An elevated Metro station in Santiago, Chile.

There is a lot of famous sites in Chile. The dry desert of San Pedro de Atacama. The painted hillsides of Valparaiso. The towering glaciers of Torre Del Paine.

And just like an average person in the United States isn't at Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon, or the Sears Tower every week, I don't see those places often. In fact, I've never seen two of them.

And also, against stereotypes, I don't spend my time at street markets where people are dancing in the sun and eating fruit and playing music with their neighbors.

But I love walking. I love walking through boring suburban landscapes. Yesterday, I continued my goal of walking across Santiago by walking for a few miles besides the Metro Line in Bellavista de Florida and Puente Alto. Walking like this gets me into a trance, and I start noticing more about my environment. A little trip like this, when I am directing it myself, makes me feel in touch with my environment in a way that a more majestic but prepackaged trip does not. And I come home in the rain, and my normal world looks a little less normal because I have a different perspective to put it in...
I live next to the Plaza de Armas in Santiago. This is the historic center of town, where tourists congregate, and there is always something going on. Compared to other places in South America, Santiago is a little less glamorous, mystical or sexy, but its still a pretty exciting place to be living. Or should be. I mean, in US terms this is like if I was living two blocks from Times Square.

But my general attitude towards all this music and dancing is...well, blah. And not just because its also a place where I need to watch my wallet. I just don't really think much of going there.

So today, other than going outside to get some money from an ATM (located in a Metro station), and then going to turn that money into bills so I could use the laundry room...I watched The Secret World of Alex Mack, played Masters of Orion 2, and ate cinnamon toast. I don't know if this is a bad thing or not. Sometimes, I guess, I just have to spin my gears.
It is winter solstice. As I might have mentioned, this limits my activities to "work" and "hiding from the cold"

Also as I might have mentioned, this marks a much longer time here than I ever thought I would have. This means I have been here four complete seasons. And also as mentioned, my current life begin here only in late April, when I moved into this apartment. The 366 days before that, living in Providencia, are now prehistory, only vaguely reconstructed from pottery shards and cordage. Also from the exhaustive documentation I have of everything I've done via the internet. But even with that, its all just "pre" now. And the time before I came to Chile? I know I should feel something about it, but I keep losing track of why it was important to me.

So I am in a coccoon now, not keeping points, not keeping an agenda, other than to pay off my student loans and do good at work. Who knows how I will come out? Or when? Winter here is short, and perhaps in four weeks I will be bright again.
I have a big social group here, and there is always something to do.

Those things to do usually involve spending money, drinking, and staying out late in crowded, noisy places.

And one thing I noticed is that the people who always want me to go out with them, who always have plans of things to do, are less available when I want any type of quieter and more serious relationship. I have made a lot of Facebook contacts who can pose in pictures with me, etc. Wow, look at us. And then I started trying to see what they would do for me on my boring weekends, when I was lonely, when I had stuff to talk about...not so much.

The group is important here, for the people from this culture, and for young "expats" who need something to latch on to. Its an easy thing to slide in to and surround yourself in, but who are these people beyond people who laugh while they are drinking a five dollar beer?
I turned 38.

It was a bit depressing, the day of, because I had that sinking feeling, the one we often get, that nothing was coming of my life. And I got tricked into doing math: 12 years ago, I was 26, and in 12 years, I will be 50. Its kind of been a blur between then and now, and my life just feels like it is accelerating.

On a day to day level, I am busy, and I know lots of people, but I am a bit depressed at how thin my "real" relationships are. I feel lonely, even in the middle of this big city.

I am taking a couple days away from most forms of social media so that I can sleep and not be up at 2 AM, hitting refresh and still feeling lonely. Its working pretty well so far.
It was less than a month ago that I signed for my apartment. My timeline is a little bit hazy, but I think it was Monday the 17th of April. I remember in the first week of April, the entire idea that something like moving could be done in a month seemed ridiculous: moving seemed to be a barrier, a wall, and I didn't know how I would get through it. My entire time here had been lived in one building, it seemed almost bizarre to reorder my life. But then it happened, quite suddenly, with some fatigue but without major problems, and now I don't even really connect my life now with my life in March. All those things became memories very quickly. This is despite the fact that for much of it, I can construct a pretty good day by day, sometimes even hour by hour, timeline.

