Day 11: Philosophically Out-There a.k.a. Zoned Out / by Sarah Kakusho

It might’ve been the fact that I was able to sleep in for another hour, but I felt genuinely refreshed this morning. I don’t think I slept so well since coming here until last night. Anyway, I was up and talking to the house maid, people on the streets and to everyone in my program. It was almost scary. I think in the midst of me being slightly too weird to my liking, I realized all the opportunities I had been missing out on, the things I’ve taken for granted in the States, stuff like simply saying “hi” to strangers, having a simple conversation to see how a person is doing, being able to walk in anywhere and know you won’t be so easily misunderstood. Stuff like that.

I feel like I’m in this weird transition, that’s much different from how I feel in the summer. It’s not the sort of physical transition like, oh sophomore year is ending and junior year is starting now. No. It’s much deeper than that. I’ve written about being alone in the past, I’ve even been in the process of making a movie about it, but it never occurred to me that right now, I’m physically alone with no one near me who knows me for who I am for miles. In my script there’s this one passage that goes like this:

“I got stuck in routine, shackled, where time neither moves backwards nor forwards. It stands still. Haunting, isn't it? Unable to do anything while watching the world passes you by. Exactly. But, it was here that I had this sudden epiphany. […] Life is just beginning for me, and yet, I had wasted nearly 3 months reminiscing the past, waiting for the next thing in life, when, really, life was waiting for me to take my next step.”

I’ve stopped playing tag with my past and wanting things to go back to the way things were. I’ve left them the way they were and took that step. It’s interesting how I wrote this script, and yet I speak about it as if I finally understand the meaning of it for the first time. But, I’m beginning to wonder where this step is going to take me. I guess all I can do now is really have confidence in where I’m stepping and WIN.

Aside from that today’s just one of those days that just passes you by. Orientation was back-to-back today. Really hectic. I had orientation with USAL at the usual place, then information about volunteer work on the second floor, and then I had to catch the sub to go to UTDT for their orientation and then catch the bus to be back in time to take the Spanish exam for UBA – Ciencias Sociales. I’m so tired, and I’ve been around sick people all day, which in turn is getting me sick. My throat is sooooooooooooo sore. It’s insane.

I think that’s the one downfall of public transportation. It’s like a breeding ground for sicknesses to spread. Both the subways and the buses were packed. There’s no doubt that’s how I’m beginning to feel a little off. It’s okay though. It won’t affect me too much. I just need to be careful.

Ugh, I have to register for my one UTDT class in the morning tomorrow. But, after that I get to go to Rural with a few people, which is festival kind of thing where all these farm animals are there and they have food and all sorts of stuff. Maybe I can buy a scarf there or if not, the day after at the feria nearby before I go see Erika. Oi, I need coins.

One thing I did notice here is that many stores don’t have change/coins. It’s insane. And they only accept change on all public transportation. Must look for them. But, not now…since I’m out there. Happy end of July. Oh.

I think my mind is no longer with us. Damn meds.

“What is the secret to victory? Mr. Toda once described that in a certain sense life is a gamble. ‘If you are lucky, you will win,’ he said, ‘but if you are unlucky, then sometimes no matter how hard you try you lose. This is a hard fact.’ That is why, in addition to ability, good fortune is essential. The key to creating good fortune is found in faith and daimoku. I hope that you will all act in accord with the fundamental Law of Buddhism and lead victorious lives filled with unsurpassed good fortune.” – Daily Encouragement by Daisaku Ikeda, Thursday July 31, 2008