Sunday, September 9, 2012

Some Days Are Just Like That

Today was just one of those days.

Yesterday was a good day. It didn't start out that way. I had to take a kid to an undeserved 3 hour detention which chapped my hide - but what can you do? If he missed it, he would have been subject to a day of expulsion the following week. So agree or not - he had to go. Whatever. It wasn't the end of the world.

I then put together a "gringa" salad for our church BBQ. They really wanted something like we would make at home. I don't really know what that meant since I still haven't wrapped my head around what they make here, but I opted for a broccoli salad. It has a mayo based dressing and I know the Chileans are huge fans of mayonnaise because it's all over the stores in huge bags. While mixing it up, I became increasingly frustrated that I didn't have the simplest supplies that I need to make a salad. [It didn't help that Greg, who was already at the BBQ setting up, kept texting me about when I would be getting there] I don't have a big bowl. No salad tongs. Only 1 broken measuring cup. After ending up with mayo in my hair and broccoli on the floor - and maybe a little swearing - I vowed never cook again until Greg bought me what I needed here or took me home to get my things. (It didn't last long - I cooked lunch today)

Once we got to the church, I had a blast. Truly I enjoyed myself immensely. I just find myself becoming continually more and more frustrated with my lack of ability to speak the language. I WANT to, but wanting to and doing are two completely different things.

These amazing women try to talk to me with slow simple spanish - but slow and simple is still waaaay above my head. So I feel stupid. I feel left out. I feel frustrated. I'm losing my ability to just smile and nod. I feel like the expectation has grown. I've been here long enough and my 'free pass' is gone. These feelings are completely self-inflicted. What do I want? People to NOT try and talk to me - to just ignore me completely? No. I wouldn't like that either. I do love that these ladies want to carry on a conversation with me - I am just frustrated with myself for not knowing more already. I want to be their friend.

I think the whole ordeal on Friday with the school pushed my patience over the edge. I've only got so much to go around and any little blip in the radar throws me into crazyville.

Today, I skipped church and stayed in bed. Greg left early and went to meetings and when my alarm went off, I texted him to let him know we would not be going. I felt like I needed a minute of reprieve and that my kids did to. Maybe they didn't - Maybe I was projecting - I don't know. But I needed to just let everyone sleep until their bodies woke up on their own. I just needed a minute without spanish.

Tonight was a visiting teaching conference. The lady running it is completely bilingual. She did a great job helping the 3 gringas that were there. She'd stop and explain things to us in english. When we broke off in groups - I was sent to group three - alone without my other gringa helpers (who speak spanish). The lady in charge came and helped me.

This is going to sound bad - but I have a love/hate relationship with the help. I HATE-HATE-HATE that I need that help. I hate that someone has to constantly stop what they are doing to repeat everything to me. I don't like to be the 'needy' one. One the flip side - I am so incredibly grateful that there are so many people willing to do that for me. I am truly lost without the help.

So - what do I learn from this whole fiasco? I need to get off my high horse and be grateful for that help. Until I learn to be accepting of help - really learn that lesson, I'll never be able to get past this moment in my life. Do you think spanish is the ultimate lesson for me here? Doubt it. Patience. Long-suffering. Acceptance. Humility. Learning to be completely open to the help without the embarrassment or frustration - or being on the verge of tears - that is my lesson to learn. The sooner I learn humility the better. Once I learn these lessons, maybe I'll be able to move past this and start actually learning to speak spanish. Wish me luck - pray for me - whatever it takes. I need all the help I can get :)

1 comment:

  1. Tami I am flattered that you listed me as a Gringa that spoke Spanish! If only I saw myself that way. ;) We all have these days, some of us weekly, and though they may never go away, they do tend to deminish and not bring us to full blown tears. Hang in there girl, we are all right here with you!!