Monday, August 24, 2009

Sometimes I feel like I'm destined for a crazy existence.

Take, for instance, the attempted kidnapping of two years ago, as I made my way back to the bank where I had parked my car from the Oriental food store just three blocks away. There's nothing like being followed in a car and having your car stormed to get your blood pumping. Especially considering that this happened in broad daylight, and I only just got my door shut and locked in time.

Or recall the unprovoked gunshot incident in Xela, Guatemala as I made my way home from class. I was just a few blocks from my house, in the middle of the day! I didn't know the guy, or even say anything to him! It's just one of those random things, I guess. My bad luck mixed with anti-American sentiment just creates trouble, I guess.

It seems like something crazy is always happening. Do I have the words "Pick me! Great target!" written somewhere on me?

I think I would be bored with an ordinary, uneventful life, but sometimes this just gets to be too much. I took a self-defense course, and learned Judo. I carry mace. I try to be as safe as I can be, never venturing out alone at night, taking all of the right precautions.

I just wish I could see the world as some of my friends do---as a welcoming, non-threatening place. The prospect of random violence is utterly foreign to them. It only happens to other people.

One good thing that came out of all of this---I vowed to always be doing something meaningful. I won't take a job that isn't personally fulfilling, because I know that life can change in an instant. I can only deal with this craziness if I know that I'm doing something meaningful. Bad things will happen, and my way of coping with them is to devote my life to doing what good I can, so that I don't feel regret when they do.

Maybe that's morbid, but for me, that's just life.

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