contrary to my prior belief, you cant just ignore a 9 hour jet lag or run away from emotions you dont understand.
so per the usual, i hoped to find the answer to my unresolved life questions by writing a trailing blog post about it until i come to a vague conclusion.
*forewarning: this post is not very fluid & i doubt it’ll make terribly much sense bc spanish grammar and sentence structure has slaughtered my ability to english. also putting ideas together can be hard if you’re just kind of bs-ing it along the way.
*2nd forewarning: im doing fine. i just need to get all the heavy stuff off my chest (bc my upper body strength is just not what it used to be). i probably sound like a broken record & just rephrase things ive said before so dont feel obligated to stay a while, you close that tab whenever you’re ready honey boo boo.
well. im in washington. maybe i expected an aladdin style whole new world when coming home. even after living in the same house for almost 22 years, in my mind i assumed i would see my hometown differently (& also mostly all i could think about was the fact that i could finally eat peanut butter). but instead it welcomed me, unchanged. and now im green day style walking a lonely road on the boulevard of broken dreams.
and even though im home and im with my family, loved ones, and adorable/loving puppies, im still filled with this overwhelming sense of loneliness. im moving about life in the motions i had done before but i cant stop feeling like my life has become almost purposeless in a way.
what is life. what does it all mean. insert other dramatic, worldly questions here.
i miss the people. and not just in the normal sense (but that too, don’t worry y’all. ya know i miss you bucketfuls). in the way that we all lived with similar intent & bonded together for sharing similar life experiences. i miss being around people. the people that i easily had so much in common with and grew the same way with.
im still the same human i was right before i left spain. im still happy, im still confidently comfortable, i still had my mom schedule my doctor appointment, and i still have this over abundance of love and positivity that i want to share with every person (to the point where im probably overwhelming everyone & no one understands why i always counteract a negative statement with two positive ones & wont stop saying ‘no pasa nada’).
im still the same in my realization of how different ive become. but i expected the rest of the world to turn twice as fast & be twice as ready for me as i was for it.
maybe i thought it’d be easy to come back to the home id always known after making my granada my new home. maybe i tried to see it as, a city is just a city. but a city is so much more.
“the town was paper, but the memories were not.”
the town or city or place itself is little in the scheme of things. but the place that holds the memories of the past is everything. i spent my last week abroad wandering the streets of granada, seeing memories in every pastry shop and calle. ive spent this past week back in washington, staring at all the distant and cloudy memories.
i think the reason that it’s so hard to adjust, is because in granada i saw all the reminders of who i became in 5 months and how i grew. being back all im filled with are the constant reminders of the ghosts of elise’s past. i think it’s hard to be home because i realized there’s no way left for me to grow if i stay here forever.
this is my reverse culture shock. today i felt it a lot. it rattled my soul a little bit, screaming the lyrics to miley’s can’t be tamed at me. but tbh if i survived the culture shock into spain, how much worse can it be.
so life is a journey. and im learning. and im understanding that you can’t ignore the past & forget who you were. you can’t celebrate the success of a victory without seeing how you got there.
so cue all the melodramatic, pleading questions to life’s mysteries again & obviously youll all still recognize me when you see me again; but i don’t think i would recognize myself if i met me now. ill eventually answer all my own ridiculous, probing, meaning-of-it-all concerns. it’s just my next journey in life.
i dont know if anyone else has experienced similar post-abroad culture adaptation struggles. but if you’ve faced any: here are mine, so you don’t feel so alone.
(note: side effects of long term, life-altering journeys may include making you question a lot of bigger picture yet slightly ostentatious ideas & trying to validate them on the interwebs)