I’ve officially been home for two weeks. And it feels like I never left. Europe feels like a dream…something that once was, long ago…if it weren’t for the pictures and the occasional text or chat with an England friend, I wouldn’t even believe I went!
The lesson I have learned since being home: don’t think you’re immune to anything. Don’t think you’re immune to jet lag or reverse culture shock…because you’re not.
I arrived home Monday evening (after getting out of the airport I went directly a wal-mart and stocked up on Corn Twistees and other yummy American snacks). Our house was amazingly decorated for Christmas, thanks Mom and Dad. I unpacked my clothes (which really amounted to me taking my clothes suitcase to the washing machine), took a shower, and went to bed. Little did I know, an epic battle with sleep would ensue over the next week.
For at least a week I would fall asleep by 1030 (330am in the UK) and wake up at 7am (noon in the UK). Granted, when I was in the UK I wasn’t in the habit of waking up at noon (although going to be ad 330 was quite frequent) but I found myself becoming a morning person.
The wonder of the world never cease to amaze me. I actually like and want to be a morning person but it just so happens that I function better at night…so I thought! I’ve trained myself, thanks to jet lag, to function just as well in the morning as in the evening. These days I go to bed more around midnight or 1 and wake up at 9 but for that week of being an extreme morning person…I liked it. Hopefully when I live alone again, I can get back into that habit.
The next day at 330 I had an interview. What a way to kickstart my time home. And then had dinner with one of my best friends. Since then I’ve been looking for jobs and enjoying my time off. But I must say…when you have no occupation and aren’t a student anymore…you find yourself with a LOT of free time. In the past, I used to ENJOY being lazy. Watching TV all day and stuff…and now that I find I have the time do so…I don’t want to anymore. My stress…finding a job, getting a car, and moving out…those are HUGE stressers…but I feel this odd calm in my life. Like it’ll all work out.
The biggest struggle I face these days isn’t job searching…it’s this mysterious and crazy thing known as reverse culture shock. Even though I missed home when I was gone and couldn’t wait to see my parents when I got home, I feel this emptiness in my heart and this longing to go back to Europe. Those 3 months meant a lot for my life…true independence and freedom…the epitome of everything I want in my life…it’s all 4,000 miles away. I feel as if I’m going to spend the rest of my life trying to get back there. Back to those feelings.It’s kind of tragic too, really, because I know I’m never going to be 21 and in Europe and carefree and have endless amounts of money.
I mean…how do you over come these kinds of feelings? They’re almost impossible for me to fight and at random moments in my life I’ll be day dreaming about that time we were in Paris or that time we were in Rome or that weekend we went to Scotland…I’ll find myself saying English words instead of American words and constantly saying “well in England it’s this or that way” or “this one time when I was in (insert destination here”. It’s bittersweet. And I hope someday in the very near future, I can back to the place I love and miss so much. I wouldn’t give up being an American for anything the world, but I’d give up anything in the world to be in Europe again.
But it’s a new year! I’ll be re-purposing this blog so stay tuned!