The Not-so-Out-of-the-Box

“Live your life as if you’re getting out of the box.”

It is a bit strange and I can’t distinguish the emotion that I have. From the day that we left our training facility which I had the most uncomfortable emotion that I had ever in my life, upto now living in the community. I was paired with a UKV (both at home and at work) which technically has the English language capabilities, and here I am, still wearing this mask of being independent and confident (e.g. having a degree and learned some foreign language), does not really make any sense, because all of us volunteers are making the most out of our experience for the coming weeks.

It will be a tough game if not a journey as one of our facilitators in the training told me. It will never be a spoon feeding approach on how to handle various if not sudden emotions for the next couple of weeks, but one thing is for sure, savor the unusual feeling and try not to rationalize it.

What is out-of-the-box experience?

For me, it is not as fancy and as glamorous nor as scary and as spontaneous as others might classify it. Perhaps, just not following your daily routine makes you do things out of the box. Even challenging your old perceptions which hinders you to grow.

We have this implied deal with my hhc, which is to do out of the box things for the rest of the program (e.g. Eat foods that we don’t love or new to us, speak English for a long period of time, have more than a cup of coffee within the day or walk almost a kilometer ). Sounds strange? Yep! At first it will be strange, but later on, you might realize that there is much more when you go out of your comfort zone and try new things, as if living your life with no regrets. 🙂

What I’ve done..so far….

I am not really into doing out of the box things which most if not all of my friends would know. But to set the record, my hhc and I talked and did a lot of things about the following:

1.Cross culturally exchange our views anything under the sun,(talk about the economic crisis, courtship styles of both countries, and even fashion styles :))

2. Make and organize our blog entries during our most convenient time,

3. I talked to our host dad that I don’t eat pork (it was really strange and I even got some butterflies in my stomach, because don’t want them to offend anyone :)),

4. Thinking about having allergies every time I eat prawns is like a life or death thing, but actually not (tell the symptoms to Katie before acknowledging the allergies :P),

5. Ditch someone’s invitation if you really don’t feel like going(it is not again a life or death situation if you will not join the mob:) ),

6. Stressing or even worrying about something that is not even happening is crazy! All human beings are subject to stress but it should not ruin your daily activities.(try to see the positive aspect of each scenario:)),

7. Making decisions for yourself does not mean your neglecting the opinion of your family. It does not really mean that you’re being disrespectful with your family, but who does the thinking? Who will live up the decision that someone made for you? Who will suffer if it did not turned out that good? (*I’m not anti-family, but it seems, someone should do things because he/she is happy and enjoying doing it, not because someone told him/her to do so).

Obviously, I am still in the process of doing things out of the box, but I am happy doing it. I am happy to challenge the norms that I had when I was a little girl pampered by the society that I am part with, even the thought of making decisions for myself and accept the consequences of such. It is not an easy and smooth ride, and that makes out of the box things more fullfiling and worthwhile.

*I just had 3 prawns and ate Cat fish for my breakfast, I never had more than 2 prawns and never ate catfish EVER before, as my hhc would say: ’tilapia and cat fish are the same, both of them are fish, there is nothing special distinguishes one from another, if don’t have special or even a good reason, then it is just being picky’.

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