Change is in the air

The type of people staying in the hostel is changing, just as Zelli said it would. Maybe it’s my lack of interest in who has come and gone, but I haven’t engaged in as many thought provoking conversations as I did a week ago, well, at least I think it was a week ago. Now we have been taken over by an influx of Canadians with horrible accents that are all quite cookie cutter. The few guests that could be of interest to me mysteriously don’t engage in hostel activities we host, and so I am left with people that I don’t feel like getting to know. To be surrounded by bunches of people chit chattering away, and feel utterly bored by them is a funny feeling, especially if they happen to be good looking. Currently there are four Scottish boys that I may or may not be drooling over, but an attractive accent can only go so far. Maybe I am just being too presumptuous and need to dig a little deeper. But at the same time, no one in the hostel approaches me with an interesting conversation topic either, and when I occasionally approach the groups of people, it’s usually small talk that I either can’t stand, or jokes that I don’t think are funny.

My conception of time is clearly being meddled with, as on one hand I don’t notice it pass, and on the other, it feels like the same three songs are being put on endless loop. I’m beginning to wonder if time is not only an intellectually interesting concept for me to think about, but also that its an emotional one as well. Perhaps time is tied more to my emotions than my perception of its passing, as I still enjoy what I do here, but the work is also becoming a bit monotonous. Or perhaps I’m just being unnecessarily over-thinkative. But this week has not passed without me making a permanent life decision (or more like realization).

There is a big distinction between doing what feels good and what feels right. And obviously the two do not always coincide. And that I want to strive to do what feels right over what feels good.

While working in a hostel has become normalized and lost a bit of its glitter, I feel like this is still the place I’m supposed to be, and that being here feels right. I can feel myself grow from these experiences, and as annoying as it can be sometimes, it feels right. People are envious of my job, and the only thing I had to do was ask for it. I’m starting to wonder if things that are right for me may unfold with a similar effortlessness as relationships should (but clearly haven’t yet haha), or projects that I start (such as this blog, or the running team). It’s one thing to be tenacious and ambitious, it’s another thing to feel like you’re being fought through the entire process. Perhaps things that are so painstakingly difficult to achieve means that that thing isn’t what’s right for you that very moment.

It reminds me of when I was a junior in high school, and I kept performing terribly on the SAT, even with prep classes and an immense amount of pressure to do well, for university’s sake. I had an admirable GPA, and a list of strategically chosen extracurriculars to boost my chances of getting into whichever university I wanted. And to perform so unexpectedly underwhelming on something that my life was dependent on at the time, was beyond frustrating, and threw me into my first dose of self doubt. Goodbye Georgetown, hello second choices. But I look back now and think, that if I had performed as well as I wanted, that test score might have been enough to prevent me from choosing to move to the Netherlands, and opt for a more prestigious school in the US. I had a tempting offer of $100,000 to go to a school in Michigan, and an excellent college counselor meant to help me look as good on paper as I could. And while going to another really nice school in the US may have been the ‘better’ option, that would have been a big shame, because what I’m doing here in the Netherlands, has been the best experience of my short lived life thus far. It has opened me up to new ideas and experiences, and led to learning opportunities such as traveling completely solo at 18 to unknown lands, or working in a random hostel in the middle of eastern Europe, with the Adriatic Sea as my temporary backyard. I’m sure that I would have found the courage to do similar things had I stayed in the US, but it may have taken longer to develop, or I may not have had the financial means.

So while at times I get bored or frustrated, the amount of gratefulness that I am feeling for having this opportunity, especially with Sem, is still increasing, and I know that I am right where I am supposed to be. And that is quite a satisfying feeling.

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