Slowly Getting Comfortable

Well, would you look at that. I have already been living in Thailand for 3 weeks! How crazy is that? In the short time that I have been here I definitely feel like I am learning so much. Not only am I learning extremely important things related to Teaching English as a Second Language but more importantly I am learning a lot about myself. The last couple of weeks I have been struggling with adjusting. Although I am having fun and enjoying every moment of this adventure, there has been many moments where my anxiety has been extremely high. There have been times where I have felt lonely, confused and worried about everything in general. However, I know that these emotions are expected, so I have found some comfort in that.

I have always been home body but I have never been homesick before. Lo and behold I Chayla for the very first time ever have experienced an extreme case of feeling homesick. Everyday so far has come with it’s own struggles but I slowly find myself getting over those obstacles and falling in love with Thailand. This is a major break through! I think it is fairly easy to fall head over heels for this country though. Everything about it is enticing.  It’s beauty and the people who live here make it one of the most amazing countries I have visited so far.  The sense of community you feel when you are around the Thai people is incredible. Furthermore, I have never felt this safe in another country before. I can honestly say that I feel less nervous walking alone around the streets here at night than back at home!

As you can tell I have quite a bit to catch you up on. So let me start off by telling you about the fantastic week I had suffering with a severe ear infection. I am going to assume it was from the shower but I don’t know for certain. Anyways, last week this friggen thing destroyed me! It started last Wednesday but it was very mild. I really didn’t think much about it until Thursday, when the pain started to get more intense. That Thursday I wasn’t sure what to do, so I went to the pharmacy and picked up some ear drops specifically for ear infections but the dumb thing made it a hundred times worse. Thursday night I tried to go to sleep, took probably one too many Tylenol, but nothing helped. A few hours later the pain was so unbearable I was literally in tears. Completely agonizing! My lovely roommate suggested that we should go to the hospital. Totally annoyed with this whole scenario I agreed, mostly because we are lucky enough that the hospital is our next door neighbour! I was so thankful that she came with me. Nothing is freakier than being sick in another country and not knowing what to do or where to go. Also, I felt terrible because it was getting late and that following morning would be our very first day teaching English (6 classes of approximately 40 students). Of course, the one night we needed a decent sleep, I had to go to the hospital, oh joy.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of the hospital is extremely long line ups, sick people looming everywhere and hour long waits just to get sent from one room to another. Now, ask me if this is the case in Thailand? Nope! Not at all. Completely in shock I was in and out of the hospital in under an hour. To be honest I’ve waited longer in bank lines lol. The doctor prescribed me with antibiotics and painkillers, thank the Lord! However, my dreadful night didn’t end there. Once we got back home I took my antibiotics and painkillers. About an hour later I was extremely nauseated and had to dodge myself out of bed and sprint to the bathroom. Whatever you think happened next is EXACTLY what happened. Vomiting, lots of it. My poor roommate. Sarah if you only knew how mortified I was… Lmao. Anyways, not realizing until the next day that the doctor had prescribed me Amoxicillin, which I had told him I was allergic too (I love language barriers). Well, this explained the horrific vomiting scene the night before.

The day of our “camp” arrived (that Friday) and as you can assume I was feeling like complete and utter shit still. I could barely keep my head up. However, this was going to be my first day of teaching and I didn’t want to miss out because of a stupid ear infection. Luckily for me my instructor helped me out by giving me a partner to help teach my classes (Thank you!!!). The day was complete chaos but worth every second! The kids were unlike anything I have ever experienced. Totally wild, but adorable. I have never been greeted with so many high fives and hugs in my life!

