4 weeks post re-entry, one of which was spent on the east coast, and I am finding myself driving over a lot of potholes in the road. Things aren’t going how I’d hope they would go. I keep trying to find someone to turn to, someone who would have at least the slightest idea of what this is like, but in my world, that number is next to none. Withdrawal from one country and re-immersion into another is surprisingly overwhelming. Coming back to the states indefinitely is a scary choice after having spent the past 3 years living in Europe.
I have changed, like everyone else here. Except the difference is that I have changed and grown in a different country with a completely different culture. My changes were so influenced by what surrounded me…. the language, the mannerisms, the cafes con leche in tiny 3 generation bars, the processions, the strikes, afternoon siestas, weekend flights to colder climates and coastal towns, seeing the Spanish world with my American eyes and being slowly influenced, dia tras dia, lulled into another way of life. To come back home and have no one who understands that experience is saddening. I find myself keeping stories inside, feelings to myself; slowly bottling up a life that was once so much bigger than myself.
The settling stage is upon me…the part where I become another car in American traffic, part of the drive-thru line ordering an ice-cream cone because it’s been a hell-of-a long day, the part where my first paycheck in dollars gets deposited, the part where I start to consider dating people that are actually from my country because that’s the majority now, the part where I have to accept that Spain will be in my heart for all eternity, but it’s not in the air I breath today, it’s not in tomorrow, and it’s not going to be in the day after that. Moving on is like walking on the sunny side of the sidewalk en pleno verano in southern Spain in the middle of the afternoon. It’s taking a lot out of me, and I keep trying to cross over.