Post-Taiwan Syndrome

My tendency is to share the goings-on of my mind with you in a way that provides closure and resolution to my struggles. But you’re not going to get that here.

I heard about this phenomenon from past volunteers at The Home of God’s Love: a sense of a newly emptiness/confusion/worthlessness upon returning home. I miss that life. And it’s hitting me hard right now. Reading the blog of a woman volunteering at a South African orphanage did it.

Reading her words was as if I was reading my thoughts rehashed from my time in Taiwan.

It has been a daily routine of the simplest tasks- hours of dishes,
hours of washing laundry, sorting laundry, folding laundry, where’s the laundry?
hours of washing faces, scrubbing bodies, blowing noses.
hours of spoon feeding little ones, and hours of bottle feeding littler ones.
there have been hours of rocking and humming and kissing and cheek squeezing.
and all through these hours of simple tasks, I’ve been living life here with no hands.
I’ve been living life here with a baby settled snugly against my chest wherever I go, doing whatever I do.
I have a baby on me when I wash the dishes.
I have a baby on me when I do the laundry.
I have a baby on me when I walk across the grounds.

I miss that simple yet complicated, purposeful, unselfish life. What I did was so needed.

And I’m struggling to find significance in these next two years spent studying to get a degree. It’s quite time-consuming, and I want to be having an impact right now. And though I know I can still have some degree of impact — and I will have some degree of impact — it just doesn’t seem as great. I suppose I feel most productive when I’m doing double duty — getting stuff done with a baby in my arms.

So, anyone got a baby I can carry around? Still two years to go before I can do anything in a full-time capacity.

On a semi-related note, I have an interview tomorrow for the required practicum I have for this spring/summer. Will you pray that I end up at an agency that challenges my comfort level, really uses my abilities, gives me insight into what I should pursue in the future, and teaches me more about Jesus’ heart for those in need?

  • Kalyn

    I’ve been feeling this a lot lately too. But honestly, I think God has been showing me more and more that the little things I do in my normal, everyday life are important too. I know I’m where I’m supposed to be, so I’m just trying to live right now in an extraordinary way.