The months continue to fly by. I joke that it has been winter for four months, because I arrived back to the U.S. four months ago and winter basically began the next day. That said, spring is just around the corner. I have been saying this for the better part of the last six weeks, but this time, I mean it. Spring is finally coming, and with it, all the rebirth and renewal that we are waiting for.
In my last entry, I mentioned that I was suffering from reverse culture shock, a typical experience for anyone who spends a lengthy amount of time overseas and returns “home.” Sometime in February, the storm clouds over my head broke, just as in the above photo. I took this picture during a hike on my birthday; we’d hiked to our destination and planned to have a picnic, when suddenly a downpour made us run and take cover. After a short time, the clouds blew away and the sun came out, leading to a beautiful view over the landscape. Obviously, it was totally worth it.
The final stage of reverse culture shock is acceptance, and I appear to have arrived at that stage, mainly by keeping myself busy and trying to concentrate on the lessons I learned from my year volunteering and my time traveling. I am not sure exactly where my life is going to take me next, but I’m determined to enjoy the journey.
In the meantime, I’m working and playing hard. In addition to my intensive ESL class, I’ve picked up a private lesson and an oral communication class; I’m working towards my TESOL certificate in an accelerated fashion so that I will be done by June. I’ve committed to my yoga practice, and, in a happy turn of events, I’ve found an ever-expanding circle of ladies who are dedicated to salsa dancing every weekend. While traveling, I realized that all I need in any city is salsa dancing and yoga, so this has really helped my accept my life back in Cambridge for as long as I am here.
As for the lessons I’ve learned, it is all about appreciating the present moment and trying not to hold on too tightly to the past. It means integrating who I was with who I am now, honoring the ways in which I have changed, and keeping myself from falling into bad habits or feeling lost. I am not lost. I am in transition, and this transition means I get to choose what I want to do going forward. Right now, I am choosing to remain open to the possibilities and not making any rash decisions.
I still want to use this blog to share photos of my travels and experiences and tips on how to get to some of the harder-to-reach locations, but I am over six months behind in reviewing my photos! I am hoping my next quarter of classes will be less intense so that I can redirect some of my energy to writing. There are so many stories I want to share.