Morning in the DR

Posted by james on June 27, 2002

<i>Isolation. see synonyms for solitude.
solitude: the state or quality of being alone or remote from others; a lonely or secluded place</i>

These words are apt to describe the way I cope. I am an internal processer, someone who prefers to figure things out by myself, alone. I spend my hours late at night after everyone else has gone to bed, wasting time, playing, writing and creating. This is when I think through things, figure out the reasons behind everything.

What I miss the most from the Dominican Republic is feeling a sense of Purpose. For school I used to wake up every day and question why I was going to class. Unfortunately, I'm also a lazy person so this resulted in me deciding not to go to class pretty often. But it's not just a single question I ask myself in the morning, whether or not to get out of bed; it's also an underlying feeling that starts to permeate my life. Without feeling a sense of purpose, I get easily distracted and lose motivation. And recently I've discovered that the future beyond where all my plans have reached thus far is approaching quickly, and I don't see the next stone, the next place to put my foot. I don't know what my purpose is.

When I wake up in a small metal bunk-bed with the missing springs and sagging mattress, I know why I'm waking up. When I set my alarm and pray that it will wake me up in the morning, I know why. When I pack lunches of things that I never though I'd like, work until all I want to do is lay still and waste the days, and go to bed before the sun has come up the next morning, I know why I do these things. And coming back to Rhode Island is coming back to an open-ended future with no foreseeable goal or purpose. It's hard to leave all that behind.

Someone once described re-entry as a mourning-type of process. At the time I didn't believe them, but now I'm starting to suspect it's true. It fades as I become accustomed to my life here, but everyonce in a while I still feel a pang of loneliness, and the need to detach from my life here and go somewhere to think about things. To isolate myself and spend time processing the feelings I have and why. And to think about the bigger question that follows; what am I supposed to do now?