Living in Greece, Personal, Travel

A Week in Greece #36: RAMBO JESUS, GOODBYE ROOMMATE, TWO NEW CATS

I was thinking about what I would write here while walking down the street, and it was literally going to include the words “I just want to be in the United States!!  Cry, cry, whine, whine.”  But then I saw someone I knew walking in the opposite direction!  But…we’ll get there at the end of the week.

It’s been a hard week, is what I’m trying to say.  Well, now that I’m looking back on the calendar, there were some really great moments too.  I don’t know!  Clearly this is not going to be a well-thought-out blog post.

Okay, so at work, we got our director back, which meant that most staff meetings were in Greek and it was translated to me and Luciana until everyone else realized that it took twice as long to do this and anyway, everyone speaks English.  This somehow set off a really weird set of circumstances where everyone kept trying to make me speak Greek.  I just kind of glared at people, and finally Natasha asked how Greek was going.  “It’s horrible.  I’m taking lessons twice a week and I’m still relearning the things I knew in January.  I feel like an idiot, but I also have zero motivation to put in more effort because when I’m at work, I’m thinking about work, and when I’m not at work, I’m thinking about fundraising, and when I’m not doing either of those things, I’m trying desperately to distract myself with books or movies.  And even hanging out with friends isn’t helpful, because it feels like work!  I like my friends here, but it’s not easy!  Nothing is easy!  So why would I purposefully add one more hard thing to my plate!?!?” In the face of this meltdown (it really happened, I said all of those things), Natasha said, “Oh.  Yeah.  Learning a new language in a new country must be…hard.”

“It is.  Thank you.”

So anyway, I had two Greek lessons this week.  I also had a very stressful meeting with a woman who works at a ministry downtown.  Months ago I told Erik (who also works there) that I would lead an English club, because at that time I was saying yes to everything in an effort to seem Competent and Perfect.  Nothing came of it until now, and this woman invited me to her house to talk about starting in the fall.  I talked to some of my friends, who confirmed that I was in no way obligated to do this, but when I met her it was SO HARD to be anything but faux-excited.  But as a result of the growth that comes from being in 12 Steps, I…said I would think about it and get back to her, then messaged her no.

Not great confrontational skills, but I said no!  I’m so proud of myself.  Kendra said, “If you think God is calling you to do this and that it will be a life-giving ministry for you, you should do it.  If you are saying yes to impress people, then don’t.”  I LOVE impressing people, but this time I disappointed someone!  YAY.

The biggest thing is that my roommate moved out.  We spent Thursday night together. I bought her beer (this summer she was trying to find her favorite brand) and ice cream, and she gave me a plant (“it was between this or wine” “you know me so well!”).  We ordered pizza and watched Big Fish, which reduced me to a mess of tears as always.  Then we argued about emotions vs. logic, because poor logical Tatiana always has to watch my fantastical movies.

Anyway, as of Friday I am roommateless.  There are a couple options of people who might move in, but I don’t know exactly when.  I like being able to listen to music loudly, but mostly I don’t like it.  I don’t like living alone.  I just realized that this is probably why I’ve been in a funk lately.

OH I forgot!  My bad mood made me forget the AMAZING Wednesday I had!  It was the first Bible study after fall, and I got to see all my ex-pat friends again.  We are studying Revelation, and it was SO great to be with a bunch of smart women discussing Rambo Jesus (eyes of fire, feet of bronze, sword from his mouth) and then realizing that Rambo Jesus was on OUR side and therefore wasn’t scary.  “He’s like Gandalf when he comes back from the dead, and at first you just hear this scary voice and he’s intimidating, but then we see that it’s Gandalf!” is something that someone said, and that person WASN’T ME.  It’s a group of American, British, Icelandic women who are theology and fantasy nerds!  Literally perfection.

Now I’m at Kendra’s house, because she’s out of town with her parents, and she asked me to cat-sit for her.  Louie and Oscar are cute, but they are not as cute as my Hans Harrison, who I left alone for the night.  Hopefully I will get them to cuddle with me by the end of the night, or else I will have to leave early to go home to my obnoxiously loud cat-shadow.

Oh, I should explain what I said at the beginning.  I was walking around Kendra’s neighborhood to find dinner when I ran into Damaris!  She’s a South African ex-pat who I saw at ex-pat Easter and again at the missionary conference.  “How are you?” I asked.  “Oh, you know.  There’s ups and downs.”  “DO I KNOW.”  So we made a coffee date and I’m very excited to have another person with whom I can mutually say, “THIS IS SO HARD, wow thank you for letting me complain, I feel much better.”

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