So now I am here, getting rid of anxieties of my new life, as I figure out how to do things one by one. Finally figured out how to quickly and easily do laundry.

Another thing about this for me was there was already several phases in my life here. I think it was December or January that I really started to feel comfortable here, like I really knew what I was doing. By January, it was hard for me to understand my August self, and my August self couldn't understand my May self. But now, the January attitude feels just as far away as my initial, traumatized and confused May self.

So...what comes next?
Since my last entry, I have moved, something that I was planning for some time, and that was in process for a while. Moving, even when I had only a few boxes of stuff that could be moved pretty easily on the Metro, was a stressful process that is now completed.

My roommate is moving back to Spain, and it was probably time that I move out on my own. The last time I really had my own apartment was in Brookings, living in an empty two bedroom apartment, moving between a laptop stuck on three milkcrates and the mattress that I slept on in one empty bedroom. I was unhappy, but looking back on it, there was an element of enjoying the vacuum of privacy. I signed my contract here for six months, who knows what will happen in six months? I am giving myself a few weeks to enjoy being alone, enjoy the stress of moving being over, and then I am going to Think About The Future (TM).

Otherwise? Lots of things still up in the air, a lot of things that I am still juggling. The same story as always.
I don't know quite what to do with this, in many ways, LJ was a dead end. I need a place to express myself, to keep a record, maybe to make connections.

My LJ entries were rather cursory, and I might attempt to do a more involved, narrative post, where I get to the bottom of my feelings, whatever those are.

But for people just tuning in:

I am Matthew, I am a United States citizen who lives in Santiago, Chile. I work as an English teacher, to adults. I am 37 years old, and have done a lot of things, although sometimes not as many as I would like or think I should. I teach English to adults, in a business setting, so my days are mostly me travelling to different places at different hours. My classes are usually 1 or 2 people. Its a hard job to explain.

My time is cut up into inconvenient chunks, so I don't really have any time for "hobbies". There is a rushed quality to my life, which is in contrast to the expansiveness I had when I lived in Montana...of course, in Montana, I was unemployed and lived with my mother.

One of my goals on being here is to be able to think more about what I really want out of life. My life has been such a whirl that I haven't really had any time to be myself. I hope to change that, but I don't know how.

So...

Dec. 31st, 2016 08:41 pm
Its the last day of 2016, and with so much going on in my life, I choose to reactive my dreamwidth account, a place where I basically have no connections or history.

Why?

Because Facebook continues to be problematic. Beyond its personal annoyance for me, I think the "memeification" of Facebook, which later spread out to the culture on the whole, had some very negative consequences, including, obviously, the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency.

Livejournal, which I've continued to use for years, is somewhat doubtful because of its possible ability to be compromised by the Russian government.

Well, this is the world of 2016 2017 for you. And I want to adjust, because I want to be "the change I want to see in the world", and that change starts with finding better avenues of communication.
I know I haven't updated in a long time.

But, um, I will work on that soon?

Maybe?

January 2012 is an...odd time?
I think perhaps I should use dreamwidth to pour out my poor heart,
Since my livejournal is too stocked with random people for me to say anything truly...personal.
Besides, of course, I have other venues for doing so, and I don't know if it is really helping me at this point to go on and on about my troubles.
What would help me now are some scrambled eggs.

It is 1 PM

Aug. 23rd, 2010 01:08 pm
It is 1 PM.
What shall I do? I have been awake...four hours now?
And have mostly been internetting.
Blahhhh this entry is memoriable of LJ circa 2003. Besides in 2003, I would have gotten 20 responses for writing nothing!

Hello all

Aug. 19th, 2010 10:54 am
I need some friends here! Lets find some!
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