As week three is coming to an end, everyone in my program has become close. Friendships have been made between all of us and it is going to be bittersweet to have to say goodbye. However, it is time to do what we all came here to do! This week we have been told about our work placements and where we will be moving. It seems like everyone is going to be scattered evenly throughout Thailand. Starting this Sunday most of us will be moving from Hua Hin! So soon, it seems crazy, I have been told that I will be moving to a town in the province of Isan called Khon Kaen. It’s north eastern Thailand and approximately 8 hours away from Hua Hin and close to Laos. I got placed into a Catholic private school with about 400 students and only 1 other foreign teacher (how cool is that?!). I will be teaching 4-6 year olds and have about 35 students per a class. I am so excited! Definitely cannot wait until the next part of this journey and meet these cute little kiddies!

xoChaylavie

Roll with The Punches

It is one month until I say my good-byes. One month until I roll that big suitcase of mine-which will have my life packed in it- and board that plane. One month until my life will forever be changed. One month until I will find out where my mental threshold resides and whether or not I can push beyond those capacities. One month until I experience a new world of everlasting heat and humidity and exactly ONE month until I find out if true love can withstand the test of distance.

Do not think for two seconds that I am not scared to death because I absolutely am. Thinking about what is to come is a scary thought, a lonely thought and intimidating one. However, it is those characteristics that drive me. They are exactly what excite me about venturing into new and unusual waters. I guess you could say I am a wanderer. I lust for it.

Today, July 9, 2015, officially marks two weeks until I leave. Holy cow, does time ever fly! I am not fully sure how I am supposed to be feeling but I sure can tell you I am probably experiencing every emotion even freaking possible! I was shopping for professional work outfits yesterday, which has not been the easiest of tasks, but such is life. Anyways, a retail associate and I started talking about my big move. She asked me a question I have been asked a 100 times this month.

“Are you ready yet?”

In my usual, anxious, classic Chay self I replied “Absolutely freaking not! Not even close.”

Well, I probably shouldn’t over exaggerate. I am very organized and I have the majority of my packing and all my necessary documents ready to go. However, despite my endless hours of planning my mind is not quite as organized.

She ended our conversation by telling me something stuck to me like leather clothes on a hot day (that’s attractive lol).

“You can never be fully ready or prepared enough for the unknown.”

Smart girl. She made a point. An excellent point actually. So I guess I am going to have to get used to this-the unknown. My life for the next year or so is going to be full of it. Time to roll with the punches!

xo Chaylavie

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The 5 Depressing Truths About Being in Your Mid 20’s

I might only be on the brink of my “mid-twenties” but in honour of my 24th birthday only being a few short weeks away I thought it would be appropriate to discuss some of the unattractive things related to this age bracket. Ever since my graduation from university last May I have been faced with some ugly truths, 5 to be exact. Sure, being in your twenties is amazing and I am definitely not taking it for granted. I know, I know, I am free, able to make my own life decisions, not required to sport dorky braces (that took over my entire damn 4 year high school experience!) anymore, and can enjoy the “finer” things in life (whatever the heck that entails). However, my expectations and excitement about being this age have come to a quick halt solely because it is not going the way I expected it to. Simply put, growing up sucks.

