Just Have to Let it Go

There are photos you just have to let go. Some things are just for you.
— My friend Tom
Aiming to start running around this pond mornings next week. | Near City Centre, Gyaneshwor.

Aiming to start running around this pond mornings next week. | Near City Centre, Gyaneshwor.

I'm in this new place, Nepal, and I can't stop picking up my camera and iPhone. It's hard, man.

So, about 20 days into my 90-day stay, I decide on one thing — it's okay to just enjoy the moment. Live in it. Let it wash over me. Let it sink in that I'm in one of the most amazing places in the world. A new, foreign, interesting place than I'm used to. but it's still okay not to lift my camera or phone every time I see beautiful light, balance, moments, or compositions.

Can't what I see be just for me? Can't I just let there be a story to tell, not a picture to share? I decided, I can.

And upon reflection, I realized why I was doing all of this and why any of us do. When we post pictures, lyrics, videos, words of wisdom, anything on social media, it's because we want to feel that connection. Connection to what's familiar. Connection to our network of amazing people. Connection to likeminded individuals in a world that separates so many of us around the globe. And I get that on so many levels while staying here in Nepal for the summer. It's hard to be in a new place and not yearn to connect to the other side of the world that I'm used to. I realize that's the reason for my incessant posting. It's because it can be lonely adjusting to somewhere new. 

Someone told me the other day, "I hate change." I responed, "But change is inevitable. And worth it." Anything worth doing usually requires you to change. Change your perspective, standpoint, even securities. It calls for stepping outside what you're used to and putting yourself out there. 

I'm 23 days into my stay and I'm feeling a lot better about my surroundings. Each day, I explore more of my street and adjoining streets. I walk 45 minutes to and from work each day and see moments and lovely people along the way. Some days I don't even pull out my camera. I think, it's just for me today. And I used to get anxiety when people stared at me. Even in the states. It happens here every step I take, but now before they even stare I look at them and smile. Many smile back. A few even practice their English and ask how I am and welcome me.

Feeding myself on the other hand, well.. that's an issue. It was hard enough to feed myself back home. I'm not what you call a cook... I'm a spaghetti, sandwich, cereal and fruits kind of gal. So since I've been here, I've slowly stocked up on real foods. My first week, I bought peanut butter and bread. A water jug (because we can't drink from the tap) and crackers. Maybe some cookies. Each week, I've been adding more real food to the mix like chicken sausage, rice, mangos, bananas, eggs, on-the-go breakfast bars, goat cheese, lychee and mango juice, apples. 

All I can say, is thank the heavens for lunches with colleagues. That's when I get real food and leftovers for dinner. I'm the worst, ha. And thankfully I found a coffee shop called Himalayan Java to work at right down the street from where I live at city centre. Talk about delicious mochas.

An iced mocha from Himalayan Java at City Centre near Gyaneshwor.

An iced mocha from Himalayan Java at City Centre near Gyaneshwor.

It seems like I've adjusted pretty fast, right? Well, it's been a process. First week, I settled into where I live and filled the space with my junk. Second week, I venture down the street, got lost, and started to find my way to work by myself. Third week, I figured out how to ask how much things cost at small shops and how to bargain, a little. Ok, not much, but I usually had Ashmita with me, so she could step in and save me. I know I sound like a 5-year-old, but you try! There's a science in bargaining. It's not easy being a westerner and people thinking you're rick. Taxis still make out great after a ride with me, dangit. 

A panorama of a taxi cab ride with Samita on June 23, 2016.

A panorama of a taxi cab ride with Samita on June 23, 2016.

The moral of the story, is I'm still adjusting. Yeah, it takes time. But I love it here. Yeah the monkeys taunting the local dogs around me wake me up early in the morning and I don't get a crazy amount of sleep because I go to bed late in an effort to stay connected with friends a world away. And this week I plan on waking up even earlier to start running in a nearby park, so I'll get even less sleep. But I've been starting to interview and film and conceptualize stories, so I'm in good spirits. I've even taken the weekend to edit more of my fictional short film "Rose-colored." I'll be defending it as my master's project in mid-September, so I want to make it the best it can be before the end of the summer. Even if that means taking my off-time to work on it. 

Thanks for catching up with me. Next post, I swear, will be more about food and or culture, etc. Anything else you guys are interested in hearing about? Let me know.