I think I might have food poisoning, which has definitely killed the charm of the squat toilet and diminished my patience for the scampering little feet and the beckoning loud shrieks.
It has also made me long for home, the way being sick always has. I remember being sick at university once and whining to my mom on the phone, only to learn that when my older brother felt the same a few weeks earlier, she was able to drive to his school and do all his laundry.
I have always lived too far away.
So I’m thinking that maybe I would like to settle down closer than a 26-hour drive from my family. It’d be nice to actually celebrate birthdays with cake, to catch up without worrying about having a good signal, to be able to go home on a whim.
Here’s the thing about a job like this, which I know all too well: it consumes you.
Especially here, there are no sick days, no playing hooky, no vacations. And there is no showing weakness—you learn to never be tired, or bored, or scared because you’re expected to be the rock through all of it.
And really, in a job like this, you want to. Even on the days when you feel the worst, you know how much worse it is when you’re not there. I have gone to work with a cold, with allergies, with a hangover, with a broken car window, without a voice, without a plan, without enough sleep.
I’m not sure if I’m ready to go back to that life. The early mornings and constant anxiety, putting my work ahead of everything else in my life.
But then I find myself here:
…and I never want to leave.