So, I get sarcastic sometimes and sometimes it’s how I deal with situations I struggle with. Specifically, it is helping me deal with the struggle of finding communities within not only a new city, but a new culture. I kept telling myself I just missed familiar people so much, but then I realized that I was lying to myself if I thought that I would somehow always be spending time with them. It’s not a new realization, that we fail to realize the importance of what we have til it is taken away. Still, I think this is a fun way to talk about it and maybe contains a takeaway message for those of you at home.
Young Adult Volunteer just searching for some friends he can neglect
Ayacucho-based Young Adult Volunteer, Kyle Coombs, admitted that the toughest change has been the lack of friendships to forget to cultivate.
“Honestly, I have access to clean water, incredible food, internet, and cable TV,” he said of his standard of living. “What I don’t have are people I can forget to hang out with or who have concerts or sporting events I can fail to attend.”
Coombs said he has struggled going through life without the underlying guilt that he really should give Jimmy a call because it’s been months and who knows how junior year is treating him? He is craving the chance to create elaborate excuses for his choice to stay in to drink booze and watch Doctor Who instead of barhop on a Friday night.
“Seriously, I’ve got so many excuses racked up,” he said, exasperated, “But I just have nowhere to apply them. And this is the kind of thing where you either use it or you lose it.”
The volunteer admitted that his use of Facebook remains fairly unchanged.
“I message with friends and family a bunch to stay in touch,” he said.
Still, the contact feels different now.
“Instead of being a halfhearted replacement for actual interpersonal communication that I could get with a phone call or visit to a friend’s,” he reasoned, “Facebook is basically all I’ve got.”
He added that the phrase “Oh we should Skype sometime!” actually includes the intent to Skype.
“I mean that’s a go-to empty gesture for my generation,” he said. “So that’s been a huge change.”
Upon further reflection, Kyle admitted that there may be some wholesome lesson about not neglecting friendships and cherishing those around you.
“Of course, if I start self-actualizing on that level I will definitely have to check my privilege,” he conceded.