i went from 85 degrees to 0 in about a week.
i’m back at school. moved in to my apartment. completed the first week of classes. blowing my nose every few minutes (thank you, Indiana), and can hardly believe i was in africa a little over a couple weeks ago.
Coming back to the states is a little like merging on to the Beltway around DC: you have to gun it or you’ll get run over by the semi’s. not being able to ease into this life again is making me feel like i’ve been in a different world where society- businesses, people, traffic – is operated on an entirely different system..
i guess i was.
living in tension is the new thought process that i can’t seem to escape. just how extravagant should my spending be? should i freeze my butt off walking a mile to classes, or just use the gas by driving? why am i supporting a store run exclusively on cheap labor in foreign countries? i took one bag to Uganda for 4 months and survived – do i really need half a car full of junk to live comfortably for one semester?
and so on and so forth.
i anticipated being uncomfortable, stretched, and assimilated into a brand new culture and way of life 4 months ago. culture shock is hard, but it goes hand in hand with excitment. anticipation. expectancy. what i didn’t consider as much is the tension, guilt, and thought process that is second nature to me now that i’m back.
most homes have a smell, right? you know that distinct scent that may not neccesarily be good or bad, it’s just.. there.. sometimes it’s hard to put a finger on what it is exactly, you just know it in relation to a specific family or person. after i’ve been away at school and come back, if mom isn’t cooking up a recipe that has a delicious wafting smell that permeates the whole house, i can smell it when i first get home. after a while, it sets in again, and i become oblivious to it.
right now the scent here is strong. i noticed it when i couldn’t pick one cereal out of 50 trillion in the cereal isle. i noticed it when i realized i had to stop my conversation to be on time to class instead of 15 minutes late. and i notice it every time i see an unfinished dinner plate discarded like it’s nothing. i don’t want to boycott america. i don’t even hate america. i just don’t want to become oblivious to its scent again and seep right back into old habits.
after studying and living abroad for almost half a year, i’ve concluded that i (still) know nothing about life. i can barely even process what i experienced, much less come out with a neat and packaged little lesson learned..
thanks for the listening ear. it’s been fun. i don’t feel like i can really fully express myself these days (talking about africa), but… if you ever have a cup of coffee and some time to chat, i’m all yours =)