Angell, the Ugly Caterpillar


Colombia’s changed me.

Physically, I haven’t lost or gained weight…or so I think.

However, my hair has grown a lot, like the hair on my head and face. Yes, my face. I broke my room mirror twice (talk about bad luck) and don’t really know what I truly look like. But when I do come across a mirror and good lighting, I discover some interesting things on my face. I think I may be growing some peach fuzz.

It must be the water.


But, I will be dramatic to say that in addition to my hairs, my soul has changed.

There are some rewarding experiences as a PCV, such as students behaving well, finally mastering the system of living and surviving in a new environment, students appreciating you through actions, getting things checked off the to-do list, and much more. However, being a PCV also brings tsunami waves of emotional break-downs, sadness, and craziness, and the goal is to maintain your calmness, coolness, and collectedness through it all.

So with that said…

My feelings to empathize and understand are out of the roof. Sad movies – I can’t watch them because I feel the impact for days.

Still not that patient, but I am proud to say my patience scale with technology has improved tremendously. Instead of giving up, I perservere with the obstacles technology throws at me. With good internet signal, a 2 to 3 prong plug converter, extension cord, prayers and patience, one can do anything with a projector with no audio, computer, and a cellphone.

My sensitivity and irritability levels are at peak at times.

My disagreement with other people are intense to the point I cannot sleep due to rage or anxiety.


I am an emotional being, but now, I am an emotional mess.



Then, God comes through with advice sent through friends and I receive an article by Mark Manson from Helena.

The last three paragraphs include the golden nugget that I needed.

“You may view the world through family values, but most people do not. You may view the world through the metric of attractiveness, but most people do not. You may view the world through the metric of freedom and worldliness, but most people do not. You may view the world through the positivity and friendliness, but most people do not.

And that’s simply part of being human. Accepting that others measure themselves and the world differently than you do is one of the most important steps to consciously choosing the right relationships for yourself. It’s necessary for developing strong boundaries and deciding who you want to be a part of your life and who you do not. You may not accept a person’s ideas or behaviors.

But you must accept that you cannot change a person’s values for them. Just as we must choose our own measurement by ourselves and for ourselves. They must do it by themselves and for themselves.”

“You may not accept a person’s ideas or behaviors. But you must accept that you cannot change a person’s values for them.”


This part makes me question…why am I mentally strangling others to abide by my standards or way I see things? Why cannot I accept them for them? Why can’t I let go?




Because struggle makes my feelings 10x more intense.

Because struggle makes my feelings more easily hurt and long-lasting.

Because struggle makes me prone to emotional break-downs.



I always try to give a benefit of a doubt to people. Do they do that to me?

Why, oh, why, VivaColombia airlines representative must you be so rude? I’ve been in customer service positions, too, and I know how that is because some people make you want to punch them in the face! But, I am being nice to you! You aren’t being so nice to me right now!!!! Now, YOU are driving ME crazy!!!!!!


It’s always a battle between fighting for my thoughts or letting go.

And I always fall victim to holding onto my hurt and making someone accountable for it.

Which is why sometimes I wake up at freakin 2 am talking to myself back to sleep.

Colombia has taught me to be more caring, empathetic, and humbler. However, she’s made me a little  crazier and a more annoyed person.

So, in a nutshell, my mental state is going through puberty. Voice cracks, body changes, hormone imbalances, the works.

If I make it through my two year service, I hope to make it through this transformation successfully and come back to the U.S. with a healthier and more positive perspective of people, abundance of acceptance, and the freedom to let go…because I love sleep without interruptions.

I am an ugly caterpillar right now waiting to be a sexy, beautiful butterfly.

So in the meantime, please tell me I am pretty even with my peach fuzz.



Caterpillar photo

Mark Manson Article, “How We Judge Others is How we Judge Ourselves”



4 thoughts on “Angell, the Ugly Caterpillar”

  1. OMG Angell, this is so bad ass!!! You are a swagalicious caterpillar with beautiful colors, tough skin, and the biggest heart. I’m glad you’re embracing the struggle… cuz we got good problems. #blessed

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