David Sedaris talked about quitting smoking in his last book. I remember he wrote that the first transoceanic flight he took after he quit, he didn't know what to do when he landed. He would always rush out of the airport to smoke. When he didn't have (or get) to do that, flying was a bit anti-climatic.
Every morning is anti-climatic for me. I don't know what to do with myself. I wake up and nothing. (Coffee was my reason to get up 7 days ago, and all the days before that.) So I lay in bed, watching a movie, until I really have to get up to get dressed and go to work.
When I was drinking coffee, it never messed with my sleeping patterns. I could drink coffee in the morning, take an afternoon nap, and go to bed at 10pm. Yesterday I went to bed at 9pm and slept solid until 8am. If anything, coffee was keeping my sleeping habits closer to what is deemed socially acceptable.
I'm sure if I looked up symptoms of addiction, my coffee drinking would be classified as one. It is why I don't look it up AND why I'm fasting from all forms of caffeine for these 9 days. I'm proving that I can quit anytime I want (oh wait...). It isn't like it is bad for me (Oh no...). It's not illegal, Starbucks are everywhere (Oh Crap...). I'm going to stop typing now, my excuses are not helping.
So far, the only positive thing about this whole experiment is that my liver and kidneys are probably very happy with me right now. (Did I mention no alcohol as well?) I've been drinking water non-stop since I started my fast on Friday.
Coffee keeps me sane. It reminds me of home. It reminds me of the village. It is my coping crutch. Now, let's see what happens without it...
I'm turning 26 this month. This is the first birthday in my whole entire life that I have not looked forward to my birthday with the fervor of an ultimate patriot cheering for his team in the Olympics. I usually spend the 2 months before my birthday reminding people that it is just around the corner. For my 24th birthday, I had a month long celebration that included 3 different countries, a tattoo, and a 111m jump off a bridge. I think that one birthday sums up my love of celebrating the day of my birth.
This year is a different story. I'm turning 26 and not looking forward to it. It will officially mark my downslide to 30. And I'm not ready for that.
I decided I wanted to prepare myself before the big day arrives. To do this, I am fasting for 9 days in celebration of Dessara, a Hindu festival in honor of the Hindu Goddess Durga.
Fasting here doesn't mean no food. I eat curd (just like plain yogurt), fruit, and potato for lunch and a small meal at night. I will be strictly vegetarian. In addition to this food fasting for 9 days, I'm not drinking any form of caffeine. No coffee, no tea, no chai.
This is the part that I think will prove most difficult for myself. The last time I went one day without coffee, I had malaria. And it was literally only 1 day that I didn't drink coffee. I made it but was too sick to actually drink it. But I'm ready for the challenge.
It is days like these that I wonder why I have chosen to live the way I do.
I learned today that my Zambian sister Sandra is getting married this month.
I'm so excited for her! She is an amazing woman, a wonderful mother, an extremely hard worker, and quite the business woman. Whoever she is marrying is one lucky man. Unfortunately, I won't be there. I never thought living and working in India would be a bad thing.
It is when I hear news like this that I really wonder why I choose to live the way I do. 8,100 miles away from my American family and 8,400 miles away from my Zambian family. (I looked it up, those are the exact distances.) Thousands of miles from friends who are scattered across the globe. Thousands of miles away from the possibility of bumping into someone I know. Thousands of miles away from a 10 minutes walk to visit a friend. Thousands of miles away from anything to remind me of home. (Whatever that may be for me.) I'm beginning to think and feel like there is really something to the saying:
'Out of sight, out of mind.'
I miss the little things; being able to chat with my favorite aunt any time I want, cook dinner for my parents, go for a walk without getting completely dirty or being stared at the whole time. And it is on days like this, when I find out that my sister is getting married, that I really wished I had a 'normal job.' I would have the time and be able to afford a trip to Zambia and celebrate with my family.
I could care less about grocery stores with 9 versions of one thing, electricity that is on all the time, tap water that won't make you sick, and whatever other 'conveniences' America has to offer. That seems to overwhelm me most of the time.
But I guess, for some strange, crazy, insane reason, it is all worth it. I'm having fun.