While getting ten thousand followers is great, what really matters is having a high rate of engagement on your posts.
So, when I learned that we’d be relocating internationally once again, I rolled up my sleeves, opened the Notes app on my iPhone, and started to prepare.
From food, to bodily functions, to religious practices, to sex, to family, to gender roles (often one of the bigger issues) – if you date someone from another culture, be prepared for misunderstandings.
During this election cycle, I’ve found myself engaged in more political discussions with non-Americans than ever before – describing how the electoral college works and why we have it (thanks, Google), the difference between the Senate and the House, and whether or not Trump may actually succeed in his apparent coup attempt… and why many Republicans appear to be supporting it.
I knew that I couldn’t put my life on hold – couldn’t make any more decisions that revolved around my fear of the debilitating pain in my body.
When my food arrived, I savored each bite, smiling to myself. I had done it. I was traveling alone, and it was just fine.
The more time I spent overseas, “practicing” my isolation, the more I learned that engaging in creative, meditative activities was a surefire way to fight anxiety and depression, and maybe even learn something.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned on this trip is to lean into uncertainty, trust my intuition, and make decisions when they feel right – all the while fully cognizant that inaction is a decision in and of itself.
I used to think that meditation was impossible. Sitting silently by myself with no distractions, counting down the minutes as I tried to keep my mind from wandering… it seemed like a horrible chore.
I woke up to the fading sound of the first call to prayer and glimpses of dawn light through the soiled white curtains in my guest room in Kabul, Afghanistan.