Why am I choosing to write about circular migration at a coffee shop?
Many years ago at a camp where I was trained in various forms of safety: fire, water and earth, I became exposed to an unusual smell that seemed to trigger in me a positive feeling that can’t seem to escape me: an orange rimmed glass pot filled with a dark brown color, almost black. It was that image from an aroma that stuck with me throughout the years, and as I became experimenting with adding such ingredients as whip cream, caramel and even chocolate that produced some of the most amazing flavors still with me today. I like to think that the combination of all of these ingredients somehow makes the coffee taste better, but really at the end of the day it is about one thing: the bean. So, is it because of a bean that I am writing about circular migration? Maybe, so then what does a coffee bean have to circular migration at all? What is the connection to the smell that a coffee bean produces and my desire to write about circular migration? I like to think, but can’t prove this at all since so many other factors were integral in arriving at this decision, that the things we smell somewhat effect the way in which we feel, both positive and negatively. So, then why don’t all people who drink coffee feel passionate about writing about the impact that immigrants – particularly from circular migration – maybe they had a negative first experience with the smell, possible an allergy to it? If this is the case, I offer to those my understanding as I too had an allergy – to most dogs and horses for most of my life. I was encouraged to take Benadryl, and complied with those who had the best of intentions. Unfortunately, an occurance happened when I lit up my first cigarette in the back of a Jeep Wrangler while previously having swallowed that pill, and it produced such a relaxing feeling I felt the need to continue with one of the other, but the combination would make me to relaxed that I may do nothing else from that day forward. So, are all people who use pills, and or cigarettes, to be blamed for the problems of society? I doubt that. That being said, if those who had a reverse effect from their first experience, I wonder how they turned out, and more importantly, why?
Also, at the time of this writing, I found myself struggling for my MP3 player so that I could listen to Alicia Keys while writing, not because of her, but the feeling she produces based off of her voice and talented piano playing skills. The first track, if I am not mistaken, is “Trying to sleep with a broken heart”. Fortunately for me, I have been able to be in the same room with her and witness firsthand the gifted individual she is and that it was just not made up by what I heard and say on my MP3 player or the television screen. Images are not everything, but when coupled with sound and smell, all some to feel relaxed enough to write how they feel. So then, why was I in that room with the talent: because of the decision made by a fearless, strong and to that point in my life, the most beautiful thing my eyes had ever seen. For that, and many other reasons, I will be in her debt and feel, like many other oaths taken before in the name of God and Country, will protect her good name against “all enemies both foreign and domestic” (I think it was something like that, but need to check the source for the exact wording)
The girl is only one piece of the puzzle, as I continue writing this I was only able to come up with a song by “Butthose Surfers”, I can’t pay much attention to the lyrics, but the sound is nice. Hopefully you can see the struggle now with trying to make the connection with all of this and circular migration as my thesis topic. Thanks to the diagnosis of some medical professionals as having ADHD, attention defecet/hyperactive disorder, it is amazing that I am able to type this much. It has been quite some time since my fingers have been able to be moving alongside a keyboard, maybe three weeks or so. It feels good to be pressing them along a black keyboard with white letters in the upper left hand corner. The images directly above my head are of four huge frames with small photographs of beans at different stages of the process of arriving at a cup of coffee. I just realized that, thanks AD/HD. So what does this all have to do with me several months ago choosing to arrive at the decision to write about the impact of circular migration on developing countries, a girl, and a coffee shop? It is how I got here.
Roughly around this same time last year, I was advised by another lovely young girl sitting behind a desk who suggested applying at a university and taking the advice and researching it on my own and noticing there was a program that seemed interested to me. I reviewed some of the courses and it peeked my interest. I decided to apply, as the pursuit of a Master’s degree was something that appeared to be noble, and could advance one throughout the channels of institutions to arrive at a particular status and therefore wealth. So, it was my decision to apply, albeit with the help of great friends. By friends, I mean those that are willing to help you even when you think you can do it on your own and take the time to sit in a freezing environment and review your work without fear that it will hurt your feelings because you have established over the course of time a bond that allows one not to fear each other. Trusting in his suggestions, I submitted my application to the university. Without him, I may not have been admitted and been able to even make it this far in my studies, but somehow I have. Why?
