Monday, November 9, 2009

Culture: My Drug of Choice

Needless to say, life for me has altered significantly since graduating college and coming out here to Mongolia. One of the most pronounced way in which it has changed is the way in which I spend my free time. At Goucher, especially as a Senior, it was difficult to find a way not to get into trouble. There was normally a party , bar night or people hanging out 5 nights per weeks (or at least it was harder to find trouble on Sunday and Monday night…not that it couldn’t be done, mind you). But here in Hovd, my little corner of Mongolia, it’s quite a bit harder to go crazy quite as much. So in lieu of liver destruction, I have taken to reading new books, watching new movies, cooking new foods, keeping up with the news and getting into artwork. Admittedly, there is a big part of me that misses the debaucherous lifestyle, especially at the young age of 22 when most of my friends are still living it. However, in the past few months I’ve read more books for pleasure than I ever did in college (possibly more books, period, even though I was a literature major…my reading list has most notably included The Water is Wide by Pat Conroy, O! Pioneers by Willa Cather, Lie Down With Lions by Ken Follett and currently The Known World by Edward P. Jones). And it also feels really good to be able to have in-depth conversations about current events, a thing I could only do in the general sense before. I like this idea of continuing education outside of formal schooling. Learning new things is something my parents do and I really aspire to follow them in that- my dad is always reading a new door stop sized history book and my mom constantly delves into new projects and hobbies, both travel often. So for the time being beer pong has been replaced by Jane Austin (well, for the most part) and keg stands have been pushed out by charcoal pencils. I wonder if this is growing up. That's a scary thought- instead I’d like to think that is being resourceful in order stave off boredom and perhaps make myself a better, more intelligent person along the way. But whatever it may be, for now I’m enjoying learning a little more about something every day.

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