Monday, November 15, 2010

mood regulation...

One of the absolute hardest things about being an expat is learning to regulate your own moods. As a woman especially, we are often dependent on our support system to aid us in mood regulation. At home, if something crappy happens in your day, you call a girlfriend, bitch about it, she tells you it will be ok, and you move on. Crisis overted. As an expat, and especially an expat living in a country where cell phone calls are prohibitively expensive, thats just not an option. Its funny because I often feel like a baby, ferberizing myself. Just as babies have to learn to calm themselves down when something happens, or when their parents leave the room, we as expats, also have to learn to calm ourselves down all on our own when something bad happens.
The other day a friend of mine had a very unfortunate and disgusting run in with some perv on the subway (she had to go fill out police reports and everything). She commented that it wouldn't have been so bad if she were at home; she could have called her mom to come down to the police station and fill out the report with her, but having to do it alone just made the entire event hit her harder.
Thankfully, nothing quite so horrifying has happened to me, but I too have my bad days. My business is kind of always in flux. I get new students all the time. I also have students drop me (yet thankfully not ALL the time). Today I got dropped by a student, and while its not at all a dire situation, it just kind of sucks. Being dropped by a student sucks because you often become quite close to your students (as you spend several hours a week talking). Its kind of like getting dumped, except it has financial implications instead of romantic ones. The first thing you always do after getting dropped by a student is calculate what percentage of your income you just lost. The next thing you do is think of who can console you, tell you it will be ok. Can you go home and call them?? Is it worth the insanely expensive cell call? If you decide that you cant go home and you cant make a cell call, you then go through the process of trying to calm yourself down. Repeating in your own head "its ok... its only money.... you picked up a new student last week... it all evens out..."
The flip side of all of this is that when you have a really good day, or a high, its like extra extra high. you feel like "that was awesome!!! and i did it all on my own!!!!" I guess its just like I've been telling myself - it all evens out.

1 comment:

  1. Hey girl...I feel you on this one...also, I was told today that there is a chance I'll be getting laid off Jan. 1st...I guess the down side to going home is that I only have one job now...but there's always unemployment!!!!