All the Small Things

True care truth brings
I’ll take one lift
Your ride best trip…

AHEM. Hi there.

I’ve had people pop out of the woodwork in my life and ask me about Antarctica and express interest in coming down here as well.

I think that’s great.

But it really isn’t for everyone. Sure, anyone could get by… but it does take a mental toll on you. I’ve only been here about two months so I can’t say I’m seeing TOO many effects from it yet, but I have seen it on others.

Today especially was a rough one for me. I woke up to a message letting me know my father’s brother had passed away from a heart attack. I wanted to be there for my dad. I wanted to hug my cousins and go to dinner with my grandparents and see them all in person. I wanted to feel like something I was doing was helping them get through the day – I wanted to feel needed by them. But I’m 9,115 miles away (as the bird flies). My absence might have been noted, and I did call and speak with each of them, but my presence wasn’t a necessity. They still got through the day without me.

In speaking with one of my pals down here a few days ago I asked, “how are you doing?” and he replied with the same blanket answer we all seem to give of perky and cheerful. So, I asked a follow-up question inspired by my friend Point back home, “how is your overall contentment level?” The smile seemed to melt a little and he stepped closer. I’m paraphrasing a little here because I never remember the exact words people use but simply the gist of them, but he replied, “Honestly? I’m kinda down. It’s rough being here and missing out on so much going on back home.”

I asked that same series of questions to three more people in a row. They all gave similar responses. Then I asked a fifth person and she gave me the exact opposite answers but her boyfriend arrived on the last flight so she’s in cloud nine at the moment.

It’s rough being down here and missing out on things that seem important. It’s rough not having those big moments to look forward too like a weekend at Electric Forest with your best friend, Chailz (Morgan, I hope you enjoyed my ticket!) or the “Fourth Annual” three-day kayaking trip with all the people you hold dear (Teresa, Lindsey… when you guys reschedule you better not forget to send me pictures!). It’s rough hearing of your friends’ struggles and not being there to help them (*hugs* Saga). It’s rough not being there to mend friendships that had gone awry (hey, Samantha)…and having no way to contact them directly anymore. Though, to be fair, some of my friendships have grown since I’ve been gone (yay for Midas!) and some people I simply force to talk more (Taryn). Some rarely respond (ehhhhh Point and Ruthless). Some stay the same because distance has never made a difference (<3 you, Allison).

But don’t get me wrong, I’m still absolutely loving it down here. I would not change a thing about coming to Antarctica. Well, I would have packed more lotion, a few less thermal layers, and remembered to grab my own gym shoes so I wasn’t using a skua pair, but hey. Life goes on.

(by the way, SKUA is what we call like our gifting tree or thrift store down here…except everything is free)

I think a really important trait to thrive down here is the ability to find joy in the small things. Luckily, this is a skill I have in droves.

Some little things that have kept me going so far:

  • Finding this FREAKING ADORABLE rock

2017-07-29 00.16.07

  • Nabbing this coat out of skua…. HOLY COW it’s perfect

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  • Becoming a bartender! In Antarctica! Such a lovely thing to add to the resume. I’ve worked 4 shifts thus far!
  • Wishing I had a better humidifier and finding one that same day… along with this blue rope lights!

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  • Receiving some fantastic items in the mail, like some new jewelry from Chelsea Stegeman’s shopย ToothandClawearย and this neat sticker from Sarah Wade!

 

  • Coming across this super neat chest to put in my room!

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  • Making it to a computer in time to buy the perfect three-piece outfit from a Damsel flash sale!
  • Putting on “How to Train Your Dragon” in the gym and then realizing I’d jogged three miles without even thinking about it!
  • Sporadic toga party (that’s apple juice he’s drinking from the Trivia Trophy btw)

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  • Curly antennae headbands (photos will come…. eventually)
  • Unexpected gifts of real milk!

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  • …Human Jenga….
  • Coming across trinkets that remind me of people back home…

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  • Finding exactly the right raw materials in the craft room you need to make your friends back home something special
  • Fire lamps… AND having a window now! That’s right folks, I upgraded rooms!

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And of course, the people. The folks manning McMurdo Station right now are what makes it feel like home. For those of you that have been to a regional burn and call places like Scorched Nuts, Alchemy, or Mosaic home… you know the feeling I mean. This place calls to me in the same way.

Okay I need sleep now so I’m ending this post. Goodnight!

โค

Demeter

cover image mine

2 responses to “All the Small Things

  1. When I was 20 (150 years ago ) I used to work on a supply boat out in the Gulf of Mexico. We supplied the oil rigs out in the gulf that were drilling back in the early 80’s. When we weren’t at the rig, we were at a tiny post in south Texas and had to stay close to the boat in case we were called to make a run out to the rig (usually 10 hours or more out) … I was a deck hand and part time cook. I missed my friends and family, but the crew, the divers, the drillers, the roustabouts, the roughnecks, and all the other members of the team on the platform (which was more or less a floating city) always tried their best to make the home away from home as pleasant as possible. I know it can’t compare to Antarctica, we had 3 months on and 1 month off; but your sentiments remind me of my own experiences.

    Like

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