Adjusting to My New Life in Lebanon

Posted: October 3, 2010 in Adventure, Lebanon, Travel
Tags: ,

While I’m currently slated to teach English and Media Writing to my students, along with developing a Marketing and Communications plan for the school, at heart, I’m still a girl in love with Finance.

I don’t mean in love in the sense that I watch each and every tick of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.  I don’t even mean in love in the sense that I am meticulously glued to the movements of my meager 401k account.  I mean in love like conceptually I love the principles that build its very foundations, especially the principle of Risk and Return.

When I finally settled on coming to Lebanon, my mom had one pertinent piece of advice: “Be sure in your decision, and understand why you’re going, because you’re going to get an opinion from everyone about your decision.”

And she was right.

Now that I’m here, I’m confident I made the right decision.  But everything that makes me feel comfortable, also makes me feel uncomfortable.

In many ways I feel like I’ve taken the “dis” out of the word “discomfort.”  And that discomfort is part of the risk I planned to take on in making this decision.

Let me explain.  In living in this community of foreigners, I feel like I’m missing out on the experience of living with the people who hold citizenship in this country.  I’m joining a group that has already picked out all of the good and the bad in this culture and is ready to serve it up to me in small, TV-dinner-sized bites.  As a result, they’ve taken out all of the discomfort from the experience for me.  In many ways their joys, fears and enjoyments are becoming my own, so that at times, I’m not exploring and evaluating for myself.  I’m afraid this will keep me from learning the culture, language and people with an open mind.

So, it’s my goal this week to step out and add a little discomfort to my experience.  Speak a few words in Arabic and get laughed at.  Wander down the hill, upon which my school is perched, and get lost.  Try some food that no one has given me clearance to eat and be disappointed.  Whatever it is, I need to step out and take a risk in order to fully enjoy this experience.

In order to reap my reward, I’ve got to leave the “dis” in “discomfort,” because in discomfort there is risk and in risk there is reward.

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