I find I am very selfish with my time, and this stems from my over-zealous efforts to accomplish my monumental task lists. I am idealistic with my to-do list, always pouring out onto my list what would make me happy if I were to complete all these tasks. This disallows flexibility – taking what the day sometimes delivers as surprises and going with it. This also disallows patience, patience with others and myself. Time frames are good to some extent, to increase efficiency and productivity, but you have to allow for malfunctions – the unexpected. So, changing my attitude to accomplish a couple of priorities, perhaps 1-2 for the morning and then 1-2 for the afternoon, and seeing what falls into place next, may be best. And perhaps, making a ‘to do’ list, and seeing where each item can fall into place over the week, the next couple of weeks, month, or longer, depending on the circumstances placed upon by me and my environment may also be best. I am especially noticing with Peruvian culture you have to be that way, the Peruvian hour can get you if you let it. Or, you can take advantage of the time you are waiting, and see where a conversation goes with other companions, who, are also waiting, and achieve a whole other goal, an unexpected goal. The best in life can come unplanned.
I could not imagine having kids at this point in time because like I said, I am selfish with my time. I love being in the company of others, but I also absolutely love being alone. I love the freedom to sit in a garden eating a mango, soaking up some sun (my photosynthesis), and contemplating what comes to mind – working out some preoccupations, philosophical concepts, or letting my mind go afloat to what nature suggests. I love doing my yoga, drinking my tea, pursuing any art projects, if I can ever allocate time to do them. One difficult aspect of making friends here is that the majority of females my age already have 1, 2, 3… kids. Many settle with their first relationship, their first love, and haven’t had time to develop themselves before investing in a relationship – perhaps due to lack of education, the culture, and/or the freedom to express oneself and be independent, especially for women. People are so timid (of course this is a generalization of my perception thus far) and passive. I have the hardest time with this – I prefer honesty, above all. I don’t see a point to hiding true perceptions and feelings, unless they are extremely radical and would harm others, and therefore need revision/second thoughts.
Passivity and lack of expression is a form of suppression and prevention from living freely with enjoyment. It could be the hand of low levels of education playing here. Those who haven’t received secondary level and/or university/professional level degrees could be assuming they are powerless, incompetent, and incapable. When giving charlas, hosting meetings with different communities, or teaching classes – there’s a refractory time period until there is participation/any commentary from those present. You have to continually question and persist in having a dialogue because the audience is used to being talked at and being told what to do. They have to realize their thoughts are viable and worthwhile expressing, that they can engage in a movement to address the poor conditions they face. Unfortunately, male and woman roles are so bipolar. Men dominate and women have to be submissive to their upper hand. This isn’t the case for all, hence my host-mom being single, raising her son, conducting her business, attending to her animals, pasture, and a plethora of other tasks alone, but this is a most prevalent phenomenon amongst many. Abuse between pairs, also passed down to kids has a strong force here in the Sierra. With too many pressures of poverty, the youth of couples, lack of education, and the stereotypical roles men and women should take on – this fuels the fire. But, I think, I know it’s changing, it just takes time and effort.
Ironically, I feel those that are freest to express themselves are admired most and accomplish most in life. At first they are criticized, perhaps out of jealousy and/or because their ideas are most out-landish and… true. But, through perseverance and belief in one’s ability, are they able to manifest the connectivity of their ideas and how they make sense. If successful musicians and artists were to cordially subdue their stylistics to convention, they could never produce unique, impressive music.
I’m finding my identity and cultural roots, even though I thought American culture was such a hodge podge, and didn’t have a true, unique identity. By being in a completely different cultural context, I am recognizing how culturally different I am and how I do have my own cultural identity. Even in Peru, there are a plethora of cultures; erroneously, from the exterior, it seems there´s a more synonymous Peruvian culture. The people change between rural and urban communities, different altitudes, climates, departments – just straight up different locations – just like in the States. I am recognizing everywhere, the culture changes from one locality to another, even in smaller countries. I used to think how nice it would be to be from a distinct culture such as Peru, India, Thailand, etc., but that is a drastic misperception – you can be from a country, but that may have little to do with where you are really from, and who you really are. I was always afraid to say I was American because I was afraid to by typed, because the States are so different from one another, but this seems to hold true for every country. No one deserves to be typed and should be looked at for his/her individuality.