I’ve been asking myself a lot lately why I can’t just mould myself back into the life I left behind in September. I mean, I don’t necessarily want to do that, I think I’ve changed for the better and I don’t want to regress and forget the progress that I’ve made. But being here, I feel so foreign. Somehow, more-so than any place I was in Asia. I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what it is that’s preventing me from fitting back into the spot that I left behind. Did my trip really change me this much?
I think it did. I mean, I look around on a daily basis and I appreciate so much more. I think deeply about the things going on around me, and I remember what I’ve experienced. How could I possibly not be a different person after all of that?! I love my new perspective, but I hate it too. It frustrates me that the people I had once surrounded myself with often don’t understand. But how could they?! No matter how hard someone tries to relate, or how badly they want to understand, I truly believe that if you haven’t seen the kind of poverty, sadness, reality, love, passion, faith, beauty, and intensity of those countries (or countries similar) you just simply can’t. What I think frustrates me more though, is that this does frustrate me.
I remember the turn that my writing took the last few weeks of the trip. So much of what I wrote was concern about coming home. And I realize now, that the amount of concern that I had (which I thought was an extremely large amount) was not enough to prepare me for the reality of this reverse culture shock. I knew that it was going to be hard to come back into a society where the biggest problems for most people here, really aren’t much of a problem at all. I tried to hard to be prepare my self to not judge. Innocent ignorance can’t be helped. How can people understand, when it’s just simply impossible for them? How can you learn from an experience you haven’t had yet? You can’t. I don’t want anyone thinking that I think that I’m any better because I have experienced what I have. I don’t think that at all.
It was pointed out to be the other day that since I’ve been home, a few really terrible things have happened. Coming home was a very hard thing to do; But to come home and be hit with more sadness and sorrow? It’s a lot to handle. I’ve already written about Jean and Enzo, (not that all the words in the world could really put into perspective the affect of these events) but my papa died too shortly after Christmas. My mom had a detached retina, I physically drifted apart from my best friends (or maybe I should say family) after 3 months with them, and then mentally drifted away from the friends I had come home to. And the list really seems to go on. I’m trying to handle these terrible situations in ways that won’t leave me with heavy boots, but heavy things are, well, heavy.
Processing the things I’ve seen and experienced from my trip is a really really intense thing. The way that my thinking has changed over those few months has changed the way that I think here too. It was one thing when I was trying to process the faceless beggars on the streets, and the extremely dark lives that so many people have there, but when I begin to try and process terrible things that are happening to my friends and family, the dark loss of my family and friends, it’s intense on a whole new level.
Change happens, people die, babies are born, friends grow apart, people grow together. I know that this is all part of life. I don’t want any of this to seem like an excuse for my being M.I.A., but I’m trying to figure this whole life thing out; Trying to make things make sense, trying to question and learn from everything that’s happening in and around me.
“Everything is always changing, nothing is permanent.” I’m realizing the difference between just saying or reading that, and actually understanding that.