Reverse culture shock. At last. The dreaded experience.
Some things are similar to the culture shock or small problems you experience going abroad. Your skin has to adjust. Once you finally stop itching in flaking in one country, you’re back to itching and flaking when you return. People look weird. Home country is boring as hell. And when did everyone’s lives seem so basic?
I’ve only been back about 2 and half weeks… I think. And I’m trying to figure out… did I change? Or did everyone else change? Because it seems everyone else is onto something that I’m not.
The hardest thing for me about being back in America has been being in my home town. I have one friend that cares at all to see me in this dreary place, and I seem to be the only one that cares to see them. Everyone is married. Everyone has babies. Nothing else to do here.
Just in this past week if I had a dollar for every time I heard “you’ll change your mind one day” about marriage and children I could afford a decent sized sandwich. That’s about enough times to make me want to smash my face in. Because that’s not the point I’m making when I’m baffled by all of this life surrounding me.
I’m wondering… how do I communicate with these people? Because for every person that tells you how wonderful being a parent is, there’s the same amount saying, yeah they love the kid, but it’s not what they wanted. When I’m listening to complaints on body changes, baby moms and dads, how they didn’t want to settle down, how they’re only together for the kids, etc, etc, etc, is it okay for me talk about my year abroad? Is it okay for me to talk about all the places I want to travel? Is it okay to be excited about my life? Because when I do, I just feel like a bitch…
Like, “Hey… your kid smells like they need a change. By the way, this one night in Japan, wish you coulda been there. Hope you can travel with me some day!” Even if it’s the best place of intention… that sounds pretty awful when I think about it. So what is my place in the life of these people? The ones that still want to mutually make time for each other anyway. The more I have to limit how much I talk about my own goals, the more depressed I feel and the more I start to feel like my life is shallow. When it’s absolutely not.
There are still a ton of things I have yet to face in my short time back in America… Mostly all things of dread. But I’m certain through this next year being in the states, it will more shape who I am to myself and the direction I want to go.
Something huge I had to learn in Japan was walking away. Walking away from what I thought were friendships, and walking away from love, and even walking away from myself sometimes. So I guess I have to accept that in America too.
That everyone’s lives are changing and that sometimes people walk away from you first. And all I can and should do is smile, be thankful I knew them, and wish them the best.