This is how it feels to be home:
a little bit perfect and a little bit like all I want to do is cry.
I’m what you might call emotionally fragile at the moment. Or maybe, more accurately, emotionally overwhelmed.
Because, you see, I lived something. I lived something wild and amazing. Something that took up the large majority of my day dreams for several years. Something that absolutely, positively changed my life in a million ways (and a million more that I haven’t identified yet).
Yesterday at church, a woman I’ve known for my whole life asked if I learned anything, if my perspective had changed.
And the honest answer is that I learned EVERYTHING.
How could I not?
How could I possibly come back the same?
The problem is that no one gets it because I am, in all appearances, still me. And it’s not possible to explain what seven months in 30 countries does to a mind, a heart.
I keep telling stories, little snippets, but they feel so disjointed and random – like they don’t do the moment justice because the point is not the moment at all. The impact comes from the larger narrative that only I know. The narrative for which I don’t have words.
I want someone to ask questions that get to the heart of the experience – the big truths I’ve learned – only even I don’t know what those questions are.
My first three days at home were a non-stop swirling, whirling series of best friends and blue table picnics and surprises and visits and reunions. They were perfect and happy and exactly what I wanted and needed. Because home is GOOD. So so so good.
Home means my people, and my people are what I love most in this world.
But then the immediate glow of home wore off. My friends went back to their routines of studying and working and regular life – a schedule that I am understandably apart from at the moment.
And now I’m here, and things feel the same except nothing is the same.
Yesterday, I wandered aimlessly around my house for an hour, because what did I used to do all day? I don’t even know. STRANGE.
It’s so perfectly, wonderfully familiar, but so foreign at the same time.
Last night, I walked alone to my favorite ice cream parlor in the world to get a cone for #nationalicecreamday. But you know what?
I almost didn’t go.
Because, for whatever reason, doing a typically-social activity alone feels lame and weird and dumb when there are actually people around who could go with you.
I had to give myself a motivational speech to remind myself that I learned to do this – to explore solo, to say yes to things I want to do, to get ice cream alone.
It was a proud little victory when I got off the couch and walked to Brown Cow. It was a moment of acknowledging that the travel me is the real me. The me I’ve become. The me that I’m still becoming (and am loving).
I’m home. And I’m happy. And I’m confused. It’s amazing and weird and familiar and foreign and right and disorienting and everything all at once.
And for this week, there’s nowhere I’d rather be.