The answer to the question? I’m going to be me. Dammit.

Today’s my last day here in Thailand, and you know, I decided to cut my hair today and get it colored.  I guess to coincide with the ending of my eight months here.  My usual guy wasn’t there, but I got it cut anyway.  What ended up happening was a big chunk was cut off not unlike the first time I had my hair cut here in Thailand.  I wasn’t really sad or disappointed this time around, though, since I managed to fulfill my goal of having Asian pop star hair after all.  Besides, I think shorter hair does fit my big-ass Tyra Banks forehead, compared to long bangs.  I just can’t compete with Brian Joo from Fly to the Sky, man, and anyway, I think that look is a better fit for him, rather than me…  Then again, he does have access to an MUA on a daily basis.

As I have said goodbyes, I have realized that I have taken so much from the Thai people here, as well as new friends I’ve made.  I have appreciated so much about Thai culture: the value of community, hospitality, being mindful and thoughtful of others (even strangers), being warm and welcoming, and the realization that money and power isn’t everything in life.  From my friends outside of work, I’ve learned the value of connecting with others with whom you share a similar native language and culture.  I think I finally understand the connection between Scarlett Johannsen and Bill Murray in the movie Lost in Translation.  My eyes are burning.  Not from dousing it with the wrong kind of contact solution, like the day before I left for Thailand eight months ago.  Rather, from tears of sadness and gratitude.

You know, I’ve spent a lot of time in my life comparing myself to others.  In terms of stability, good looks, style, and here in Thailand especially – hair.  It’s funny, I used to hate this one guy who I went to undergrad with, but I wouldn’t really have a good reason why to justify this to our mutual friends.  Turns out, I hated him because I was jealous of the guy; he totally carried himself well and was really good-looking, too.  I guess I just lose focus on myself and what I have going on for myself because I’m preoccupied with what other people have.

But saying goodbye to everyone here, and realizing that I have impacted others as I have been impacted by them… it makes me appreciate and love myself for who I am.  That’s as wonderful a feeling as telling myself that I made it in a new country and culture for eight months.

I’ve managed to keep myself busy all this week, saying goodbye at each of my placements from Monday until Thursday.  I’ve also managed to have one-on-one, individual “closure/termination” dates with my closest friends here.  But fuck, man, here I am, four hours to go before I go to the airport.  I’m almost done packing, but I think I’m prolonging it and taking my time in order to distract myself from the major feelings of loss and departure.  But along with the sadness, I feel so happy.  So happy to have had a wonderful experience in totality – in terms of work, living, and shoot, even romance.  So thank you, Thailand, my Thai “family” at work, my newfound friends.  You taught me that I should be me – loud-laughing, big-forehead having, messy, social worker me.  And being myself was how I approached life here in Thailand.

Thanks to you as well, reader.  I hope you have learned something from my ramblings and free associations these past eight months.  You should check out Thailand for yourself if you’ve never been.  Well, this last day here also marks the end of my blog, per the conditions I laid out in August.  But yeah, I’m pretty sure I’ll come back and add a coda entry or two in the future as epiphanies and realizations surface.

So take care, and as they say here in Thailand: chok dii!  (Good luck!)



~ by wannabejochen on 30/04/2009.

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