I will start this blog like I start basically every blog I write from Pakistan – with an apology. I’m sorry I haven’t written more frequently. I’m sorry I haven’t quite had Nepal-level stories to share. “I’ve been working my ass off and I hate everyone and I want to drink wine and run with scissors while eating cake in my bubble bath” paints neither a sympathetic or interesting picture (though that is how I feel sometimes.)
Anyways, now that that’s out of the way. I turn 31 on Tuesday. I am unsure of how to feel about this, to be honest. I didn’t think I was too stressed about turning 30, but the number ended up bothering me more than I thought it would. Turning 30 also coincided very closely with leaving Nepal, which was a stressful/celebratory/weird time. I feel like I’ve grown a lot between 30 and 31, which is surprising when you look at this abbreviated timeline:
March 2015 – Turned 30. Celebrated by singing with children, packing up ALL THE THINGS and doing a final run around my favorite places in Nepal.
April 2015 – Moved back to America (temporarily). Felt so ready to be done with South Central Asia. Had many goals for my America time.
May 2015 – Home Leave. All I have done is eat all the things. And visit doctors. And spend money. And a month goes by faster than you would think.
June 2015 – FSI Training. Shit’s getting real for this trip to Pakistan. In true Katie fashion, I squandered basically all my time in DC worrying about the upcoming move.
July 2015 – Made it to Pakistan! It’s not really what I expected.
August 2015 – Omg so much work. I thought I knew how to be an office manager….maybe I don’t. Nope. Nope. I definitely don’t know anything.
September 2015 – working working working
October 2015 – still freaking working
November 2015 – Home Leave! Not enough time to do all the things and see all the people. However, I did manage to eat almost all the things, and see both of my brothers at the same time, which was the best.
December 2015 – Back at work. Also back to the gym after a loooong absence. I miss Nepal.
January 2016 – (while sweating profusely after 50 minutes on the elliptical) NEPAL WAS AMAZING WHY DID I EVER LEAVE? WHY AM I AT THE GYM AT 6AM? WHO AM I?!?!?! working working working working
February 2016 – working working working working hating everyone working working working working
March 2016 – Turn 31
Pakistan has taught me a lot about myself, mostly about my work self, since that’s how I spend most of my time here. I have always thought I was a pretty nice person to work with, and I take great pride in being helpful and customer service oriented. But the pace of work here has really challenged me. It’s easy to be helpful and friendly and timely and proactive when you are relaxed and calm and have a manageable scope of work. It’s another story when you are stressed and grumpy and overworked and the doorbell and the phone are ringing and you have 125 unread emails (even though you’ve been at your desk ALL DAY) and the printer is broken. I would really like to tell you that I never lost my cool and was always the happy, helpful Katie I strive to be……but that would not be true. I have promised myself that I will work on this between now and my next birthday.
That being said, 31-32 is looking to be a really good year. Kyle and I have another vacation coming up, and I won’t spoil the surprise but we are going somewhere awesome. I also have a fabulous girls weekend planned that will check another country off my list. Then we get to move to Europe, and going to Warsaw is going to fulfill a life-long dream for me – it’s so weird to look forward to a place you’ve never been and feel like it’s home, somehow.
If someone had told me when I was 15 that I would turn 31 sitting on a roof in Islamabad, I would have said “where’s Islamabad?” and never in my wildest dreams would I have believed them. So I guess you could say I’ve managed to exceed my wildest dreams (and in a mere 31 years.) I’m considering this a great accomplishment.