Saturday, October 13, 2012

between grief and high delight

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I had a breakdown in the shower this morning.

Between working long hours as the days get shorter and barely seeing my husband (and, let's face it, quickly falling into sibling-like squabbles when our paths do cross), I've hardly had time to grocery shop, let alone focus on art or writing of any kind. So my emotional world has been a little out of whack.


But then this morning, somewhere in the middle of sobbing and shampooing, I had a wild thought: "This is probably just re-entry shock."

How come so many lightbulb moments are also "duh" moments?

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So I got out of the shower, dried my eyes and combed my hair, and did what I generally do in times of need: Googled. 

After a few minutes of clicking and skimming, I came across the book Homeward Bound by Robin Pascoe. In the introduction, the author says it took her two years plus to cycle through rollercoaster that is re-entry after repatriation.

Two. Years.

I haven't stayed in one place for more than two years in almost a decade. Which means that, since moving abroad for the first time in 2004 (as an exchange student to Germany), I've never let the cycle of reverse culture shock fully run its course.

This is a monumental realization for me. (Cue "Duh" bulb number two.)
No wonder my life has felt slightly derailed ever since then! No wonder I'm craving rootedness more deeply with each passing month -- and finding it so difficult to find.

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I told a friend the other day that I already have itchy feet, and it's true: I've been daydreaming about teaching English in Ethiopia on a regular basis.

I've also been craving art more than ever, maybe because it's the one thing I've carried with me wherever I've been (well, that and a debit card ;) Also, a good notebook and pencil). When I'm making, I'm in the process even when I'm not actively creating (meaning, I'm constantly thinking about what I'm making), and the rest of life feels approximately ten thousand times more in balance. 

I know that what I need right now is most definitely NOT another move. It's simply more art.

That, and about 24 months.

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