  1. A lot of your friends will go MIA. I had all of these exciting plans once I finished my undergrad. I spent 4 and a half years conjuring up all of the things that my girls and myself would be able to do once I finished. Recreate the Hangover on a Vegas getaway, enjoying the single life with all of my single friends, go wine tasting while spending the day in Niagara on the lake and getting pampered at a spa? Yes please! However, fast forward to convocation and thereafter and I have yet to do any of those things with them. Instead, people are busy with their own lives now and that’s just the way it is. In order to make plans, one must simply create a Facebook event or group chat to ensure a time and place that everyone can get together. This planning will usually happen at least a month prior to the event, however most of the time it still never works out. Why you may ask? Because it was planned so freaking far in advance (just to ensure EVERYONE could make it), that many of your silly buddies forget (or so they say) and end up being a no show. You can now mourn and say goodbye to the random group hang outs you were so accustomed to in both high school and university. That shit just doesn’t work at this age.
  2. All at once you are smacked with bills (and not just any bills, better yet, bills that put you in way over $20,000 in debt) Shout out goes to my university for that one! Dafuq did this happen? (RYE HIGH, HOWS IT HANGING YOU RICH BASTARD). In addition to this stressful transition from being a broke ass student to a broke ass young adult, you have a sudden realization that you are now experiencing normal financial responsibilities and obligations. Yay! However, it is at this stage where for the first time ever you discover that yourself and the majority of your friends are no longer on the same playing field. Some of friends will land their dream job right out of uni, pulling in enough cashola to live their luxurious lifestyle, in their cute little condo, in their cute little neighborhood (usually in downtown Toronto), while enjoying their cute authentic, Instagram-worthy meals, while others can barely afford a pot to pee in because their student loans are so through the roof and they are unable to make any payments because they are unable to find any job/career in their field, usually because they studied something random like philosophy. Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to introduce you to what I like to call the “young adults great financial divide”!
    Welcome to a world where you and your friends can no longer agree on what group outings/activities are affordable and what is not.
  3. You sometimes find yourself in the “in-between” stage among friends. This is the stage where some of your bestest partners in crime decide it is a good idea to get “wifed” or “hubbied” up, get a house, make babies and the whole shebang while the other half of your pals are still getting white girl wasted, eating street meat after the club at 3AM (or better yet Shawarma!!! #yum), spending the night hugging toilets and not having the slightest recollection of how they got their sloppy ass home the next morning. Instead, you find yourself in this grey area where you sort of don’t fit into either. This just results in you being more confused than you already were about your silly age in the first place.
  4. You start to notice that you can’t eat “whatever” you please to anymore. Listen, I like food and I like to eat food even more. In my head I am already a 500lbs woman, however more recently I’ve realized that those thoughts may become a reality if I don’t cool it. It is just a little bit more complicated to stay in shape now and I know for damn certain that it is age related! Yes I am still practically a baby, but let me tell you, at one time I could eat all I wanted and knew that only working out a few times a week, or remaining relatively active would help me stay in shape. Unfortunately, that is not the case anymore. It seems that the “freshman 15” decided it enjoyed the party, caught feelings and is now going to stick around for the long haul. But meh, maybe it’s just me. Damn you muffin top, you SOB!
  5. You are dying to move out of your parents’ house and live on your own but are slapped with the complex reality that you lack the financial means to do this. Unless… you have a roommate! If you are anything like me, the whole roommate idea not only freaks you out me but it makes you cringe. No offense to any of my beloved friends (you’re all the best!) but even the thought of living with you churns my stomach. Not because I don’t love you but simply because of all the potential ways this could pan out. It is a 50/50 and there is no in between. You’ll either love the crap out of your roommate/bestie, making every night just like a sleepover, spending weeknights sprawled out in horizontal position on the couch in the living room, watching the Bachelorette or re-runs of Jersey Shore, asking your girl to pass you the Cheetos OR you’ll find yourself starting to come up with the best way you can get some harmless vengeance on him or her for constantly eating all of your cereal, stealing your protein powder, leaving the bathroom a repulsive mess or refusing to pay for their share of the Wi-Fi simply because they “don’t” need/use it. In that case they are full of shit because we’re in 2015. Common, even my grandma uses it. Also, by harmless vengeance I mean doing something that would obviously not put anyone’s life into danger but give you the sweetest sense of gratification. Your roommate wants to be a disrespectful, unappreciative, princess? You can now sleep at night knowing that you secretly used their toothbrush to clean the toilet bowl. Or better yet, turn it up a notch and re-enact that scene from Horrible Bosses where Kurt shoves his bosses toothbrush where the sun don’t shine. Lol, okay don’t actually do any of those things. However my point is, this uncertainty is way too big of a risk factor for myself. I’d rather keep my friends as my friends and not run the risk of becoming archenemies, thank you very much. The truth is we all have our own habits and a different way of living. The smallest differences have the potential to become magnified, which can leave sweet besties or acquaintances extremely hostile, thus resulting in a disastrous falling out all due to living under the same roof.

I guess I managed to go on quite a rant here. However, do not lie for even two seconds, you know damn well you related to at least one or more of these points. Being in your mid 20’s you are, without a doubt, going to experience some of the best years of your life. However, this age has its faults and that’s just because it comes with so many uncertainties. In all honesty, it is just plain weird when you actually realize that you’re growing up!

xo Chaylavie

Whoever said “you don’t need to drink to have a good time” has never met me!

