-planned things to do. I just like to be really organized about my travel.). Perfect. Great. I was happy and grateful for the willing company. However, around the end of week 2, I started feeling like I was "dragging" them with me. I didn't feel like they wanted to come. But they did and that was their choice. Feeling that way was not what got me in trouble, but I think since I was wearing my feelings on my sleeve a bit for that last week, its what set the framework for their interpretation of the rumor some dickwad started.

When I arrived at the party people asked me how my trip was. I said it was fun, but I was glad I didn't have to be responsible any more. By that I meant "I was glad I didn't have to keep my partying in check" (I don't really like drinking too much in places I'm not familiar with... just makes me uncomfy). I believe that someone said something to them like "why did she have to be responsible?" or something negatively spinning what I had actually said. My best guess is that they then asked around if I had said something to other people. They said six people had approached them, but I know for sure that that was not true since I had not even spoken to six people since arriving back in Yeosu. It didn't really help my case that one particularly influential person in that group of girls didn't like me-- so she was just looking for something to get angry at me about. I'm pretty sure if she had been removed from the situation, that things would not have escalated the way they did. This is mainly because I really like the other girls and I think they're really relaxed and rational. 

After "the episode" things were resolved, and we all went back to having a great time. I don't harbor any ill feelings against any of them, but it did leave a bad taste in my mouth. And I'm sure it did the same for them. I'm really sorry that things turned out the way they did. I feel terrible that they think I was "talking shit" about them. That's not really in my character. However, I do completely understand why they reacted the way they did.

Everything is cool now. Chalked it up to a learning experience and moved on.

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