With lingering jet lag and a brand new hard-as-a-rock Ikea bed, I couldn't fall asleep last night, and awoke 4 hours after lying down in a terrible mood. It got even worse when I realized it was pouring rain and below 60 degrees outside, and that I would have to walk 10 minutes to the bus stop in the downpour. Oh, and coffee shops don't open in this city until 8am. WHY, you may ask, do I not yet have an umbrella in a city notorious for its rain? WHY, you may ask, do I not have a coffee pot at home? It's very simple and yet so complicated that I really don't understand it fully: shops in Mons open after 8am and close at or before 5pm and somehow (this is the part that stretches the imagination) they manage to stay in business by catering to the rather large portion of the population that doesn't work.
When I finally arrived at my desk, soaking wet and coffee-less, the first headline I read was: "The Trauma of Being Alive." And then I laughed. The things I do for adventure, travel, and learning. The article is actually pretty interesting -- I've included an excerpt below. (Note: while Mons is challenging in many ways, it's far from traumatic. Just feeling dramatic this morning.)
"My response to my mother — that trauma never goes away completely — points to something I have learned through my years as a psychiatrist. In resisting trauma and in defending ourselves from feeling its full impact, we deprive ourselves of its truth. As a therapist, I can testify to how difficult it can be to acknowledge one’s distress and to admit one’s vulnerability. My mother’s knee-jerk reaction, “Shouldn’t I be over this by now?” is very common. There is a rush to normal in many of us that closes us off, not only to the depth of our own suffering but also, as a consequence, to the suffering of others."