The Monthly Affliction

Returning to life as usual after a vacation is one thing. Returning to the foreign 3rd world country where you are currently exercising your independence, freedom, and personal growth after a dreamily romantic vacation with someone you love who you will not see for an undefined period of time is quite another.

I can chalk my emotions and and heavy heart up to loneliness or homesickness or even unsatisfied hunger. Or I can pick my usual route and check my horoscope to find out what in the stars could be causing me to feel this way.

Now I have never been a firm believer in astrology. My childhood was filled with horoscopes and readings and charts and numbers and I always just brushed it aside when it came to relating it to my life. As I got older, say about the time I was a senior in college, I began to open up to the idea that maybe the stars could have some sort of effect on me.

It became an unintentional pattern that I would pay closest attention to the stars whenever it was “that time of the month”. And no, I don’t mean that time of the month, but rather the full moon that hovers above silently and quietly torturing me once a month, twelve months a year. I am always unaware of its unavoidable presence until I feel a strange body of emotions welling within, with no place to go and no reasonable explanation for where they might have come from.

Hello, old friend.

I am pretty self aware, so I can safely say that when I feel an emotion, be it sadness, happiness, love, excitement, sorrow I can usually easily identify it and understand its roots and how it came to be that I felt that way. However my self-awareness doesn’t quite reach as far as to know and memorize the lunar calendar, so every month, (without fail) when I begin to feel a tug of inexplicable emotions and feel on the verge of tears at something as simple as struggling with a key in a lock, I have to ask myself, “How long has it been since the last full moon?”

Today was much the same. I returned from my Luna de Miel, as my coworkers insist on calling it, and my boyfriend hit the high seas back to Europe last Saturday, leaving me to finish out my last two months here in Paraguay. My heart has been heavy with longing, but a corner has been left open to be filled with the appreciation that I still have two months left to learn and make a difference. My emotions have been running relatively on high, it may or may not have been that time of month in the most commonly understood sense of the phrase, and I have been struggling to jump back in at work as my mind is still in another world.

But yesterday someone seemed to call out “Earth to Amanda” and to bring me back down to start writing my lists and checking them off, (one of my favorite pastimes!) Today marked an accomplishment in not just my patience, frustration, and learning curve, but also in my professional career. I completed a relatively modest grant proposal requesting 30k British Pounds to cover various project costs for WWF Paraguay.

After almost 36 hours straight of work, worry, and nail-biting at the thought of the proposal, I made the final edits and sent it out to be judged (and hopefully loved and subsequently approved) at 4 pm. Rather than leaning back with the satisfaction of knowing it was a job well done, I felt a familiar burning sensation in the back of my eyes and realized with horror I was about to cry. After about 5 seconds of anticipation I caught on and said, what the hell could possibly make you cry right now? I righted myself and called upon the appropriate emotions – satisfaction, happiness, and relief – and called it a day.

Later this evening, feeling a similar uneasiness, desire to eat massive amounts of spaghetti and tomato sauce or pizza, and life is overwhelming emotions, I realized it was time to check up on Astrology Zone and find out what was up. Lo and behold – the full moon falls on October 22 (today.)  And thus another month of 1 day’s craziness passes as I patiently and ignorantly await the next.

Looks easy enough...

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