Monday, July 13, 2015

Reentry

Everyone knows about culture shock and reverse culture shock and how it can mess you up for a while. So far, about five days into being back on American soil, i wouldn't say i'm "messed up," but perhaps just "out of it."

There's this limbo that happens for a time, on both sides. Before you leave the place you've been planning to leave, friends say things like "you're already there!" after you've remarked for the fifth or tenth time how you're looking forward to real cheese and the lack of catcalling when you wear short shorts.

On the other side, you tend to observe conversations instead of participate in them fully. You remark in your head about the rainbow of colors of the people -- black, white, Asian, Native... instead of only light brown. You get surprised when you don't have to struggle to eavesdrop on people's conversations or think about how you're going to formulate a certain sentence. You no longer have to think about how to conjugate the imperfect past or the preterite or wonder if you've used some dumb slang they only use in one remote part of one other country, where you don't live. You're suddenly a part of things, you fit in... even if you're not fully participating just yet.

It's like you put yourself in this strange, fuzzy bubble a few days before departure, and you don't unzip the bubble until at least a few days after you arrive. It's not culture shock, per se, but maybe just a haze where you belong nowhere yet. And yet, perhaps you've always belonged everywhere, and that's why it's all so strange...

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In case you're in need of a way to find your center and to re-engage, check out the Peace Starter Meditation Relax app on Google Play.

Meanwhile, before you travel, pick up one of Kelly Rose's handmade pencil bags for your kiddo's backpack. One of a kind and made with love!

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