This thing I call guilt

I go to work usually 9ish and leave about 5 (or 4:30). My office at the moment is a bamboo made shed fitted out with long benches for sitting, singing and snoozing. My colleagues are such a lovely bunch of people, without a doubt, everyday there’s laughing, banter and often dancing. I’m yet to understand what all the giggles are about but their enjoyment needs no translations. 

photo: the view from my seat

The office itself is surrounded by an organic farm. The compost that feeds the veggies is produced right here in the shed. So sometimes a putrid smell wafts and lingers, which everyone is used to but me. But for the most part there is a cool fresh breeze throughout the day. As for my workmates, the cowboys/the fellas that work here come in and out of the office stay for a coffee, smoke or a sing off.

My day consists of being offered coffee, smokes, food or a nap. I don’t smoke, I’ve caved and have coffee cause it’s manamit (tasty), the food I’m yet to figure out how to politely pass on and the naps are soo tempting but I fear I will be a nap addict.

So these days I feel guilty that I’m slowly poisoning my body from constantly accidentally inhaling 1-5 cigarettes every half hour or so. I know what you’re thinking, why don’t I sit somewhere else? I guess it’s hard when your 16 or so workmates all smoke and the only other place to go to is in the bosses (often empty) office. Everyone knows I don’t smoke and they’re totally cool with it. I’m not here to change habits nor do I want to. But you gotta adapt and I’d like to think that my walks home in the pure fresh air give my lungs room to breathe. 

I feel guilty saying no. On my first day I didn’t bring baon (leftovers) as I thought I could buy lunch. Big mistake! Now everyday a new bag of spaghetti or carbonara appears. It’s quite tasty but so not paleo and I don’t know who pays for it. Also the food the others eat look tastier and healthier. I guess that’s another reason why I started drinking coffee a) I think it’s mainly sugar and fake milk so I can have it (back in Aus I could only have decaf soy caps…). b) One of the Nanay’s (mum like figure) has started a sari sari esq store where coffee, smokes and often snacks for sale. Again, I don’t want to smoke so I feel the only way I can contribute is to buy coffee. And because I don’t snack, the yummy sky flakes, puto and bread are also out. 

I feel guilty doing work. I’m here on a temporary basis and so far there hasn’t been a lot (or anything) to do. Don’t get me wrong, I know people would love to sit around doing nothing all day but to be honest it’s more physically and emotionally draining then I can describe right now. I found some documents I can familiarise myself with, I’ve started taking notes and thoughts on methods but it’s not enough. I feel I’m wasting everyones time, I feel I should be more useful and I feel I should have some sort of answer by now. 

I feel guilty about what goes on in my mind grapes. I came here for a few reasons, one is to immerse myself in the culture, which I am. I want to know more of my heritage, which I am. But every now and then I ask myself why? And I feel guilty at the mere thought of that. It’s an ongoing battle with my head. And with so much time to sit and reflect I tend to mentally tire myself out. Perhaps this is the universe telling me to slow down. As let’s face it I am a very go go person. But here it’s more in slow mo. And I feel guilty for that. 

I feel guilty of what I have, want and can have. But it’s so not about comparing with others at all. This is a battle I am fighting with myself. But perhaps I have to take me out of the equation. I just have to remember why I’m here and be ok with that. 

It’ll take time. I just have to breathe. And I have to deal with my own voices in my head. At the moment I don’t know how or when and in a way it’s not important. I just have to let things be (without going backwards of course!)

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