This post is not necessarily as the title suggests. In fact, I would like to make it clear that I do not advocate any kind of excessive drinking lifestyle that all of us young adults are so accustomed to. However, I would like to take a moment to discuss why one, such as myself, would feel more comfortable in a social setting after a few stiff ones. Everyone, meet my long life worst enemy: SOCIAL ANXIETY. For those of you who do not know what that is The Canadian Mental Health Association defines a social anxiety disorder as a mental illness in which a person may experience feelings of nervousness and a lack of comfort in “social situations”, such as meeting new people. Simply put, this definition alone screams MY LIFE…On the daily.

Let’s be honest for a minute, I am an extremely outgoing person and those who know me would argue that I am not this social outcast that I deem myself to be. Yes, I absolutely love the company of others and enjoy a good conversation every now and again. But let me tell you, I am probably the most “anti-social” social person you will ever meet. There is not a single moment that goes by where I am not constantly questioning every word, sentence or phrase that comes out of my mouth, whether or not people think I am slightly strange or awkward, or how to ensure a conversation does not result in that dreadful moment of silence. I know, I know, this all may sound silly right? Maybe I just need to tell myself to stop over analyzing and give my brain a break for once in a blue moon. Well unfortunately that is not the case. Because when your mind is in overdrive and you are on the verge of a panic attack at the slightest thought of having to communicate with someone (especially those you may not know) it is equivalent to an arachnophobic being enclosed in a confined space with over 1000 Poecilotheria rajaei tarantulas (for the love of God if you are afraid of spiders DO NOT Google this).

I am not trying to be dramatic. I am just trying to simplify what myself and many others experience with our brains.

  1. We ignore our phones (call it “telephobia” if you will). No, not because we are trying to personally offend you or because you did something wrong; actually this has nothing to do with you at all. The truth is we cannot handle the idea of maintaining a conversation, especially on a freaking phone.
  2. We prefer to spend time alone. Why? Because we do not have to constantly worry or criticize our social skills. Thus, nothing satisfies me more than some good ole one on one time with yours truly. I would like to think I am probably my own best friend.
  3. We DESPISE being the center of attention. Therefore, it may come as no surprise that we do not do any type of public speaking…So long, farewell and adios to any type of presentation or even “scenario” that focuses on us for that matter. Strangely, the oxymoron is that I am actually pretty good at presentations, but hey! No one said we were bad at these things. It is just that there is an intense battle going on inside our head during these moments that makes it an unpleasant experience.

Now that this terrifying nightmare has been illustrated to the best of my ability, I should point out that I know that I am not alone. In fact, there are many in this world that are completely aware of what I am talking about and even better they can sympathize with me (which is comforting to know). But just to be a little more specific, social anxiety disorder is actually one of the most common types of anxiety disorders, and is one of the most common mental illnesses in our world today. How common? Well I am glad you asked! Approximately 8% of people will experience symptoms of social anxiety disorder at some point in their life, which is quite a big number if you ask me. So let me just put it out there; if you happen to be one of the “lucky” ones among this 8%, do not fret because as you can already tell I TOTALLY feel you. Furthermore, to those who have been blessed enough with their outgoing nature I say embrace it! But every now and again remember people like me and how something as simple as having a conversation can be ones worst nightmare.

So next time you are personally bothered by my behaviour because you think that I am trying to be a snob, simply because I refuse to answer my phone (or respond to texts) on countless occasions (sorry!), decline an invite to an event (meeting new people terrifies me) or get extremely panicky when I am singled out (please do not make a scene), just remember that this is a “me VS my need for comfort” and not an ambition to see how quickly I can lose friends.

Although this struggle is real, I would like to think of it less as a “mental illness” and actually more of a reason for me to step out of my comfort zone. However, in the process this girl may need to shoot back a few while she is out, living her younger years and trying to keep her social life in check, despite this damn social impediment.

Ciao xo,

Chaylavie