There are many challenges about living in another country. Language is a big part of it. Being away from family and friends is another. And as much as living in another country can help to make the world a little bigger, it has an odd effect of also making the world a little smaller. There are only so many people in your social circle, and those people also only have one another. We are lucky that we have the internet to connect to the world far away, but in our day-to-day life, we are very secluded.
It is an interesting thing to observe and to experience the effects of such a social environment. And in the middle of winter, when we all feel the need to fold our arms to our chest, to brace ourselves against the cold, it can be very isolating. It is in these times that we can see the tendencies of stress, depression, loneliness, accruing in our minds and in our bodies and the way that these play out differently for each person. Some people become anxious, some become frustrated or angry, some become isolated, some try to fight against the odds, to figure out what is going on and overcome it.
It is one of the great things about the seasons that we go through this period each year. Perhaps we can come to know ourselves a little better and see with a little more compassion the difficulty that others experience. In these close quarters, it is impossible to ignore it. We play together, live together, see one another almost every day. We only have one another here. Perhaps we can learn the extent to which we are able to control the way that we treat each other, the extent to which we need and give to one another, the manner in which we do so, our expectations and our integrity. Perhaps we can better learn the content of our words and actions, how we choose to use them, the impact that they can have on the moral of the group.
I wonder how much control we have in the world, how much of it we create, and how much of it is a landscape we must navigate. I think it is one of the things I'd like to explore in my time here.