I think that those around us somehow rub off on us, and I hope that he has as well. So, what is the connection between him, her, and a coffee shop? We both served together in a valley, which was frequently visited by another great friend of ours, who would sometimes need to keep us in check. He too, I think has rubbed off on us as well, in a positive way. As we took a white colored vehicle and left that country, just as we had flown in together, it was just the three of us leaving in to the neighboring country in attempt to make sure that a girl got on a plane back to see her family okay as we took a trip for one month together that can never be forgotten. Fortunately, for him and myself, we have photographic images alongside written word of her safe arrival back to her family. Much the same way that my family got on a plane to visit me are meandering around a city that I had to once visited with a girl. I couldn’t been happier for two people who are spending time together and have made it through hard times and stuck together. Again, here comes the AD/HD attacking me, and this is sounding more and more like a love story. This was not my intention, but in some small way contribute to the research being conducted on the impact of circular migration on developing countries. So, after having followed the advice of so many good women throughout my years, why has it taken me nearly 3 weeks, give or take a few days, to continue to write at length about my thesis topic?
According to some in my department, the topic was selected by a woman, although a man had seemed to be under the impression he would be my thesis advisor. It didn’t really matter to me, as long as good advice would be given, and it was. After submitting my proposal to her via email, I learned of what was good and what needed improvement, and made an attempt to incorporate her suggestions. At the time of writing this, I can’t recall if I had made any of those. I hope that someday I will be able to take those and run with it and produce something of reasonable quality. She was kind enough to email me links to various institutions that are doing some good work, and asking great questions about how to make this concept of circular migration more refined and to study how, if at all, it can be managed better. I remember seeing in my apartment papers spread out trying to investigate everything related to it, and the good work that had been done so far. I was inspired. Thank You.
There was also another instance, where credit must be given, because it also inspired me. Sometime last fall, there was a conference I attended and something profound was spoken to effect of “the measure of a society’s tolerance is the treatment of its immigrants.” His statement could not have been more true, because aren’t we all, I remember thinking about that for a longtime. With all do respect to that man, and his inspirational words, I would take it one step further. The treatment of women is the single greatest measurement of a society’s tolerance. Why do I feel this way?
This goes back to leaving the valley, and entering a forested area where the two men and I were placed in charge or watching over a dog for about a couple of weeks. We rotated shifts to ensure its safety while she was returning home. I am grateful to her for a number of reasons (it should be disclosed here that she did bring my laptop back so that I might be able to write this thesis eventually) but not only by what she said, which was something to the effect of “The measure of a society’s tolerance is the treatment of its animals.” This is also true, very. So, what do the comments heard during a conference, a woman, and my own have in common?
The treatment of those things different from ourselves, (I think it should be mentioned that I am now listening to another talented woman who can both sing and produce sound) and how we respond to it. Sound, maybe? What is the connection between sound, sight and smell and it triggering my desire to write about the impact of circular migration and its impact on developing countries, with particular emphasis now on how the treatment of migrants? The concept itself was, like many others, introduced to me by one man, and then confirmed by the nodding of a head from another. So, I delayed some writing on it, until a woman selected it based on what she thought sounded interesting. I, again, will be in her debt for selecting my thesis topic. I just hope she will grant me a little more time so that I can do some field research for my original topic, which had to be altered because some were concerned about the lack of data available. So, here is my final question? Why? One of the last questions she gave me was (at best that I can remember, who knows, I’ve been quite sick for while), why don’t you stick with your original topic? That was a great idea.
And, like I have done once before, I will follow the advice of a man from South Asia, because if I don’t do it, I am afraid of losing something else again. God Save The Queens.