Hindsight is more beautiful

By Arya Mohanka, ETA ’16-’17

On a strenuous
hike into the mountains of
the north of Thailand,

We were all sweaty
and sore and drained, unsteady.
We regretted this.

But afterwards on 
Facebook, they posted lovely
photos with captions:

“That was the best, most
amazing experience
of my whole lifetime.”

I struggled greatly
in a rural city of
North Sichuan, China.

With no language, I
had only two companions.
Lonely together.

Arcades and dumplings,
we filled time with games and snacks.
Typical weekends

now seem exciting
and adventurous. I miss
those mundane pastimes.

Now in my small town
faced with the difficulties
of teaching English

and being friendless,
I feel crushing loneliness,
a weak self-pity.

The days drag onward,
filled with skipped meals, restless nights,
precious time, wasted.

I must remember
the yearning that comes when the
plane lands in Boston.

Craving adventure,
novelty, frailty and strength.
I was all at once.

Hindsight may be clear,
but, like me, the present is
sadly nearsighted.

I focus in on
every failure, frustration,  
struggle, misery.

I only notice
later how it helped me grow
and increased my grit.

I cannot allow
only hindsight to sparkle.
I must seek that now.