On getting stuck and staying the course

I’ve completed two weeks and have begun week three on my diet. I seem to have faltered with the callaloo juice but I’ve still had some here and there this week and I haven’t gone off course otherwise. Instead of the juice, I’ve been having salads for breakfast. I know, I thought it was crazy too but it’s actually been very satisfying (or maybe anything is satisfying once it isn’t callaloo juice). And yet the scale seemed stuck this week. For five days in a row, it showed me the exact same number (down to the decimal point). Really, scale? It was feeling a little bit like Groundhog Day and all sorts of doubts and rationalizations for less than ideal behaviour crept up: You see? It’s not worth trying so hard. Just give up already, it doesn’t work. At least when you don’t try, you can’t fail.

On and on. And so quickly! It’s like they’re just waiting there, ready to spring at the first sign of trouble.

By the way, apparently the amount of time that Bill Murray’s character spends in that time loop was actually around 34 years because that’s how long it would take for him to improve himself so much – can you imagine?! What a wild idea: you can’t move forward or get on with your life until you fix what’s happening right now. And it can take decades. Hmm…

I’m happy to report that I seem to have broken my own loop as of this morning. Such a relief! I don’t think that I’ve improved myself as drastically as Bill did, not in the slightest. But what I did do was just keep at it. I ignored the the calls to just give up and told myself that what matters is seeing it through, not what results I get. That’s the upside of being extremely stubborn. Once I really set my mind to something, it’s really hard to get me to change course (just ask my mom).

It’s sort of like being stuck except I can get out any time I want. Which is not unlike being stuck really. The only difference is that when you’re stuck, the time loop seems inevitable. Whereas when you’re on a path of your own choosing, you have to deliberately choose, almost every day, to stay on track.

I met someone this week from Rwanda who’s teaching French here in Guyana. It’s pretty random so I couldn’t help asking her “Why here?” She ended up coming for a reason that quickly fell apart but she ended up, in her own words, stuck here for eight years. Eight years. It’s been eight years since she last saw her home or her family. Isn’t that something? I think that she does enjoy Guyana for the most part but I also think that, if given the chance to become unstuck, she would go home as soon as possible. Maybe I was reading too much into her explanations but I saw a little of myself in that sheepish shrug. I’ve been here for over four years now. In July, it’ll be five years. Five years! It’s a little scary to think about. Because I also feel stuck. I get so frustrated by so many things and I think quite often “When I live somewhere else…” And I daydream about possibilities. But then I feel a twinge of sadness – I would miss Guyana terribly. As I told a friend the other week, I’ve never been so uncomfortable and yet comfortable in all my life as the past few years here. And yet, I’m fairly certain I need to take a break for peace of mind and better focus on what’s important to me.

At the moment, I feel as though I’m stuck here rather than choosing to be here. I’ve fallen into a seemingly unshakeable routine. I am trying to snap out of that and be deliberate about what I spend my time on and where I send my thoughts. But maybe I just need to start improving my habits and bit by bit I will get closer to crawling out of the loop.

 

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