Being sick sucks. Especially when you’re as stubborn as one of the those old little wooden dutch shoes. Clog, doubly fitting considering that right now trying to smell something consists of five minutes of pig noises. Which really sucks because the cookies that are fuelling this blog probably smell amazing. But really, it sucks because I am the worst human being in probably the universe at sitting around and ‘resting’. I mean, what is it about? does reading count? do you have to be asleep the whole time? who made the rules here? It should come with an instruction manual because I really don’t get it.
It’s basically because resting gives you time to think. I’m not really one for thinking, not really one for words, I’d rather just do. Which of course means that I convince myself I’m fine every five seconds and conjure up the energy of carnival, bursting forth and promptly burning out approximately 2 hours later, retreating to bed a sweaty mess as if the act of lunch was actually the entire training scene from Rocky. The worst part is, because you’ve got so much time to think yet really no ability to do anything productive or enjoyable my ability to communicate with other humans seems to melt away.
On top of that, while I’m on a role I might as well keep painting myself out as a weirdo, I really don’t do sympathy. It’s the worst. I blame my parents. They followed a belief something along the lines of ‘unless you’ve managed to lose an arm while playing in the garden you’ve really got nothing to complain about’ – and if you did lose an arm I think they’d have been more impressed that two kids playing in grass resulted in a lost limb. The occasional riding of bike into pond yes – I mean when you have average balance and three ponds (THREE! it was a mine field) these things happen, yes, usually to me – but lost limbs were admittedly rare. The attitude toward sick and injured was a bit strange now I think about it, because my Dad has an uncanny ability to mistake a sniffle for acute lung failure. Parents hey? It’s like they universally adopted a motto of do as I say not as I do.
A lot of people I talk to say being sick abroad or while travelling makes it so much worse. I’m not so sure though, unless you got malaria, in which case you probably know what you’re talking about. But with just a little cold or something. I’d rather be sick where there are beaches and the atmosphere of new and adventure, than in a bedroom in England shaking with a need talk to people and do things. At least here, when I have my heroic – AKA stupid – moments I can attempt to talk to people (despite my ability to make those conservation things having already been sweated out) go to a biker bar or a french bakery mere seconds away, thats just not an option in England.
The worst part for me though, sorry for the flip here, is a fear of being inadequate. I don’t want to be a burden on people, which I likely am not, but after spending hours ‘resting’ I’ve had nothing to do but think and rely on other people. It’s a vicious cycle. I just like to do things, to help people, but I don’t expect that back and I don’t like people thinking they need to help me. It really is all good. Its like anything in life, doing it is enough, whether thats pulling someone out of the sea when they’re struggling or giving someone a gift, there really is no string attached and there is nothing to repay – feeling, action or item.
Being here, doing this experience and being a bit sick has taught me a few things. I never thought my communication skills would get better as a result of people being ill, especially considering how bad mine are while ill – seriously you can’t even imagine, its like trying to talk to someone on Skype with terrible internet, you interrupt each other every five seconds because you have no idea who is talking when which throws you off your stride and you lose all that you had to say in the first place; your thoughts, like your flow, crumble. But when you or someone else is sick the importance of communication becomes clear. You step up and fill a role, or others step up and fill your role. But without communicating it won’t work.
I’m lucky to have such a good team here, as I sit here and essentially get fat on cookies – which I’m still not sure counts as resting – they cover me. They care, and I love them for that, I just suck at saying it.