Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Home at Last

Well, I told you it might be awhile before you heard from me again! I got home nearly 3 weeks ago, but I've been keeping pretty busy.

I thought it would be weird to be home again. You hear a lot about "reverse culture shock", entering back into your own culture after being away and realizing that everything seems different than it used to. Coming home hasn't really affected me that way, though. Sure, sometimes I get confused about which side of the road people drive on here, or realize that I picked up a new habit in Ireland (like bringing a sweater or jacket with me literally everywhere). Sometimes I forget where a light switch is or where the cookie sheets are stored in our kitchen (but in my defense, over the past couple years my parent's house has undergone TONS of changes). But mostly coming home has just seemed like, well, coming home. This place is so deeply familiar to me, and I'm used to being away for long periods of time at college anyway. The first time I returned from college definitely seemed stranger than coming home from Europe.

Because this place is so familiar, being here has made Ireland seem very distant. I returned about three weeks ago, but it seems like it has been years. It almost seems like the whole thing was a dream, like it wasn't entirely real. People ask me how my time abroad was, or my favorite thing about Ireland, and those questions are very hard to answer. I can't sum up such an eventful five months of my life with a simple response. (I do love talking about it, but more specific questions are helpful!) It's hard sometimes to even express what it was like to my family or friends that I talk to often. The main thing that people have been asking me, though, is "Is it good to be home?" Again, a very loaded question. Yes, its good to be home, but I also miss Ireland dearly. One place isn't necessarily better than the other, and living in Ireland was so totally different than living at home that it's difficult to compare them at all. I think that's part of why Ireland seems so far away now, it's so different that it just doesn't seem relevant anymore.

Anyway, it's been a good summer so far. After I got over the first few days of being dead tired, the jet lag wasn't too bad. (Seriously, I don't remember the last time I was that exhausted. It was hard to even think or do anything at all besides sit on the couch.) I've done a lot of unpacking, organizing and decorating in my room. I'm just about done now, and I LOVE it. Who knows how long it will last, but for now all of my stuff is out of boxes (I had to pack a lot when I went to college and when my parents renovated our house) and everything has a place and I actually know where all of it is. I'm currently sitting at my desk, one of the first times that I've been able to do so since I bought it last summer. I've also been putting quite a bit of time into trying to find a job for the summer. I am feeling very hopeful about having an internship, but nothing is official yet so I won't give any more details at the moment.

One thing I've noticed about myself over the years is that I do a lot of my processing after something has happened. This is one of the reasons that I write in a journal (and why I blog). I feel like I didn't fully experience something if I don't take time after it is over to think and write about it. I still have a couple ideas for posts about my time abroad that I ran out of time to write in Ireland (packing and final exams and saying goodbye to friends made my last couple weeks pretty crazy), so don't be surprised if you see those sometime in the near future. It feels like its been years since I left Ireland, but I want to continue to write about it and remember it!